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Each December, we think about those who are in less fortunate circumstances than we are. With COVID-19 still a prevalent issue throughout most of the world, more people are struggling this year than during most past holiday seasons.

The typical charities that need help are always there. You’ll find Toys for Toys, local food banks, and gift-giving nonprofits all asking for some help.

When you can provide some assistance during Christmas for children who might not receive gifts, you’re spreading joy in ways you may never see.

Here are the places in greatest need right now.

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

This organization comes from a partnership between the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and the United Nations Foundation. It works to help at-risk countries test, track, and supply personal protective equipment to medical workers. Donations also help with vaccine development.

No Kid Hungry

Kids receive free meals when they go to school or can reach a delivery point. What happens if a family has little ones that aren’t old enough? Supporting this charity ensures that emergency grants go to the food banks who work with these families to ensure something is available to eat.

Covenant House

Many young people find themselves at odds with their families during the holiday season. This charity provides local shelters and social services to help them stay safe.

Direct Giving

Many of us know someone or a family who needs assistance. Vulnerable neighbors benefit from direct aid because the resources get used immediately. If you cannot afford a financial donation, a hot meal, or a few toys for the kids can inspire the hope that people need during this season.

The Red Cross / Red Crescent

Blood supplies are critically low worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can donate to a local center, you’ll have a fast way to make a big difference in a stranger’s life.

Rotary Foundation

This charity consistently receives perfect scores from independent evaluators for its role in changing lives. It only takes sixty cents to protect a child from polio in the developing world. If you can donate more, your efforts can provide clean water, launch anti-bullying campaigns, and create safer environments for children.

The best place to look for charitable causes is at home. When you can help local families in need, you’re changing the world one life at a time.

Scott Larson