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Looking for a great youth charity to give to before the year ends? Our YouthBeat team shared some of their top picks for charities that do good by giving to youth and family causes…

C+R Research supports the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, an organization that provides support to abused children. You can also support this group in their mission, “Uniting public, private, and community partners to ensure the safety, health and well-being of abused children.”

Mary McIlrath, our youth and family qualitative expert, recommends Heartland Alliance. This organization advocates for human rights and responds to the human needs of the worlds’ most vulnerable populations. While their work extends beyond youth, we know that youth are disproportionately represented among those living in poverty, and that early childhood poverty can have lifelong effects.

Paul Metz of KidzEyes supports two organizations that help homeless families get back on their feet: DuPage Family Shelter Services and Bridge Communities.

Brenda Hurley of ParentSpeak volunteers her time with Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  The charity is named for “Bear” (Barrett), who died at 8 yrs old of cancer. Before he died, he and his mother talked about starting a charity dedicated to eliminating pediatric cancer and to providing hope and support to those who are touched by it.  Brenda sets up “Bear Hugs,” which are customized experiences, like a weekend away or going to an event or show, for youth ages 0-19 who are going through cancer.  

Amy Henry, who heads up YouthBeat, appreciates two charities that tap into the transformative power of sports. Harlem RBI may be about bringing baseball to the inner city, but their tagline, “Play.Learn.Grow.,” show that they take mentorship and personal growth seriously.   

Grassroots Soccer “uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.” 

Finally, YouthBeat’s Rhonda Eviston reminds us that, in the face of events that can make even the strongest adults feel disempowered, there is a way to support the families of Newtown, CT by donating to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund (sponsored by the United Way of Western Connecticut).