First there was Thanksgiving, then came Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, which were then followed by the virtuous #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is an international day of giving before we get into the commercialized holiday season -- and here are just a few Jamaica Plain nonprofits that help the community in many ways.
All of these nonprofits accept donations in different forms and many are also eager to have volunteers donate their time to help their programs. Please contact them for more info.
Bikes Not Bombs (284 Amory St. and 18 Bartlett Square) is a unique local nonprofit that "uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change." Bikes Not Bombs has many elements to its mission. Thousands of bicycles are reclaimed every year, there are youth programs, international programs, bicycle sales/services/repairs, clinics and more. Bikes Not Bombs hosts an annual bike-a-thon fundraiser in June.
Ethos (555 Amory St.) works with almost 2,000 elderly and disabled persons throughout the Boston area to help them live an independent life. Programs include personal care attendants, nutrition education, healthy aging classes, LGBT programs, money management services, long-term care ombudsman and more.
Ecumenical Social Action Committee (434 Jamaicaway) offers senior assistance programs that provide vital help to support seniors stay in their homes to age in place. Most programs, but not all, are geared to low- and moderate-income seniors living in Boston. ESAC's home modification loan program provides affordable loans for accessibility improvements like walk-in tubs, stair lifts, ramps and even new accessible bathrooms. Another point of pride for ESAC is a program that helps youth prepare to take the exam to get their high school diploma.
Community Servings (18 Marbury Terrace) is a food and nutrition program that provides services to individuals and families with critical and chronic illnesses. The organization provides home-delivered meals, nutrition education and other community programs.
Dominican Development Center (42 Seaverns Ave.) works with immigrant communities in the Boston area by providing immigration referrals, citizenship classes, advocating for immigrant workers' rights, ESL and bilingual programs.
Strong Women Strong Girls (555 Amory St.) "empowers girls to imagine a broader future through a curriculum grounded on female role models delivered by college women mentors, who are themselves mentored by professional women." Strong Women Strong Girls works at numerous Boston area schools, including four in Jamaica Plain (Curley K-8 School, Boston Teacher's Union School, JFK Elementary School, Mission Hill School).
North American Indian Center of Boston (105 South Huntington Ave.) serves the American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian/First Nation community providing health services, advocacy services wellness groups, job training, children and elder programming and more.
Boomerangs (716 Centre St.) is a group of thrift stores, including on the main stretch of Centre Street, which are owned and operated by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. The stores sell a vast array of new and used products to fund AIDS Action's programs such as HIV prevention and wellness services. Boomerangs also accepts donations -- so don't toss those old clothes, dishes, books and more -- donate them.
BalletRox (45 Danforth St.) empowers Boston youth through dance classes by making them accessible to a diverse range of students through in-school and after-school programs.
Hyde Square Task Force (30 Sunnyside St.) works with more than 800 youth from age six to 25 providing college and career preparation, Afro-Latin arts and cultural programming, community-building initiatives like free public dance events, live theater performances and more. HSTF has a focus on making sure the youth of the Hyde Square area receive arts and educational opportunities so they "know their voices and cultures are valued and celebrated in Boston's Latin Quarter and beyond."