Ways to volunteer, donate, and support local groups

Ways to volunteer, donate, and support local groups


Ready to give back?

There are many, many local organizations that are working to provide vulnerable communities throughout Philadelphia with the necessities they need. There are groups that provide shelter to those experiencing homelessness, organizations that collect clothing for people who need it, groups that serve meals to the food insecure, groups that provide support to school-aged children, and more.

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And, there are many ways you can support these groups by donating your time, your money, and new or gently used items. Organizations that give back to the community are always looking for help, whether that means donating or volunteering, or both.

Here are some groups to get you started. Find one that you’re passionate about, and find ways to help them year round.

Housing / homelessness groups

Homeless shelters and local organizations need volunteers, clothing and monetary donations all year round to support Philadelphia’s unhoused community. Most shelters and organizations have lists of items they accept and don’t accept (you can find a list in our guide on winter donations here). Here are some groups to get you started:

» READ MORE: Where to donate to help people experiencing homelessness in Philly

Where to donate clothing and furniture

Many organizations throughout Philadelphia will happily accept your unwanted items — everything from furniture and appliances to books and electronics — so they don’t just end up going to waste in a landfill. In fact, we have a full guide that details what groups will accept and what work those donations help fund. Local organizations have specific instructions regarding what they accept and don’t accept, but you’ll likely be able to find a local place to donate your unwanted clutter. These donations support some of the most vulnerable communities in Philadelphia, including Afghan evacuees, people escaping domestic violence, people who cannot afford gender-affirming clothes, and people who have were recently incarcerated. Read our full guide here.

» READ MORE: Where to donate furniture in Philadelphia

Gun violence organizations

Youth support organizations

BIPOC support organizations

LGBTQ support organizations

Refugee and newcomer support organizations

The following organizations welcome monetary donations that go toward programs and items that help benefit refugees and newcomers arriving to Philadelphia.

Hunger and food support organizations

Donate your time to organizations that serve food to the hungry, prepare meals for those fighting life-threatening diseases, and more.

Food insecurity throughout the country significantly increased during the pandemic. To help feed food insecure neighbors, mutual aid organizations throughout Philadelphia (and the country) have established community fridges — refrigerators that are free to fill and free to take from with no registration required. We have a guide with more than 30 community fridges throughout the city where you can donate common pantry and fridge items, but keep in mind that each fridge has its own set of rules regarding what it accepts. Be sure to check the fridge’s accepted items list before donating.

» READ MORE: Where to find 30+ community fridges around Philadelphia


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