During this time of the year, there are so many days and reasons to shop. Black Friday deals, supporting local businesses on Small Business Saturday, online shopping on Cyber Monday. By far, my favorite one of these days though is Giving Tuesday, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States (aka today!). This is the day to donate time, money, and resources to any non-profits and charities and was started in 2012 by a team of folks at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. There are so many organizations to support this year, including:

  • The Alatheia Riding Center – this riding center is located in Wenatchee, Washington and provides therapeutic and adaptive riding lessons for riders that have a variety of special needs like cerebral palsy, learning disability, epilepsy, and autism.
  • The Alley Cat Project – this Seattle organization is working towards reducing the overpopulation of cats in Seattle. They do work through trapping, neutering/spaying, and returning community/feral cats and helping friendly cats get adopted into the right families.
  • Animals as Natural Therapy (ANT) – similar to the Alatheia Riding Center, ANT believes in the relationship between people and animals and provides animal based therapy for at risk youth and veterans.
  • The Center For Whale Research – this organization studies orcas in the Salish Sea by performing health assessments on the whale population and sharing the stories of the whales with the world and elected officials.
  • Oregon Coast Aquariumthis aquarium is located in Newport, OR and works to engage people with the animals and wildlife of the Oregon Coast and on ocean conservation.
  • The Oregon Zoo – located in Portland, OR, this zoo helps to save species from extinction and connects people with different wildlife species.
  • The Woodland Park Zoo – like the Oregon Zoo, this Seattle based zoo works on conservation work (like with the western pond turtle) and connecting people with animals!

There are many different rescue organizations in the Pacific Northwest that also need help:

These are just some of the organizations that you can support on Giving Tuesday (or year-round) and there are so many more that focus on helping many different issues. This year, I know I’m planning to donate in honor of someone instead of buying them something they might not like or even need. Changing the world isn’t going to happen overnight or with one person. But supporting organizations work towards their mission of helping and understanding animals and others can help change the world just a bit.