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Give Back and Pay Forward

Giving Back and Paying Forward

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and for many Americans the holiday marks a time to celebrate food, family, friends and football. 

But it’s also a perfect time to reflect and think about showing gratitude for all that we have. We all have reasons to be grateful: career, health, the well-being of family and friends and more.  

Showing gratitude for these things can take many forms. Obviously, we can give back to those people who have supported us, but it can be equally rewarding to pay it forward by extending support to others.

In that spirit, we’ve created a list of causes worthy of your consideration. They each are committed to providing assistance, resources and programs to help improve the well-being — financial or otherwise — of people around the world. We invite you to learn more about the organizations, consider contributing to them or even signing up as a volunteer. 

If there is a cause we overlooked you believe should be added to the list, feel free to let us know! 

" ... it’s a perfect time to reflect and think about showing gratitude for all that we have."

U.S. Non-Profits Worth Supporting

In 2020 — despite the pandemic ——Americans gave $471 billion to charities, which represented a 5.1% boost over 2019 according to Giving USA

Here’s our pick on some worthy causes providing invaluable support to those in need in the U.S.:

  • Feeding America helps food banks provide support to those in need to be able to eat.
  • Operation Pac-Man provides supplies to healthcare workers and hospitals helping to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Oxfam America helps make sure people have access to clean water, especially those in vulnerable areas.
  • World Central Kitchen is working across the U.S. to deliver fresh meals to those in need.
  • Perfect Strangers provides free delivery of groceries, medications, and other supplies to people in need in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and the San Francisco area.
  • Team Rubicon, serves communities across the country by providing assistance such as delivery service for food-insecure populations, coordination and logistics support for those in temporary quarantine, as well as individual volunteers safely helping their neighbors.
  • Help Main Street assists more than 120,000 local businesses in all 50 states by ordering online, buying gift cards, or donating directly to provide critical cash support during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Habitat for Humanity helps families in need build and improve their homes.

Worthy Causes Beyond U.S. Borders

Donating to a global cause enables people to aid vulnerable populations on a broader scale. Here are some organizations that are focused on mitigating poverty, providing clean water, giving medical relief due to COVID and more.

  • Vitamin Angels operates with the mission to eliminate malnutrition for women and children around the world.
  • The Starbucks Foundation offers disaster relief, neighborhood grants and other programs to support an array of global causes.
  • The World Health Organization is helping to stop the spread of the virus globally through its COVID fund.
  • Doctors Without Borders assists in countries across the world by providing medical assistance especially in areas impacted the most by COVID.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at this point, this nonprofit is a household name dedicated to a range of global initiatives to help fight poverty, disease and inequality.

Other Ways to Give Back  

There are other ways to show gratitude during this Thanksgiving season like volunteering, donating household items or giving to more niche charities. 

  • Give Back Box is a green initiative that reuses online shopping packages and fills them with clothes or household items, sending them to someone in need.
  • GoFundMe Causes enables you to give to multiple causes that are working on the frontlines of various issues. 
  • Make a gift of your time and efforts after checking out the listings on Volunteers of America
  • Give a gift card to a friend or family member in need. Check out Help Main Street which offers gift cards to local businesses in 50 states.

Organizations Helping with Financial Relief 

BillGO is especially committed to ensuring people have access to financial well-being. Below is a list of organizations that are providing resources and programs to help improve the financial situations of Americans amidst the pandemic.

  • The Financial Health Network offers a number of initiatives to help Americans enhance their financial wellness. See them here.  
  • Check out the BlackRock Emergency Savings Initiative which helps people living on low- to moderate-incomes gain access to and increase usage of proven savings strategies and tools. 
  • Foundation for Financial Wellness offers resources and programs for individuals, employers and partners that help foster the need for financial wellness.
  • Save First Financial Wellness offers multiple services and tools to help people get out of debt, build savings, track savings and reduce credit.
  • Opportunity Finance Network operates numerous programs to help Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIS) create opportunities for low-income and diverse communities in rural, urban, suburban, and indigenous areas.

Finally, if you or the people close to you are feeling overwhelmed by bills and other financial obligations, visit the BillGO Pay Relief Hub, BillGO’s award-winning resource offers a detailed list of financial institutions and organizations offering payment relief, broken down by region.