Top 10 Nonprofits Making a Difference for Kids During COVID
COVID-19 has been especially hard on children. And while it can be easy to get consumed and caught up with today’s immediate opportunities and challenges, it’s important we not lose sight of how we’re paving the path for the future and younger generations. Decisions made today must be thoughtfully viewed with a long term vision considering the health, wellness and success for those that follow after us.
These amazing organizations have adapted, gone virtual, and done everything possible during the pandemic to ensure children, many of whom are underserved, continue to have access to education, mental and physical health and wellness resources, climate change awareness programs and more. Below are the nonprofits (in alphabetical order) we see making a difference in children’s lives and for future generations.
ANYTOWN’s summer program for high school-aged students provides a community that enables respect and understanding. Youth are able to engage in safe cross-cultural interactions that use a relationship-first approach to build trust. The intensive five-day, four-night residential program continues with a year of ongoing opportunities for service and leadership development utilizing the knowledge and skills developed. In 2019, 100% experienced meaningful cross-cultural interactions and 96% increased their comfort and ability to facilitate dialogue.
CityParks Green Girls offers a five-week summer program that provides underserved NYC young women unique explorations in parks from urban forests and rivers to coastal marshes and beaches. STEM learning, environmental science, and justice issues enables an understanding of the impact of climate change on the city’s waterways and urban forests. The program also creates a safe space for young women to engage one another on social and academic challenges, build social support systems, and discuss topics like mental health, bullying and more. CityParks Green Girls is the recipient of the National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) 2020 Climate Change award.
Making a lasting, healing and positive impact on the safety and health of tens of thousands of children and families in communities across Kansas and Missouri is Cornerstones of Care’s main mission. The non-profit helps children, young adults and families to improve safety and health through six key service areas including foster care & adoption, education, mental & behavioral health, youth support, family support, and community trainings. The organization ensures children and families have the prevention, treatment and support services they need to become healthy and more resilient for the future.
Thanks to the help of highly qualified and trained staff available 24/7, at-risk children at the Ranch have access to a safe and structured environment in which to live, learn, and heal from trauma. Children learn the skills needed to lead productive, satisfying, and purposeful lives with the help from therapists, nurses, addiction counselors, occupational therapists, and a psychiatrist. The ranch is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and their on-site school, Dakota Memorial School’s rigorous accreditation standards ensure students receive the highest level of education.
A 2020 New York Life Foundation Excellence in Summer Learning Award winner, EDMO® was founded in 2004 with the mission of providing equitable access to its learning programs and offers live, hands-on, interactive learning programs that engage children’s minds, encourage their creativity and provide them with opportunities for collaboration, problem solving, social connection, and social emotional learning (SEL) skill building for Pre-K to 8th graders.
When Covid hit, EDMO took its 17 years of in-person summer camp and afterschool program experience serving thousands of kids in the San Francisco Bay Area, and pivoted its offerings to include virtual programs in the form of online camps, classes and private coaching, making them available to children across the U.S. and around the globe.
The (ETF) is the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) which provides access to theatre education for all students. An important part of the arts, theatre teaches students essential skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking to foster success in college, career, and life. The EdTA provides an environment for children to learn how to tell stories, connect with others, and helps to challenge the lack of theatre access as only four percent of public U.S. elementary schools offer student theatre. The ETF provides financial support to enhance excellence in theatre education and to expand access to K-12 school theatre programs for every child.
Through Girl’s Inc, the development of the whole girl is considered. Girls learn how to value themselves, take risks, and discover and develop their inherent strengths. Through long-lasting mentoring relationships and evidence-based programming, girls are equipped to navigate social barriers, and grow up confident, healthy, educated, and independent. In addition, Girls Inc. aims to break the limiting barriers of poverty and lead generations of girls to economic independence, be financially secure and have a brighter future filled with promise and success.
OCE champions the voice for children who are most vulnerable to pollution, to enable them to breathe clean air and use clean water. By educating the public about the health problems caused by pollution in their neighborhoods, and empowering affected communities to take action to reduce pollution, a more sustainable planet can be achieved. Programs focused on improving air quality, polluted water, and supporting wildlife help initiate a healthier world for generations to come.
STEMconnector is a research-driven organization devoted to building talent pipelines in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions, and connecting all aspects of the STEM community from K-12 to global corporations.
The Imagination Library, known as the library Dolly Parton built, is a book gifting program that provides free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Republic of Ireland. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started the Library to inspire children into a lifetime love of reading. Today, her program gifts over one million free books each month to children around the world.
YA’s Summer Arts & Learning Academy provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Baltimore City Public Schools’ (BCPSS) elementary students to spend a summer learning from the best teachers and teaching artists. In partnership with BCPSS, the Academy’s free, full-day, five-week program focuses on arts-integrated literacy and math learning. Students are encouraged to collaborate and reflect by learning from and with each other at every step of the creative process. Through each creative process, the students are encouraged to collaborate and reflect by learning from and with each other.