I’ll be back with another gift guide on Thursday, but am taking a break today to highlight Giving Tuesday. Each year on this day I like to share some of the organizations that I support, either financially or with my time. This year, I wanted to keep it local, so I’m sharing Pittsburgh-based organizations only. The list is alphabetical, not in order of preference! If you’re able to give financially today, I know that all of these organizations are deserving and would appreciate anything that you’re able to give.
412 Food Rescue is dedicated to helping with food insecurity – a team of volunteers works to “rescue” food from grocery stores, caterers, etc. and delivers it to community centers, non-profit organizations, and more for people facing food insecurity. Most of the food is fresh, and their method of rescuing helps eliminate transportation issues. It’s a great mission and a really important issue, especially considering that many urban Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also food deserts (no local grocery store exists).
I serve on the Board of CLASS, so I know firsthand how hard they work and how committed they are to serving people with disabilities. CLASS provides attendant care services as well as skill building and vocational training, and they’ve also been working to expand their reach to support transition-aged youth and their families. They’ve been doing the work quietly in Pittsburgh for years now, and they are really dedicated to what they do.
I’m also on the board of Film Pittsburgh, so I have a good understanding of the work they do and their dedication, too. They are the definition of small but mighty – with a very small staff, they put on multiple film festivals each year in Pittsburgh! They’re also the host for the ReelAbilities festival here in Pittsburgh – it’s a nationwide festival that highlights disabled actors, films, and characters. I’ve seen their commitment to inclusion firsthand – both at ReelAbilities and at all of their festivals and events – and know how important it is to them.
If any of you have ever had to deal with an issue with your medical insurance, you know how complicated it can be. When you have a question about state-sponsored insurance, like Medicaid, it only gets ten times more confusing – it often feels like every person that you speak to gives you a different answer, and that it’s impossible to find out the information you need on your own. That’s where the PA Health Law Project comes in – they’re a free resource that helps provide counseling and education, and advocate for systemic change. I’ve directed a number of people to them over the years because they’re the best at what they do!
Again, I’m on the board of The Warhol, so I have some insider knowledge into how they function as a museum and what they care about and prioritize. And everything that I do know makes me proud to be associated with them. Not only do they put on some really creative and innovative exhibits, but they are also committed to making sure that the museum is open and accessible to all, whether that means from a disability accessibility perspective or a financial one. They host Queer Prom, sensory friendly events, and so much more each year.
I’ve had the chance to work with the Women and Girls Foundation a few times over the years, and am impressed by their commitment to advocacy! They’ve done a lot of great work around paid family leave and access to healthcare and a living wage that I’ve been involved with. I’m also continually impressed by their intentional, intersectional approach to all the advocacy work that they do.