The spirit of the holiday season spurs us toward generosity. We give gifts. We gather together (if only virtually) to share the bounty of our holiday tables. And in our community, we band together to support those in need. There is a rich tapestry of hard-working nonprofit organizations in Lehigh Valley who need our support now more than ever. The following pages offer many ways to expand your holiday tradition of giving. Explore the diverse list of inspiring local nonprofits that bring creativity, vitality, dignity, and care to our community all year long. Then act: volunteer, donate, give. ‘Tis the season, after all.
Below are a few highlights from The Nonprofit Giving Back Guide in Fig Bethlehem.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, and many of our children and families are still in crisis. Today, more than 40% of households in our community are facing serious financial instability and food insecurity. For more than 100 years, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has served our community in times of extraordinary need. Together with partners, they are responding by helping families put food on the table and keep roofs over their heads while working to create the lasting changes we need to build a stronger, more resilient community. United, we can rebuild and recover.
Mission: Together, we’re building a strong community—where our kids thrive, our seniors are healthy, and everyone has access to nutritious food and emergency services.
Get Involved: Every gift counts—no matter how small. Learn how you can create lasting change at unitedwayglv.org/donate.
The Lehigh County Humane Society provides needed animal welfare services to our community, bringing true equality and kindness to the forefront of what they do every day as human beings. A managed-admission facility, they do not turn animals away based on their age, breed, and perceived adoptability. They provide food, medical care, foster homes, adoption services, lost pet services, and cruelty investigations. LCHS’s new innovative Community Vet Clinic program empowers local pet owners by providing essential veterinary care for the pets they love at an accessible, affordable cost— and is the only program of its kind in the Lehigh Valley.
Mission: To provide a safe haven for ALL animals in the Lehigh Valley. To be the leading advocate for breeds such as pit bulls that often are left behind or ignored by other shelters. To provide affordable state of the art medical care for all animals, to offer additional financial assistance to pet owners who are in need, to prevent animals from becoming ill in the first place, and to keep animals in the loving homes where they belong.
Get Involved: Contact Deirdre at deirdre@lehighhumane. org to schedule a safe shelter tour and to learn more about their upcoming expansion in 2021. Check out their most-needed items online at lehighcountyhumanesociety.org/collection-drives, and visit their website to learn about fostering, adoption, and more! LCHS is an independent 501(c)3 organization and relies primarily on private donations, please donate today to help them continue to care for the animals and the people of our community.
Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley empowers low-income individuals living in South Bethlehem and throughout Northampton County. Its mission is to improve the quality of lives of families (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) through empowerment. At HCLV, they believe in a community that embraces economic opportunity for all and sees its cultural diversity as a foundation for building a stronger society and a more vibrant economy—and that at the heart of change is the individual’s desire and willingness to pursue a path toward their own independence and self-sufficiency. Due to COVID-19, HCLV shifted its operations to fully-remote services to provide continuous, and uninterrupted services across the Food Pantry, WIC, CEP, Senior Center, and more. Please support their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic by making a donation on their website.
Mission: To improve the quality of lives of families (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) by empowering them to become more self-sufficient, while promoting an intercultural understanding in the Lehigh Valley.
Get Involved: If you would like to support HCLV in assisting and improving the quality of life of the individuals they serve, please consider volunteering or making a donation.
The SouthSide Arts District wants to become the Lehigh Valley’s mecca for public art. Each year they work tirelessly to create opportunities for local artists to transform the streetscape of South Bethlehem into their canvas. Through grants, events, and fundraising they are able to pay artists for their work, as well as all the extra costs that go along with installing public art. Over the last three years the SouthSide Arts District has completed public art projects including artist-designed flower pots and bike racks, murals, the Greenway ArtsWalk, and a public piano. And now they’ve tied them all together to create a guided tour throughout the downtown called the Urban Arts Trail! Visitors can follow the 2.75-mile path using a phone app that highlights artist information and details about each public art piece seen throughout the SouthSide.
Mission: SouthSide Arts District is working hard to ensure continued creativity and cultural expression through art. By understanding the value of a vibrant public realm, we can encourage conversation, community, and the SouthSide’s character.
Get Involved: The SouthSide Arts District is an initiative of the nonprofit organization the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation established in 2015. Donate or volunteer today to help keep their public art efforts alive and well in the SouthSide!
wildlandspa.org • 610.965.4397
Wildlands Conservancy employs some really wild ambassadors: their education animals! Feathered, furry, and not—they educate thousands of community members, of all ages, about the value of nature right here in the Lehigh Valley. From insects to avian species, caring for their Animal Ambassadors costs about $70,000 annually. This holiday season, you can help keep their animals healthy and educate the next generation of environmental stewards when you Give the Gift of Animal Care. Gift packages start at only $50 with adoption options available and complementary at-home nature kits included. All of Wildlands’ creatures, great and small, wish you a happy holiday season!
Mission: To protect and restore critical natural areas and waterways, and educate the community to create a legacy of a healthy, sustainable, environment for future generations.
Get Involved: Donate, volunteer, give gifts-in-kind, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or visit one of their 14 nature preserves!
Founded in 1900, the Allentown Rescue Mission is the largest homeless shelter for men in the Lehigh Valley. The Allentown Rescue Mission helps homeless men 18 years and older reintegrate back into society with its three distinct programs (Emergency Shelter, Transformation Program, and Clean Team Re-employment Program). The programs identify the individual needs of the guests and give them the confidence and tools needed to succeed. The men receive one-on-one coaching, faith-based education, life skills classes, and paid transitional employment. By the time the men leave the Allentown Rescue Mission, they’ve typically saved enough money for an apartment, secured permanent employment, and have been restored as productive members of the community. The Allentown Rescue Mission stayed open during the 1918 pandemic and has been open every day during this pandemic; providing a safe environment for the men who call it home.
Mission: To rescue, rehabilitate, and restore homeless men through faith-centered programs based on accountability and compassion.
Get Involved: The Allentown Rescue Mission is almost exclusively nongovernment funded, relying on the support of individuals like you. To make a monetary or in-kind donation, or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit their website.
Think about when you have to show your ID… buying alcohol, airport security, cashing a check, applying for an apartment, and even getting hired for a job. It’s all pretty routine—unless you are transgender and your ID doesn’t match your gender presentation. Unfortunately, changing your name and ID is expensive, complicated and—sometimes—dangerous. Our name change services help transgender folk with financial assistance and advisory services that let them successfully navigate the legal system so they can overcome a key hurdle to living the lives they deserve.
Mission: With a mission of empowering transgender residents of the greater Lehigh Valley, Eastern PA Trans Equity Project provides supportive services, mentoring, educational programming, and financial micro-grants that help transgender people to thrive and succeed.
Get Involved: To learn more about the transgender experience, to volunteer, or to donate, please visit their website or call 484.602.5918.
Housed in the former Electric Repair Shop of the Bethlehem Steel plant site on the vibrant SteelStacks arts & culture campus, the National Museum of Industrial History interprets industry past, present, and future through dynamic exhibits, hands-on interactives, and engaging programs. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the stories of the people, machines, and ideas that transformed our nation through a rich collection of rare artifacts including the esteemed 1876 Smithsonian Industrial collection.
Mission: The mission of the National Museum of Industrial History, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, is to forge a connection between America’s industrial past and the innovations of today by educating the public and inspiring the visionaries of tomorrow.
By using land and resources at Monocacy Manor, Bethlehem in the Franciscan tradition, the Monocacy Farm Project (MFP) models stewardship and care of the earth, engages and educates the community, and—perhaps most importantly—strives to alleviate hunger. From April through October each year, the MFP plants and harvests organically-grown produce that feeds the needy through community partnerships with food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. Community gardeners, youth groups, retreats, church and school groups, organizations, and individuals also find fulfillment in these fields by taking part in sustainable gardening, educational programs, and other projects that give back to underserved communities.
Mission: Feeding the Hungry…Caring for the Earth…Growing Healthy Community
Get Involved: The Monocacy Farm Project relies on help from volunteers year-round—from seasonal Garden and Festival Volunteers to Clerical and Grantwriting Volunteers. Want to get involved? Email Info-MFP@monocacyfarmproject.org. Donate online or by check payable to the Monocacy Farm Project.
Explore Fig's entire Holiday Issue.