Give Back with These Philanthropic Organizations

Where to Volunteer or Donate

los angeles charities guide!

The best thing about the holidays isn’t the getting. It’s the giving.

Here, eight worthy causes that deserve your TLC this season.

The Gentle Barn
The Santa Clarita farm rehabilitates abused farm and domestic animals to become therapeutic ambassadors to at-risk youth, children with special needs, and school groups.
How to Help: Socialize animals (pet pigs, hold chickens, hug cows), become a sponsor, or make a donation toward the animals’ holiday wish list.
Where: 15825 Sierra Hwy., at Vasquez Way, Santa Clarita (661-252-2440).

First Place for Youth
What: Through housing, education, and employment programs, this innovative organization helps former foster kids adjust to adult life.
How to Help: Volunteer, fund, or donate specific items needed for events or the Community Resource Center.
Where: 3530 Wilshire Blvd., at S. Normandie Ave., ste. 600, Mid-Wilshire (213-835-2700).

Create Now
At-risk children are given creative outlets through music, writing, art, and theater workshops. Mentors take them to concerts, plays, and other cultural events for inspiration.
How to Help: Mentor a child, join a committee, or donate funds and supplies.
Where: 1611 S. Hope St., at Venice Blvd., ste. e, Downtown (213-747-2777).

The Young Storytellers Foundation
An in-school arts education program that develops literacy through bringing professional writers into the classroom to help kids write their own original short screenplays. At the program’s end, professional actors perform the students’ scripts in front of an audience.
How to Help: Make a donation or show your support as an audience member.
Where: 923 E. Third St., at Wall St., ste. 307, Downtown (323-962-4500).

The environmental org works to build more sustainable communities by planting trees and educating kids and adults on being eco-conscious.
How to Help: Distribute fruit trees to low-income neighborhoods, volunteer for tree care, or dedicate a seedling to a green-obsessed pal for the holidays.
Where: 12601 Mulholland Dr., at Coldwater Canyon Ave., Beverly Hills (818-753-4600).

Project Angel Food
Professional chefs cook free, healthy meals to be delivered to those affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses throughout L.A.
How to Help: Put the skills you learned on the Food Network to good use by volunteering in the kitchen or at an event.
Where: 922 Vine St., at Barton Ave., Hollywood (323-845-1800).

Beauty Bus Foundation
A makeover mobile that provides gratis in-home salon and spa services and pop-up salons for chronically or terminally ill women, men, and children.
How to Help: Volunteer as a beauty professional (if you are, of course), buddy, or ambassador.
Where: 2716 Ocean Park Blvd., at 28th St., ste. 1062, Santa Monica (310-392-0900).

Peace Over Violence
This pioneering prevention center works to help end domestic and sexual violence through a 24-hour emergency hotline, individual and group counseling, self-defense initiatives, and educational programs.
How to Help: Volunteer at the center or donate to your choice of services.
Where: 1015 Wilshire Blvd., at Saint Paul Ave., ste. 200, Downtown (213-955-9090).

Photo: Nancy R. Cohen / Getty Images

First Place for Youth
3530 Wilshire Blvd
@ S Normandie Ave, ste 600
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Beauty Bus Foundation
2716 Ocean Park Blvd
@ 28th St, ste 1062
Santa Monica, CA 90405
12601 Mulholland Dr
@ Coldwater Canyon Ave
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Peace Over Violence
1015 Wilshire Blvd
@ Saint Paul Ave, ste 200
Los Angeles, CA 90017
The Gentle Barn
15825 Sierra Hwy
@ Vasquez Way
Santa Clarita, CA 91390
The Young Storytellers Foundation
923 E 3rd St
@ Wall St, ste 307
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Project Angel Food
922 Vine St
@ Barton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Create Now
1611 S Hope St
@ Venice Blvd, ste e
Los Angeles, CA 90015