Team LC's favorite charities to donate to during the holiday season, and all year long

It’s fun to give and receive gifts during the holidays, but nothing beats the feeling of giving back to those in need. All of the family festivities and gifts act as a reminder of how lucky we all are, and inspire us to help those who are less fortunate. Whether you’re donating time or money, everyone can find something to give this holiday season. So, with the season of giving in mind, today we’re sharing a few of our favorite charities and nonprofit organizations. We hope that one of our picks below strikes a chord with you too, and inspires you to give back this holiday season (and all year long!).

1. The Little Market
When I founded my fair trade shop The Little Market with my friend Hannah back in 2013, our goal was to empower female artisans in developing countries and improve the quality of life within their communities. Women artisans are often able to work from home while caring for their families, and they can use the extra income to send their children to school. Oftentimes these children will be the first generation to graduate high school.

Last year we were officially granted 501(c)3 status for non-profit charitable organizations. I am so proud of the work we are doing and I am excited to broaden our reach and take the organization even further. Neither Hannah nor myself will ever take a salary from The Little Market, and all revenue generated is retained within The Little Market. Any surpluses are used to purchase product and expand the number of artisans we work with around the world.

– Lauren Conrad, Editor-in-Chief 

Another organization I hold near and dear to my heart is CHLA, a nonprofit children’s hospital here in Los Angeles that provides more than $232.6 million in community benefits annually to children and families. As you may remember from this photo diary, my editorial team and I have volunteered here together several times, crafting with the kiddos. We just had another holiday craft day at CHLA last week, and we all had a blast while giving back.

– Lauren Conrad, Editor-in-Chief

3. Carry The Future
Since becoming a mother, I’ve really gravitated toward charities that support other young families who might not be as lucky as my own is. One of my favorite causes is Carry the Future, a nonprofit organization that equips refugees with baby carriers and other humanitarian aid for infants and young children. I cherished the experience of baby wearing myself, and also know that having a carrier can make all the difference for refugees who are walking hundreds of miles across Europe, often in bad weather, through dangerous passages, carrying small children in their arms.

– Ilana, Managing Editor

4. Alliance of Moms
Just this past year, I became a member of Alliance of Moms, an organization that provides education and support to teen mothers in the foster care system, in order to break the intergenerational cycle of babies born to teens in foster care. Currently, 75% of girls in foster care are pregnant by the age of 21, and over 40% of babies born to youth in foster care will be detained in the first years of life. Volunteering at their annual Raising Baby event was an eye-opening and poignant experience, as I got to meet and talk with some of the foster youth who are so affected by the work Alliance of Moms is doing.

– Ilana, Managing Editor

5. Wags & Walks
Wags & Walks is one of the most important non-profits in my life for more than one reason. They saved my sweet dog Winnie from a high-kill shelter and gave me the opportunity to adopt her. To say she’s changed my life for the better would be an understatement. Winnie makes every single day better and brighter, and when I think about the amount of happiness she brings me, it makes me proud to support and volunteer for Wags and Walks, because I know how much happiness they’re bringing to hundreds of families and dogs each year. I spend as much of my free time as possible volunteering for Wags, and through the organization I have met a group of the most selfless, inspiring, loving women. They’re a dedicated organization with the mission to bring happiness home, and save family friendly dogs from high kill shelters—and I know firsthand how much every donation helps.

– Rachel, Managing Editor

6. Human Rights Watch
I’ve become aware of Human Rights Watch through Hannah Skvarla, and it has become another one of my go-to non-profits to donate to. Human Rights Watch helps people all over the world who are being denied basic human rights. The work they do is difficult and sometimes dangerous. HRW investigates abuses all over the world, exposes facts, and pressures those with power to respect rights and secure justice. I had the honor of attending their Voices for Justice dinner last month, and it was an incredibly inspiring evening. I highly recommend looking into HRW and becoming involved in any way you can.

– Rachel, Managing Editor

7. Junior League of Los Angeles
I joined the Junior League of Los Angeles two summers ago, and I’ve loved seeing how much positive change this organization has made in the LA community. This past year, we’ve been working with OPCC’s organization Daybreak in Santa Monica, a center that gives homeless women tools to get back on their feet and helps them with transitioning out of homelessness. It’s been amazing to meet these women, spend time with them every week, do activities with them, and hear their stories. One woman “graduated” from Daybreak this fall and was able to get a job and rent an apartment again for the first time in ten years. It was incredible to be a part of that. Even though I already lend my time to Junior League weekly, I think it’s important to give a little extra during the holidays. Even the smallest amount of money or time can go a long way!

– Allison, Managing Editor

8. Surfrider Foundation
Being a self-proclaimed beach babe, our California coastline is pretty important to me. This holiday season, I also feel inspired to show our environment a little TLC and give back to Surfrider Foundation, an organization made up of “coastal defenders” who fight to every threat that faces our beaches. There’s no better time than now to protect our beautiful coastline and ocean water.

– Allison, Managing Editor

9. YoungLives
For most of my adult life I have been involved with the nonprofit organization, YoungLives. This organization is dedicated to nurturing and providing teen mothers throughout the nation with the skills and information needed to raise a family starting from such a young age. YoungLives provides teen moms with faith, hope, and love as well as a safe place to be the teenagers that they are. This organization empowers them to make positive choices and to set goals and achieve them. Plus, it’s a pretty sweet feeling to watch their babies grow up in such a loving environment! If you’d like more information or are interested in making a tax deductible donation, click here

– Jessi, Associate Editor

10. Locks of Love
I have always had fairly long hair, and have found (especially in my childhood years) that it is something I find comfort and confidence in. About 10 years ago, I decided to make the chop—I cut off about 11 inches of hair, and donated it to Locks of Love. I felt so happy to be able to help children who have lost their hair, and the organization continues to be one that I admire and support. After all, a little hair is a small price to pay to bring a child more confidence than we know! 

Tessa, Editorial Assistant

What are your favorite nonprofit organizations to get involved with?

We’d love if you shared your own favorite causes below.

XO Team LC

Photo: The Little Market
  • Erin Maree

    I am a Youth Ambassador for which is the largest 100% online mental health resource for young people (12-27). We like to think that we are the first step towards getting help with your mental health and let people know that its ok to be not ok. We also have apps that help with your mental health.
    Being a Youth Ambassador means I promote ReachOut by doing stalls, help fundraise, run events and put on presentations. I love how it gets me out of my comfort zone while being supported and its a great way to volunteer 🙂
    I have anxiety myself and use a lot of ReachOut resources and I find it helps when I tell people that I use the resources and that they do help.
    I love being apart of ReachOut and enjoy every minute of it 🙂

  • Cassidy Short

    I love The Little Market, of course! The Human Rights Campaign is a favorite, too 🙂


  • Kari Guastella

    I’ll have to check out some of these!

  • Lindsey

    This is perfect, thank you! I’ve been doing an Advent Giving Box this year and I was hoping for a few more ideas. 🙂

  • Annie Carl

    I love this post! However, I find it important to note that while the concept of Locks of Love is great, the organization has it flaws. I have long hair as well and donate it every Thanksgiving, however I choose to stay away from Locks of Love. The organization still typically charges families for the manufacturing cost of the wig. While other organizations do not, Pantene Beautiful Lengths does not charge anything, however wigs only go to those whose hair loss can be attributed to cancer. From what I understand Wigs4Kids is an organization that offers wigs to all kids with hair loss, free of charge along with the organization Children with Hair Loss. Either way, donating your hair is an awesome thing to do, just might be worth looking into where exactly you choose to donate. Happy Holidays!

  • Grace Campbell

    This is so interesting!

    Grace x

  • Lea Hamilton is one of the most incredible nonprofits I’ve worked with. They help girls go to school in sub-Saharan Africa, because everyone, including girls, deserve and education. From that organization, their alumnae created their own association called CAMA. It was created completely organically and from that ever CAMA member, on average, supports 2 more girls to go to school. Girls’ education breaks the cycle of poverty all over the world which in turn, helps contribute and build a healthier and better world.

  • Taylor Kim

    Thank you for posting this! This is amazing! 🙂 I know after the recent election, a lot of people, including myself, are looking for more ways to become involved with their communities and make a change in the world! I really do hope people follow through on this and this post came at just the right time!

    xo, Taylor

  • Thank you so much for sharing such insightful summaries about each of these great charities! The holidays are all about giving, so what better way than to give back to your community? 🙂 Will definitely be passing these links along to everyone I know who is interested! <3 All of you at Team LC are so kind and considerate! Wishing you all a happy holiday season!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Cori Roach

    Oxfam! I work for this amazing nonprofit and I love it dearly. We work on human rights around the world, and it is a great organization to give to for the holidays as well

  • Alyssa Perez Soileau

    Ella’s Endeavor

    It is a nonprofit based in Louisiana that delivers gift baskets to families that receive news that their child was born with Down syndrome.