spreading light during the holidays doesn’t always require grand gestures; even small acts of kindness can have a profound impact on someone’s day and contribute to a brighter, more compassionate community.

Here are some of the local organizations (links in bold) where you can spread light this holiday:

AC Portland: Supplies the tools to empower students to lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and inspire positive community engagement.

African Youth and Community OrganizationThe AYCO mission is “to settle the past, engage the present, and hope for the future.” AYCO strives to strengthen a sense of cultural identity within immigrant communities while also enhancing capacity toward integration and hope for the future.

Airway Science for Kids, Inc. (ASK)ASK’s mission is to expose youth, especially those who are socially and economically challenged, to activities that inspire their interest and growth toward higher learning and careers in aerospace, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM. ASK’s vision is to be the premier youth STEM program in the Portland Metro and Pacific Northwest, piloting opportunities for youth in STEM learning and airway science.

Alzheimer’s Association Oregon ChapterTheir Mission: To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our Vision: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

AMP- The Artist Mentorship ProgramThe Artist Mentorship Program supports youth navigating the trauma of homelessness by creating community, relationships, and music and arts mentorships so that esteem is enhanced, confidence is fortified, and pathways out of homelessness are built. 

ARRO Autism: Autism Research and Resources of OregonThe Autism Research & Resources of Oregon (ARRO) will produce and promote a center of excellence in the field of Autism research and services in the state of Oregon. This center will be known as the Oregon Autism Research & Services Center. This Center will have as the core value nurturing of individuals and families of individuals with Autism so that they may contribute as appropriate at the level and the time when they are ready to contribute.

Blanchet HouseTo offer food, shelter and aid to all those in need of a safe place to be nourished and restored. Assist the transformation of each life we touch with compassion and dignity.

Cedar Sinai ParkDedicated to providing residential and community-based care to their elders and adults with special needs, allowing them to live with comfort, independence and dignity in a manner and in an environment based on Jewish values.

Dairy Creek Community Food WebThe DCCFW’s mission is to promote the local food community in Western Washington County by exchanging knowledge and resources to grow, process, share and celebrate nourishing food.

Do Good Multnomah: Non-profit organization that partners with the community to provide permanent supportive housing and low-barrier emergency shelter to houseless Veterans in Portland, Oregon.

Family Promise of Metro East: To help families experiencing housing instability achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Family Promise of Metro East (serving NE & SE Portland, Oregon) helps their community coordinate their compassion to address the root causes of family homelessness.

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)The mission of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants, and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society. 

Lift Urban PortlandTheir mission is to reduce hunger and improve the lives of low-income residents in northwest and downtown Portland.

Neighborhood HouseA multi-service social agency in SW Portland, brings neighbors together to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and educate young and old. We strengthen community by providing resources to support self-reliance, economic independence and dignity in people.

Northeast Community Center: The NECC is an independent, non-profit community center, providing programs and activities that support the physical, mental, and emotional health of neighbors while strengthening intergenerational and community connections.

Urban Gleaners: Urban Gleaners distributes thousands of pounds of healthy, nutrient-rich food to children and families year-round, emphasizing the importance of wholesome nutrition and adding some fun to brighten their days. Through Free Food Markets at various locations in the Portland area and nonprofit partnerships, we ensure that families in need have easy access to fresh food, fostering community engagement and support for those facing food insecurity.

In the spirit of the season, let’s unite as a community to illuminate every corner of Portland with warmth and compassion. Thank you for embarking on this meaningful journey of giving with us. Do you have a go-to method for spreading joy through philanthropy? Share your favorites in the comments below!