The holiday season is the perfect time to support Pittsburgh area non-profit organizations. Their wish lists include items they need to continue to provide goods and services to families throughout the year.
Shopping for these specific items, rather than sending a generic check, can be a family project that helps even the youngest children realize the importance of reaching out to others less fortunate.
These 21 organizations shared their wish lists with us. Many of these groups participate in the Amazon Smile program too, in which Amazon shoppers can choose the organization to support through their purchases with a 0.5-percent donation of every eligible purchase.
Wish list: Diapers in sizes 3-6, new bibs, sippy cups, child-size silverware, baby food Stage 1, cereal, 1-percent milk, non-perishable food items, kitchen supplies, non-toxic art supplies, healthy snacks, office supplies
With a mission to support a community of joy, learning and discovery for single parents and their kids, Angels’ Place has two early childhood development and learning centers in North Side and Swissvale. The organization provides quality early childhood education, child care and family support for kids from birth through pre-K. Items can be dropped off during business hours.
Wish list: Puzzles, board games, books, crayons, coloring books, DVDs, and craft kits.
As an advocate for improving public education in Pittsburgh, A+ Schools offers training, workshops, and community discussions for parents. Free childcare at these events helps eliminate the babysitting barrier. The organization’s wish items will keep kids busy as their parents learn at these sessions. Items can be donated at A+ Schools, Uptown, during office hours.
Wish list: Axe Body Spray/Body Wash gift sets, size 1 diapers, diverse baby dolls, Bath & Body Works gift sets, hair bows, gift cards (Subway, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts) for teens.
Beverly’s Birthdays provides birthday cheer to children experiencing homelessness and families in need. The nonprofit organization enriches the lives of the children it serves by making sure they are remembered on their special day. Donation coordination can be done by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping off items at 9799 Laurel Ave., North Huntingdon, during business hours or in the drop-off box.
The Bradley Center
Wish list: Headphones, earbuds, LEGOs, Matchbox cars, MP3 players, footballs, basketballs, puzzles, coloring books, toys, soft socks and pajamas.
The Bradley Center is committed to improving the lives of kids affected by trauma, mental illness and behavioral health challenges. Along with the wish-list items is a suggestion for gift cards that give kids a chance to buy what they want and to practice life skills like shopping and managing money. Pittsburgh Pirates, Penguins and Steelers gear is popular, too.
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center
Wish list: Gift cards, baby and toddler toys, baby equipment (car seats, high chairs, bouncers), baby bottles, preemie and newborn onesies and clothing, diapers, baby wipes, infant activity tables, play kitchen items, arts-and-crafts sets.
Donations directly help children and families in the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh’s three programs: Adoption, Child’s Way, and the Pediatric Specialty Hospital. For health and safety reasons, all donations must be new and in original packaging. Donations can be dropped off at the front desk anytime, including evenings and weekends.
The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh
Wish list: New toys, games, book, activity supplies, equipment and newly purchased stuffed animals with tags attached.
With a history well over 100 years, The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh has become a nationally recognized pediatric rehabilitation hospital. Its Therapeutic Activities Department provides developmental, social, emotional, and recreational support for kids to help them reach their potential. Online donations are welcome to be used by staff to purchase items from the Wish List.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Neighborhood Sweater Drive
Wish list: New or gently used adult and child-sized sweaters needed for 19th annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive, being accepted until Dec. 17.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is holding its 19th annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive to distribute to families in need. The museum has collected more than 39,750 sweaters over the past 19 years. Drop off sweaters in collection bins in the Children’s Museum lobby or one of two new donation points at One Oxford Center and Heinz Hall Courtyard during Holiday KidsPlay events.
Family House, Inc.
Wish list: Gift cards, food pantry supplies, such as breakfast bars, cake mixes, crackers, snack packs, non-perishable gluten-free items, canned soups and vegetables, microwaveable popcorn. Guest House needs include items such as toiletries, pots and pans, umbrellas, to-go coffee cups,
Family House provides a home away from home for patients and families who must travel to Pittsburgh for treatment of serious illnesses, offering the small comforts of home help in stressful times. Additional Wish List items on Amazon can be shipped directly to the office.
Foster Love Project
Wish list: Winter pajamas, bikes/helmets, tennis shoes, Alimentum formula, crib sheets and mattresses, packs of socks and underwear for ages 3-18, pillows, crib mattresses, crib and twin sheets, twin bed-in-a-bag sets.
In 2018, Foster Love Project served more than 3,000 local kids in foster care, helping to ease the transition for kids moving in and out of home placements by providing travel filled with pajamas, a blanket, stuffed animal, socks, soap, toothbrush, and a book. The Foster Love Project Donation Center in Dormont hours are 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
Free Store Wilkinsburg
Wish List: Holiday new toy drive through Dec. 21 for ages 9-13. Year-round need for clothing and shoes, baby and children’s books, diapers, baby wipes, strollers, bed linens, towels, washcloths, blankets, backpacks, toiletries, small appliances.
Free Store Wilkinsburg’s mission is to redistribute new and lightly used goods at no cost to community members to bridge times of financial stress and emergency. Donation hours are 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Wednesdays.
FroGang’s Buy Black Doll Campaign
Wish list: New Barbie and baby dolls
Kelli Shakur, CEO and founder of FroGanG, created her organization to encourage positive images of self-esteem for African-American girls. She is collecting black baby and Barbie dolls to distribute to local girls of color. Send dolls via mail to 201 Chalfont St., Pittsburgh 15210, or donate via Pay Pal.
Homewood Children’s Village
Wish list: Hats, gloves, and socks for kids.
The mission of Homewood Children’s Village is to improve the lives of kids in Homewood and change their odds on the future. Programs cover kids from “cradle to career” with the idea that mom and dad are the first teachers, collaborating with them, and working with organizations throughout the community through every stage of a child’s life.
Wish list: Giant Eagle and Target gift cards, new clothes for ages 0-5, canned and non-perishable food, and Neosure or Alimentum Similac infant formula. Also needed are cleaning supplies, snacks, backpack items, hair care and bath time items, arts and crafts.
Jeremiah’s Place is the only crisis nursery in the region, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and nearly 365 days a year. Items can be dropped off during normal business hours and by appointment only.
Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center
Wish list: Hats, gloves, chapstick, hand lotion, and pocket tissues.
Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center, a community-based outgrowth of Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh, operates with the mission to encourage the development of healthy families. Programming includes family engagement services, truancy intervention, and support for families in crisis.
Northside Food Pantry
Wish list: Bulk packages of non-perishable food (a case of soup, for example, rather than a can), household items, such as paper towels and cleaning products.
Northside Food Pantry helps nearly 1,000 of its neighbors stretch their grocery budgets each month. Donations of food and household items are welcome from 9:30 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Wish list: Gift cards, diapers and wipes, including training pants; new backpacks and school supplies; new cold weather accessories for children; new or gently used children’s clothing, all seasons and all sizes, especially shoes; and home cleaning products, including laundry detergent, dish soap and paper towels.
Providence Connections steps into the lives of at-risk children and families, by establishing the support network they need, working with families to secure necessary resources, gain skills through adult enrichment courses, grow through family programming, and access high-quality early childhood programs.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Wish list: Gift cards for grocery stores, tickets for athletic, theater and family events; G-rated DVD movies, new toy and gift items; pantry staples, such as cereal, popcorn, juice boxes, single-serving snacks; personal care items, including soap and shampoo,
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh gives families the opportunity to stay as they travel to Pittsburgh to get life-saving medical care for their kids. Check the organization’s Amazon wish list for one-stop donation shopping or call ahead to drop off items.
South Hills Interfaith Movement
Wish list: Personal care items, such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, soap, diapers, baby food, non-perishable food and gently used clothing.
South Hills Interfaith Movement is celebrating 50 years of neighbors helping neighbors by providing food, clothing and services to people in need in Pittsburgh’s southern suburban neighborhoods. Food pantries at three sites serve people residing in Baldwin-Whitehall, Bethel Park, South Park, Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair school districts. Donations are accepted at the Bethel Park location from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays and by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays.
Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank
Wish list: Diapers (sizes 4, 5 and 6 are most requested), baby wipes.
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank collects and supplies diapers to families through 29 social service agencies in four counties (Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, and Somerset). Through partnering with other non-profit agencies, faith-based institutions, and childcare providers, the diaper bank aims to increase distribution of needed diapers to families and individuals in need.
Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
Wish list: Gift cards (VISA, Target, Walmart, Dollar Tree), journals and notebooks, new hair brushes and combs, Diaper Genie refill bags, bath towels, new pajamas, robes, slippers, underwear for women and kids, baby pacifiers, bibs, bottles and wipes.
Donations will help the Women’s Center & Shelter provide women and child victims of domestic abuse with basic needs while seeking a place of safety. Also requested are Smartphones and cellphones (no chargers or accessories) – donations will result in a monetary donation to Women’s Center & Shelter through Shelter Alliance.
Wish list: Coats, scarves, socks, gloves and hats for kids and adults, plus baby diapers, for housing client families; crayons, colored pencils, coloring books and markers for kids’ activities and projects.
The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, with a service record of 150 years, provides safe affordable housing to homeless and low-income families, child care and pre-K education, along with community health and wellness programs. Items can be dropped off during business hours Mondays through Fridays at the Downtown or Homewood YWCA locations.