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Guide to Giving

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” – Mother Teresa

The Spirit of Giving

The holidays have always been synonymous with the spirit of giving. A season where we’re wrapped up in the warmth of joyous celebrations, family gatherings, and of course, the tradition of gift-giving. But this year, let’s weave a new narrative, a story of giving that transcends the ordinary and touches the very fabric of our community. Let’s envision a tradition where the gifts we give not only warm the heart but also ignite a spark of change right in our own backyard.

The charm of local non-profits lies in their dedication to cater to the unique needs of our community. From providing shelter to those in need, nurturing the talents of our young, preserving the environment, to supporting health and well-being initiatives; these organizations touch lives in countless ways. But like any other endeavor, they need fuel to keep their missions alive. And this is where each one of us can play a pivotal role.

Enter the “Guide to Giving.” A beacon for philanthropists and ordinary citizens alike, this guide seeks to spotlight the unsung heroes of our community: our local non-profits. For the philanthropists among us, this guide provides a platform to align passions with purpose, advertising opportunities to champion causes that resonate deeply. And for those of us hunting for that perfect holiday gift, what could be more meaningful than making a donation in the name of a loved one? Imagine the delight of a family member or friend knowing that their holiday gift is paving the way for positive change.

This season, let’s redefine holiday giving. Instead of focusing solely on tangible items, let’s also invest in legacies, in dreams, and in the betterment of our community. Every dollar given to a local non-profit doesn’t just provide funds; it lends hope, fosters growth, and kindles the flames of passion in those who work tirelessly to make a difference.

The beauty of giving, especially during the holidays, is that it has a ripple effect. The joy of one kind act can inspire another, and before we know it, our collective efforts can culminate in monumental change. So, as you turn the pages of the “Guide to Giving,” be inspired by the stories of local non-profits, be empowered by the change you can bring, and most importantly, let the spirit of giving be your guiding star this holiday season.

Your gift, no matter how big or small, has the power to transform lives. Let’s come together, celebrate the season with purpose, and make our community shine a little brighter. The art of giving awaits; how will you paint your legacy this holiday?

Giving, Kindness, and Humanity in History.

The act of giving has literally been around since the dawn of time. Philanthropy is derived from the Greek ‘philanthropia’ which means to love people, or love humanity. Throughout history we as people have worked to be kinder, from soup kitchens in ancient China to support for soldiers in World War II, we have always found a place in our hearts to be generous. For some societies, religion has been a motivator. All religions emphasize the common idea of treating people with kindness. For others, charity came from the idea of public good. Another train of thought? We’ve evolved to do so. Our ability to cooperate and our humanitarianism is what keeps us going! We function better when we prioritize communities. The ancient Romans considered philanthropy to be an obligation. The Ancient Hebrews practiced a tithe, or a tax to ensure the poor had help. In today’s times, we focus more on a systematic giving to promote the welfare of others. Compassion is hardwired and lending a helping hand is something we all should do, whatever the reason why. 

Donating Do’s and Don’ts

You want to donate. That’s wonderful! But before you start creating your donation box or care bag, there’s some important aspects of donating to consider. The items needed most are often the items we least consider, or we don’t consider all aspects. Canned goods, for example, make a wonderful donation. But when they come without a “pop top”, it can be hard for someone in need to be able to open them. Or bar soap, for example, doesn’t travel well. When donating to the those facing homelessness or hunger, make sure you do some research first.

For Food Banks:

Do: easy open canned items, pastas, rice, non-perishables, applesauce, crackers, nuts

Don’t: baked goods, frozen foods, leftovers, expired goods, glass packaging

For Homeless Shelters:

Do: feminine products, toiletries, new/gently used clothing, reusable containers, sunscreen

Don’t: used toys, used products, family-sized products, cans, appliances

The Love of Giving

Generosity helps all! Here are some of the benefits of giving back.

Every little bit counts. Donations don’t have to end with a dozen zeros. Charities benefit from donations in all sizes, and so do they people they help. 

You’ll raise awareness. The attention you bring to a good cause can be just as vital as anything else. By spreading awareness, you’ll encourage others to do the same.

What matters to you? Pick a cause that is close to your heart and make a difference in what you believe in. 

Peace of mind and peace for all.  By donating time or giving to charity, you’ll feel a little bit lighter. The satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone can make you feel like you are satisfying that purpose in life.

Another benefit, especially for students, is the resume boost. By donating time, you are adding another achievement to your list, but this one can do some real good for your community. 

Tax benefits. No, it’s not the most selfless reason on this list, but it is still important. Donating allows you to use your money in a way that benefits you too.

You Can Get Involved!

If you’re ready to give or volunteer, Gwinnett has many non-profits, foundations and charitable organizations that would welcome your involvement. We’re sharing just a few!

All-In Charitable Events and Services, Inc.


Amanda Riley Foundation


Amigos for Christ


Annandale Village


Asian American Resource Center


Beyond the Ribbon


Camp Sunshine


Care4All Children Services, Inc.


Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia


Connections Homes, Inc.


Creative Enterprises


Diamond In The Rough Youth Development


Duluth Co-Op


Eagle Ranch


Family Promise of Gwinnett County


First Integrated Community Care Services


Food Finder


Goodwill of N. Georgia


Good Smaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett


Grace Arbor


Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful


Gwinnett County Public School Foundation


Gwinnett County Public Library


Gwinnett Coalition


Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity


Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation


Hi-Hope Service Center


Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Inc.


Hope Clinic, Inc.


Latin American Association Gwinnett Outreach Center


Lawrenceville Co-Op 


Lilburn Co-Op 


Manna Scholarship Fund, Inc.


Navigate Recovery


Norcross Co-Op 


North Gwinnett Cooperative


NSPIRE Outreach, Inc.


Overcomers House


Rainbow Village


Relay For Life


Salvation Army of Gwinnett


Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op 


Spectrum Autism Support Group 


Streetwise Georgia


The Path Project


The Primerica Foundation


The Quinn House


US Military VeteransAssociation