Holiday charities 2015

flower in hands

photo: Flickr user Hamed Saber (CC BY 2.0)

As part of our annual holiday gifts interviews we ask people about a charity (or two) they'd like to support this year.

A lot people make donations around the holidays. So we've gathered all the charities mentioned into one easy-scan list.

If you're still looking for a place to support this year, you might find it on this list. And if you have one to suggest, please share.

People displaced by the Park Ave fire in Albany
Mentioned by: Truemaster Trimingham
"Unfortunately, it just so happens that several of my next-door neighbors on Park Ave., Albany lost their homes and everything in it due to a fire [earlier this month]. I will be donating to the fund that was established for them by SEFCU."

Baking Memories 4 Kids
Mentioned by: Karen Tararache
"I met the founder of the organization, Frank Squeo, when he surprised the late state trooper David Cunniff's children with an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World and Legoland in Florida. One of Cunniff's children has spinal muscular atrophy. The organization sells baked chocolate chip cookies to raise money for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses to take a trip and create new memories. It's a momentary escape from their daily struggles."

Food Pantries for the Capital District and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York
Mentioned by: Craig Gravina
"I love both of those organizations, because what they do is tangible and immediate. Food donated in the morning can, literally, be on someone's table that evening."

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Mentioned by: Chopsticks Optional
"Goomba is our beloved feline furball. In lieu of wedding favors we made a donation to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, where she was adopted. This holiday season is a reminder that our four-legged friends need some TLC, too."

The Leukemia Foundation
Mentioned by: Patch Gallagher
"My aunt Tracey, who is my godmother, was diagnosed with HML leukemia last year. It has been a really hard road for her and there have been so many speedbumps along the way, but she is very brave! She is in a good place right now which is perfect for Christmas!"

Albany Pine Bush
Mentioned by: Julie Madsen
"I would love to support any charity that protects nature. Getting out of the city and hiking brings me back down to earth, it is one of the most comforting and healthiest things I can think of. Anyone who protects our earth, be it the local Albany Pine Bush or the National Park Service, and helps create happy and healthy citizens, earns my vote for charity."

Trans Lifeline.
Mentioned by: Jaye McBride
"It's a group that runs a suicide hotline for transgender people. Especially this year since so many trans kids have taken their life."

The Melanie Foundation and Historic Albany Foundation
Mentioned by: Matt Malette
"I'm a fan of the Melanie Foundation which awards scholarships to students in the mental health field. Each year I run the Palio Half Marathon in Saratoga which supports their cause. Plus it's also consistently one of the best races in the area. Historic Albany Foundation is another one that's near and dear to my heart. No one is better out there that's equipped to save our architecture than them."

Forever Home Greyhound Adoptions.
Mentioned by: Rebecca Haizmann
"It's the group through which we got our two dogs, and they are tirelessly working to rescue greyhounds from tracks. And let me tell you, greyhounds know how to enjoy retirement."

Organizations helping the homeless
Mentioned by: Jacques Bastien
"I'm blessed and thankful that I've never experienced homelessness, but as I think about how much I value shelter, family, and relationships, I can't help but emphasize with our neighbors who are out in the street."

(Jacques didn't mention a specific charity for helping the homeless. So here are a few local ones: the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society of Albany and Capital City Rescue Mission.)


Camp Little Notch is a former Girl Scout camp in Fort Ann, New York.
It is the first GS camp to be successfully purchased and run by a non-profit. CLN is affirming, welcoming and safe; we celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and constantly fundraise to support camperships for girls who would otherwise never be able to afford a marvelous week at an Adirondack Wilderness summer camp.

To help support Friends of CLN with a monthly tax
deductible donation , go to
or send a check (made payable to Friends of CLN) to:
Friends of CLN
PMB 129
2215 Nott Street
Niskayuna, NY 12309

Is there a good charity where I can drop off a large toy? Amazon shipped an extra ~$200 toy and they don't want it back. I'd like to pass it on to a child who could use it and maybe make one family's day.


So many choices, so much need. But for me this year is about refugees. A donation to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has an impact that is both local and international. I'm here only because my paternal family was able to emigrate in the late 1940s, otherwise I would have been raised on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. So I should pay it forward for that good fortune.

In reference to the large toy, perhaps Equinox. They have shelters for women who are dealing with domestic violence and the women often have children with them.

Another place to new donate toys, to answer the question above (as well as nonperishable food, paper goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries, or monetary donations) is the Ronald McDonald House of Albany (139 S. Lake in Albany). The staff provides the new (or very gently used) toys to children who are staying/whose family is staying at the Ronald McDonald House. They let a child pick out a toy when he/she is about to undergo a difficult surgery or chemo, or when the child or his/her sibling is celebrating a birthday.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

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