Ever wondered how Santa Claus stays so jolly? We can chalk it up to simple science known as the “do good, feel phenomenon.” Research suggests that when someone does something good, a happiness high ensues. Apparently, all that gift-giving keeps Santa in a permanent state of merriment!
With the spirit of generosity soaring higher than Santa’s sleigh, let’s collectively strive to match his ‘do good, feel good’ mentality through philanthropic endeavors. Many disability-serving charities have felt significant strain during the pandemic, but intentional offerings made this holiday season may allow them to give back to our community all year long.
AmeriDisability has spotlighted numerous nonprofits serving the disability and senior communities. And we’re pretty certain the following nonprofits would definitely make Santa’s “nice” list! Will you support these worthy organizations? Or do you intend to support another organization this year? Drop us a comment on this article or share with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
[FYI: Click on each nonprofit name below to read a related article by AmeriDisability, or click on the nonprofit website link to reach each organizations’ page.]
Here are some disability-serving nonprofits:
- Adaptive Adventures: Providing progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve the quality of life for individuals with physical disabilities and their families. adaptiveadventures.org
- ALS Association: Driven by a mission to discover treatments and a cure for ALS; and to serve, advocate for and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. als.org
- American Diabetes Association: Working to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. diabetes.org
- American Heart Association: Working to fund cardiovascular medical research, educate consumers on healthy living and foster appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. heart.org
- American Parkinson’s Disease Association: Dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease and working tirelessly to help the approximately one million with PD in the United States live life to the fullest in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder. apdaparkinson.org
- arcBARKS: A dog treat company created by The Arc of Greensboro in response to an increasing need for post-high school options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. arcbarks.com
- Autism Society: Working to connect people to autism-focused resources through education, advocacy, support, information and referral, and community programming. autismsociety.org
- Best Buddies International: Working to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. bestbuddies.org
- Bcenter: Dedicated to stroke survivors and their caregivers with a goal to provide treatment resources, hope and direction. bcenter.org
- Braille Institute: Focused on embracing the challenges of sight loss in all its facets and rejecting its perceived limitations, with the belief that vision rehabilitation is a beginning, not an end. The Institute offers free programs and services to those with low vision to no vision. brailleinstitute.org
- Cerebral Palsy Foundation: Working to transform lives through cerebral palsy focused research, innovation and collaboration. yourcpf.org
- Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation: Dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. christopherreeve.org
- Gamers Gift: An effort using video games and other electronic media to alleviate some of the psychological stress caused by prolonged hospital stays, loneliness, poverty or any other challenging circumstances one might face, including those pertaining to disabilities. gamersgift.org
- Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses: One of the largest equine therapy programs in the world, teams of tiny horses visit thousands of people each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, and with families, veterans and first responders who have experienced traumatic events. gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com
- Go Baby Go: Focused on the modification of ride-on cars for children with disabilities. sites.udel.edu/gobabygo
- Goodwill Industries, Inc.: A secondhand retailer offering a second hand of support by helping individuals, families and communities build brighter futures through the power of inclusive work and employment training.
- Grow Hub: Cultivating, empowering and assisting disabled adults for sustainable living through education, training and job opportunities. grow-hub.org
- interPLAY Orchestra: A nonprofit inclusive of amateur and professional musicians with (and without) mild to moderate cognitive and physical disabilities. interplayorchestra.org
- Island Dolphin Care, Inc.: An organization seeking solutions for children and families with special needs, as well as veterans living with PTSD, by tapping into expressive dolphin-to-human interactions.
- Limbitless Solutions: An organization manufacturing personalized, affordable bionics and solutions for persons with disabilities and limb differences. limbitless-solutions.org
- Mental Health Association: An organization providing mental health services, support and information to the members of the community. mhacf.org
- Muscular Dystrophy Association: Working to support people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases through innovations in science and care. mda.org
- National Alopecia Areata Foundation: Serving the community of people affected by an autoimmune skin disease called alopecia areata, which results in hair loss and emotional pain. naaf.org
- National Association of the Deaf: Working to ensure that the collective interests of the American deaf and hard of hearing community are seen and represented among our nation’s policymakers and opinion leaders at the federal level. nad.org
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Working to cure multiple sclerosis, while also empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives. nationalmssociety.org
- Smile Farms: Working to provide developmentally disabled adults with meaningful work opportunities at farms, urban gardens, greenhouses and farm stands, where they can grow and sell flowers, plants and produce in their local communities. smilefarms.org
- Spina Bifida Association: Working to build a better and brighter future for all those impacted by spina bifida. spinabifidaassociation.org
- Stand Up and Play Foundation: Aimed at helping wheelchair users stand up to participate in sporting, artistic and other activities, and/or experience the empowerment of looking at one eye to eye. standupandplayfoundation.org
- Surfers For Autism: A relationship-building organization providing free surf sessions and more for persons with autism and other related developmental delays and disabilities. surfersforautism.org
- Susquehanna Service Dogs: Working to match service dogs with children and adults with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy, psychiatric disabilities, seizure disorder, spinal cord injuries and stroke. susquehannaservicedogs.blogspot.com
- The Reveille Project: Striving to grant wellness-focused guidance to veterans with mood disorders and physical disabilities working to adapt socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually back into civilian life. thereveilleproject.org
- UCP: An organization dedicated to unlocking the potential of children with (and without) disabilities through education, therapy services and programs. ucp.org
- Yes She Can, Inc.: Helping teen girls and young women with autism spectrum disorders to develop transferable job skills to enable them to join the competitive workforce and achieve greater independence. yesshecaninc.org
‘Tis the season to be present and give presents. Happy holidays to all, and especially to our do good, feel gooders!
Please note: AmeriDisability is committed to celebrating the impactful efforts of nonprofits serving the disability and senior communities. The organizations in this article are some examples of incredible change-makers. If you know of other disability-serving organizations that you think AmeriDisability should highlight, please contact us at email@example.com.