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What if you could be part of something extraordinary?
It’s the generosity of our community that creates magic this time of year. Whether you are offering your time, talent, or resources, you are helping us all to thrive. Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley have so many wonderful nonprofit organizations doing critical work. From nurturing young hearts and minds, to providing clothing and resources to those in need, to building homes from the ground up, each organization offers hope and solutions.
In this most joyous time of year, we invite you to learn more about and support the causes that touch your heart. Explore the deserving non-profit organizations right here in our community that would benefit greatly from your involvement and your generosity.
What if you could help provide a hand up to local families seeking strong and stable futures?
Habitat Lehigh Valley provides a hand up, not a hand out, to local families through homeownership. Families contribute hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” building their homes and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. In its 30 years, Habitat Lehigh Valley has dedicated over 120 homes in the Lehigh Valley. In the words of a Habitat homeowner, “The program has made me a better person.”
Mission | Habitat Lehigh Valley works with volunteers and future homeowners to build homes in Easton, Allentown, and Bethlehem for hardworking, low-income families.
Action Plan | Shop or donate to the Habitat Lehigh Valley ReStore in Whitehall. Become a volunteer. Make a donation.
What if you could help bring your community together and support Bethlehem’s economic development through the arts?
ArtsQuest and its diverse programs are an important element in the vitality of Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley. Take their flagship, Musikfest, for example. It’s hard to believe, but 36+ years after the very first Musikfest, there are now three generations of ‘fest-goers’ celebrating and interacting with the arts together every August. And programs take place year-round at SteelStacks and all over Bethlehem. Your support helps ensure ArtsQuest’s high quality arts, education, and cultural programs continue—including free programming and scholarships to those who lack access.
Mission | To provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural, and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities.
Action Plan | Make a donation, or volunteer! ArtsQuest hosts over 4,000 events throughout the year. You’re sure to find an event that suits you and needs your help.
What if you could provide quality school clothing to children in need?
Thoughtful Threads of the Heart is the only organization in the community solely focused on providing clothing for school children. The team works with Community in Schools of the Lehigh Valley and school district officials to identify children in need, raise funds to provide uniforms, and set up mobile closets at schools for children and families to “shop” for the clothing they like, giving them agency and dignity in the process.
Mission | To provide children in need with quality school clothing. Thoughtful Threads’ motto is: “School is challenging enough without having to worry about what to wear!”
Action Plan | Own a business? Then become a corporate or business sponsor to help provide an official “mobile closet” to better reach communities. Have clothing to donate, or want to volunteer? Reach out on Facebook to arrange a dropoff or learn about volunteering opportunities. Mail a donation or Venmo funds @thoughtfulthreadsoftheheart.
What if you could help fuel a community’s renaissance?
To many, the SouthSide Arts District is a destination. But not everyone knows that it is also a nonprofit organization. An initiative of the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation, the SouthSide is working to create an economically thriving South Bethlehem Downtown, using the arts as an integral part of its resurgence.
History has shown that arts and economic development are a perfect pair. In partnership with the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation, the SouthSide Arts District has created public art opportunities, worked with the merchants within the SouthSide to help develop a business community, and created an identity for the SouthSide that encourages people to live, work, and play there. “It’s time to let the public know that we are a nonprofit organization,” says Missy Hartney, Downtown Manager of the SouthSide Arts District, “and that we need their help to continue the work that we do.”
Action Plan | All revenue from ticketed events in the SouthSide Arts District goes directly to improving urban parks and streetscapes, and providing free events like Community Movie Nights and First Friday. Sign up for an event, volunteer, or donate today!
What if you could honor veterans while helping the Christmas City sparkle?
The organization that fundraises every year to purchase trees, light up City Hall Plaza, run the holiday Trolley, and more, is proud to partner with the Chamber’s Veteran and Military Affairs Council this year to transform the Trellis at City Hall in recognition and in memory of service members and veterans in the Lehigh Valley. Ornaments will be donated and engraved to recognize loved ones—and will hang on the Trellis throughout the holiday season. (Join the unveiling of the Trellis at the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Black Friday at 4:30 pm!)
Mission | In the 1960s the Citizens Christmas City Committee, as part of the Bethlehem Chamber, was formed to help dignify the look of Christmas in the City of Bethlehem while absorbing a share of the costs of bringing Christmas to the public.
Action Plan | Email AngelaD@lehighvalleychamber.org to get involved or donate!
What if you could do good simply by eating well?
Located on Bethlehem’s South Side, not only does Fig Bethlehem’s 2019 Social Mission Partner Café the Lodge have a diverse selection of great food and a tranquil terrace in the back, it also explicitly employs and empowers those with mental health diagnoses. The Lodge offers guidance in establishing independent living routines and wholesome lifestyles, providing employment and volunteer opportunities as well as recreational and educational events for its members and for the community at large.
Mission | Café the Lodge provides vocational opportunities and housing services for adults with mental health diagnoses in Northampton County, offering programs that focus on the body, mind, and spirit.
Action Plan | Make Café the Lodge a regular breakfast and lunch dining destination. It’s a delicious way to support their mission!
What if you could help provide support and solutions to all generations, from infants to seniors?
Pinebrook Family Answers provides 24 community-based programs including child abuse prevention, foster, and adoption services, school programs, behavioral health services, and senior care programs. As a Trauma-Informed Service Agency, Pinebrook’s programs incorporate growth, empowerment, resilience, and skill-building in all aspects of service delivery and practice. Their team provides prevention, treatment, adoption, and placement services to more than 5,300 clients every year.
Mission | To transform lives across generations by nurturing healthy children and strong families, supporting seniors, empowering individuals, and strengthening the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Action Plan | Pinebrook has many opportunities for community involvement—from being a foster parent to volunteering, to providing financial support. To learn more, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Help provide transformative experiences with art.
With a goal of serving the entire community, admission to Lehigh University Art Galleries events and programs are always free and open to the public. Along with hosting Lehigh classes and giving tours of the current exhibitions to visitors of all ages, LUAG provides interactive and hands-on activities for young people through school programs and during their Family Days program
In a perfect world mental health would be treated the same as physical health.
Founded in 1986, NAMI Lehigh Valley is your local affiliate of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. NAMI LV served over 2,600 area residents last year, through their FREE education courses, support groups, community outreach, school and business presentations, advocacy, and anti-stigma efforts. In the words of a NAMI program participant, “NAMI Lehigh Valley’s education course changed my family’s life.”
Mission | To improve the lives of those affected by mental illness.
Action Plan | Attend a FREE course or support group, schedule a presentation, donate your time or money….help NAMI Lehigh Valley normalize the conversation of mental illness. It takes a community.
What if you could empower local children and families to reach their highest potential?
Northeast Community Center acts as the heart and hub of the Marvine- Pembroke community, providing a friendly and welcoming resource to the individuals, children, and families who live there. They offer a food pantry, summer camp, senior citizen program, and an after-school homework club during which NECC staff and volunteers spend an average of 240 hours per school year tutoring and mentoring students in grades 1-12. NECC also distributes Thanksgiving meals, Christmas gifts, winter clothing, and backpacks to families in need.
Mission | To assist the residents of the Marvine-Pembroke community of Northeast Bethlehem with basic needs and to empower them in attaining their highest potential.
Action Plan | Volunteer at one of NECC’s many onsite programs, donate items, or make a monetary donation by visiting their website or by mailing in a donation to PO Box 1463, Bethlehem, PA 18016