The Civic Champs team is proud to share the first installment of our nonprofit City Spotlight campaign! This project will feature incredible nonprofits in cities across the US who are in need of volunteers to further their missions. Our inaugural feature stars sixteen unique Pittsburgh organizations with focuses ranging from hunger to at risk youth to pandemic relief efforts. We encourage you to get connected with these nonprofits if you’re in the Pittsburgh area. If you’re not a resident of the Steel city,  consider supporting these organizations with a donation to help them continue to make an impact on communities in need. Every hour volunteered, dollar, and voice matters.

Hunger

Americans experiencing food insecurity skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic with nearly 1 in 4 households having experienced this issue, according to NPR. Tackling hunger in the United States is more prevalent than ever before. These organizations are doing just that.

CHS Food Pantry | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • The CHS Food Pantry has experienced a huge increase in the number of those experiencing food insecurity. Consider monetary donations through their website.

Swissvale Community Food Pantry | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • The Swissvale Community Food Pantry is looking for possible volunteers to aid in their mission. For more information, call (412) 452-2792.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has three main areas in which they needing volunteers: doorstep distribution, doorstep delivery and their sorting center. Check out their website for more information about becoming a volunteer.

Faith-Based

Are you interested in helping others while also sharing your faith? These organizations provide those they serve with resources and support one another through shared backgrounds and beliefs.

YoungLives | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • YoungLives is constantly searching for new mentors as well as aiding with fundraising. For more information on their organization, visit their website.

Unity Presbyterian Church | West Side of Pittsburgh

  • The Unity Presbyterian Church’s food bank is a great place to consider donating resources. Their website has more information on the types of goods they need.

Animals

With stay at home orders being issued at the beginning of March, many found themselves yearning for a companion. This led to an incredible increase in animal adoption rates. The expected adoption rate in March of 58% was shattered, resulting in a true rate of 85% and lots of happy pets. Although many animals are enjoying new homes, these Steel City organizations are continuing their work with furry friends that didn’t find one.

Perfect Fit Canines | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • Perfect Fit Canines is looking for puppy volunteers that can aid with training, raising and other needs. If you’re interested in monetary donations, check out their puppy wish lists for more details.

Animal Friends | North Side of Pittsburgh

  • The Animal Friends’ Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank runs entirely on donations from the community to support local families in need. Several virtual events will be coming up in the near future and will be posted to their website for those interested.

Mentorship and Youth

A year full of uncertainty has shown how truly valuable a mentor can truly be. The following nonprofits are doing incredible work to connect with others and build relationship bridges with youth in the City of Bridges. If you are looking to cultivate mutually fulfilling relationships with Pittsburgh youth or use your skills as a teacher, tutor, or communicator to aid your community, take a peek at the opportunities below. The opportunities are particularly well suited for Carnegie Mellon and UPitt students looking for ways to get involved in the community.  

Mentoring Partnership Pittsburgh | Downtown Pittsburgh

  • The Mentoring Partnership in Pittsburgh is always welcoming new mentors who are looking to create connections with younger people. Their mentorship initiatives  also rely heavily on monetary donations that support programming during this difficult period.

Literacy Pittsburgh | Downtown Pittsburgh

  • It’s a new year, create a new beginning for an adult literacy student! Volunteer to teach GED prep, English as a second language, math, reading, or U.S. citizenship to residents of Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Check out the Literacy Pittsburgh website for requirements and information on upcoming training sessions.

Sarah Heinz House | North Side of Pittsburgh

  • Looking to teach kids your unique skill set or area of expertise, but short on time in your week? Check out the Sarah Heinz House to see how you can share your hobbies with others without an overwhelming time commitment. Contact Bob Bechtold (bechtold@sarahheinzhouse.com) to learn more.

Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania | Greater Pittsburgh Region and Somerset

  • Interested in the having a direct impact on the confidence, self-esteem, academic abilities, and character development of at risk youth? Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania strives to improve the lives of young people through a variety of programs that focus on academics, STEM, sports, arts, lifestyle choices, leadership, and workforce development. Apply your passion for helping youth and check out volunteer opportunities on their website.

Recreation and Community

Taking some time to connect with others and focus on creating relationships is vital, especially when so many have experienced severe loneliness over the past year. Steel City is known as a vibrant and supportive place for folks who identify as LGBTQ+ which is why nonprofits like the Persad Center need your help more than ever. Consider helping one of these nonprofits in their mission to support and strengthen the marginalized communities they serve.

Latino Community Center | Downtown Pittsburgh

  • The Latino Community Center has various opportunities currently to get involved, including food packing and delivering, after school program support, and online tutoring.

Persad Center | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • The Persad Center, which provides mental health resources to the LGBTQ+ community, is looking for new volunteers to help with future events if permitted by local officials. If you are interested in potentially volunteering later this year, check out their website for more information as the events are planned.

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh | South Side of Pittsburgh

  • If you have an interest in teaching others who are striving to become U.S. citizens, consider volunteering with the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh. Your knowledge of the English language and civic education can change the lives of multiple people.

Support and Relief

With such difficult times having passed and some that still lie ahead, nonprofits have taken on huge roles to provide relief to those who need it the most. Take a moment to learn more about these organizations and how you can help them help others.

Global Links | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • If you’re interested in volunteering while staying zero-contact, consider participating in Global Links’ personal care kit packing. You have the opportunity to put together your own package for those in need. For more information on the kits and other events, take a look at their website

WPA Diaper Bank | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • The WPA Diaper Bank hosts volunteer days every Monday and Friday. Visit their website for more information on signing up to volunteer and upcoming events. If you’re interested in donating diapers, the bank is always in need of diapers size 4-6.

Our Clubhouse | East Side of Pittsburgh

  • Our Clubhouse, which strives to create support communities for adults, teens, and children living with cancer, runs entirely on donations so they are able to offer all of their members free access to a variety of resources. Their website has more information on how you can help keep their mission thriving as they focus on virtual events.


Stay tuned for our upcoming City spotlights- Atlanta, Austin, and Washington D.C. are all in the works. If you live in any of those cities and know about nonprofits doing amazing work in any of the three, or, if you work in the nonprofit sector in any other city that you feel should be featured soon, please reach out to us by filling out this form.

Let’s keep building stronger communities, Civic Champions

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