Giving Tuesday: where to give this season in Birmingham


The holiday season is a time for giving. In fact, more charitable donations are made at the end of the year than any other time. A great way to kick start the giving season is by participating in #GivingTuesday – an annual “Day of Giving” event that takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

In 2012, the 92 Street Y in NYC and the United Nations Foundation wanted to quiet the noise of well-known days like Black Friday and focus on bringing back the spirit of giving. The simple idea quickly grew and transformed into what is now officially known as #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday saw a huge increase in donations just last year with $116 million in online donations in 2015 swelling to $177 million in 2016 (a 44% increase!).

This #GivingTuesday, consider donating to these places that spend their time giving to the greater Birmingham area.

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a volunteer-based organization that partners with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The Gardens features 67.5 acres of greenery with over 3,000 types of plants, more than 30 works of outdoor sculpture and a large conservatory. It also includes over 20 interpretive and thematic gardens with its Japanese Garden being internally known.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Japanese Garden. Photo via

Open 365 days a year, sunrise to sunset, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers workshops, free forums, lectures, events and classes to promote public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment and receives, raises and administers resources for these purposes.

To give a donation to Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and for other ways to support the Gardens, click here.

birmingham botanical gardens
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Children’s of Alabama

Founded in 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children through inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the United States and has been ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

In 2015, Children’s provided care for kids from every county in Alabama, 46 other U.S. states and seven foreign countries, representing over 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 impatient admissions.

Children’s of Alabama’s extensive list of services.

To give, click here.

Photo via Facebook.
Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities partners with Children of Alabama and UAB Hospital to provide housing for families while their children receive medical treatment. Every night, the House cares for 41 guest families, providing them with a comfortable bedroom and surrounding them with love and support. They also provide home-cooked meals, activities, indoor/outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, computers, WiFi and more.

Ronald McDonald House Charities has provided an estimated 39,000 stays since first opening its doors in 1979.

There are many ways to give to the House. To donate, click here.

Photo via
United Way of Central Alabama

The United Way of Central Alabama is a non-profit organization that coordinates fundraising and community charity work throughout central Alabama. First known as the Birmingham Community Chest, the organization was founded in 1923 by leaders in central Alabama who united together with a common vision – to build a great community by bringing people together to help others.

Community issues United Way of Central Alabama focuses on include:

  • Helping children and youth succeed through engagement;
  • Strengthening and supporting families;
  • Improving access to healthcare; and
  • Promoting financial stability.
United Way of Central Alabama, Read to a Classroom. Photo via Facebook.

Since its founding, United Way of Central Alabama has become the largest non-profit organization by donations from the public. Each year, United Way of Central Alabama has managed to exceed its fundraising goals. In 2015, they raised $38,801,031. With the help of 55,000 donors and volunteers and more than 1,200 organizations running campaigns in 2016, they raised $39,000,612.

There are many ways to give to United Way of Central Alabama:

  1. Financial contributions: Every financial contribution United Way of Central Alabama receives helps them perform the necessary steps to ensure every child has a quality education and every family has a stable income, a healthier community and access to services in times of crises. To Live United and donate to United Way of Central Alabama, click here.
  2. Volunteer: United way of Central Alabama partners with many organizations in the greater Birmingham area, such as with Hands on Birmingham. HOB connects people and businesses with organizations and meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve their community.
  3. Spread the word: Facebook: UnitedWayofCentralAlabama; Twitter: @UnitedWayAL; Instagram: @unitedwayofcentralal
United Way of Central Alabama
Photo via United Way of Central Alabama.
Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan Park and Museum (VPM), best known for the Vulcan, the world’s largest cast-iron statue and most memorable works of civic art in the United States, is a 10-acre urban green space that provides incredible views of Birmingham and an interactive history museum that examines Vulcan and Birmingham’s Story. VPM is operated by the Vulcan Park Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to:

  • Preserve and promote Vulcan as the symbol for the Birmingham region;
  • Advance knowledge and understanding of Birmingham’s history and culture; and
  • Encourage exploration of the region.
Photo via Facebook.

In 2007, VPM was designated an official Birmingham Information Center by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and offers information on transportation services, restaurants, events and other cultural offerings in Birmingham.

To give to Vulcan Park and Museum, click here.

Photo via
Woodlawn Foundation

The Woodlawn Foundation is the lead organization of Woodlawn United – a comprehensive collaboration of partners committed to breaking the cycle of povery in Birmingham’s Woodlawn community. By working with residents and local stakeholders in the community, the Woodlawn Foundation is able to identify specific needs within neighborhoods and leverage resoures to combat these problems with high-quality services and programs.

The Woodlawn Foundation strives to improve:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Community Wellness

To donate to the Woodlawn Foundation, submit your contribution here.

Photo via
Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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