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4 Ann Arbor area nonprofits to support on Giving Tuesday

A mason jar full of change and U.S. paper currency on a rustic wood table. (mphillips007, mphillips007)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – In case you missed it, this Tuesday will be #GivingTuesday.

Following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a nationwide philanthropic movement encouraging giving back to the community every year.

The difficulties of both 2020 and 2021 showed just how much the Ann Arbor area relies on nonprofit organizations and charities to take care of our most vulnerable populations.

Here are 4 nonprofits to consider donating to:

SOS COMMUNITY SERVICES (114 N. River St., Ypsilanti)

Started in 1970, SOS has serviced Washtenaw County families for over 50 years. It offers temporary housing, housing assistance, a program to prevent evictions for those in Section 8 housing, a choice-based food pantry as well as help with utilities, personal care items, and transportation.

Started by Eastern Michigan University students and faculty, the organization moved off-campus in 1973 and now has an administrative office, resource center and food pantry in Ypsilanti. Food pantry hours are from 1–6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 9 a.m.–1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Community members can either donate financially or give items from the SOS wishlist. View ways to give here.

GIRLS GROUP (1100 N. Main St., Ann Arbor)

Girls Group focuses on helping economically disadvantaged young women and girls in Washtenaw County to achieve self-sufficiency, grow their confidence and achieve their goals and dreams.

The ambitious nonprofit was founded by Sue Schooner in 2003 and currently helps 690 girls and women. It has four core programs that include one-on-one mentoring, college and career readiness, weekly youth programs, youth-led activities, field trips, weekly discussion groups and college tours. Program participants can get assistance with academic and social-emotional readiness, financial planning and community service.

Those wanting to support the organization can volunteer to be guest speakers, tutors or collaborators. Monetary donations are accepted here.

HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD (2051 S. State St., Ann Arbor)

Opened in 1970, House by the Side of the Road started as a joint effort between the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and local churches. The nonprofit has moved around the county several times while still helping those in need of clothing and household essentials. In November 2021, House by the Side of the Road served 432 adults and 447 children.

With no paid staff, the organization is completely volunteer-driven. Potential volunteers can call 734-769-4085. The most needed donations include winter gloves for all ages, sheets and blankets, pajamas, small household appliances, cleaning items and towels.

Financial donations can be made online through the nonprofit’s website here.

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF WASHTENAW COUNTY (11 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti)

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to help children fulfill their potential through one-on-one support and mentoring. “Bigs” are matched with “Littles” (Washtenaw County children and teens) and build a friendship based on empowerment, inspiration and trust. “Bigs” can volunteer through community or school-based mentoring, participating in activities or events and group gatherings.

The organization partners with local businesses to offer discounts to BBBS participants during Big/Little outings and even has an adopt-a-family program to help local families have an exciting holiday season.

Community members interested in volunteering can choose to be a “Big” for a day, or make the commitment for a full year. Check out this page to see the many ways to support.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.