Giving Tuesday: 9 places to give back in Indianapolis

Posted at 4:54 PM, Nov 28, 2016

With the biggest shopping weekend out of the way, let's take a break from Amazon and mall hopping to give back to those in need.

Billed as a "global day of giving back," Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday immediately after Cyber Monday and asks people to "give something more."

If "giving back" to you means local impact, we've compiled a list of nine places in central Indiana to keep in mind when you're looking to make a difference. 

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Gleaners is a community food bank that serves 21 Central and Southeastern Indiana counties. It distributes food to pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. The organization estimates that for every $1 donated, it can provide the equivalent of four meals to those in need. Charity Navigator gives Gleaners four out of four stars, and says more than 95% of donated funds go toward its mission of feeding those in need.

Second Helpings

Second Helpings is a non-profit dedicated to "transforming lives through the power of food." The organization accepts food donations to feed those in need, as well as teach people how to cook. It provides job training for unemployed and underemployed adults for careers in the culinary industry. Second Helpings has a four-star rating on Charity Navigator.

Ronald McDonald House of Indiana

The Ronald McDonald House of Indiana provides housing for families of serious ill or injured children receiving medical care at Riley Hospital for Children and other Indianapolis-area hospitals. Charity Navigator gives the organization a four-star rating, estimating roughly 80% of donations go toward program expenses.

Little Red Door Cancer Agency

Little Red Door works to reduce the "physical, emotional and financial burdens of cancer" by providing services including: free nutritional supplements; free medical supplies; free wigs and turbans; free transportation to and from chemotherapy and radiation treatments; and more. The organization has three stars on Charity Navigator.

Timmy Global Health

Timmy Global Health sends medical service teams to support the work of international partner organizations, as well as provides financial, medical and human resources to community health and development projects. The organization was founded in 1997 by pediatric physical medicine specialist Dr. Charles Dietzen.

Christel House International

Christel House works to help children around the world break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of their societies. The organization builds and operates learning centers in impoverished neighborhoods which provide quality education, nutritious meals and regular healthcare, among other things. Charity Navigator gives the organization four out of four stars.

Reach For Youth

Reach For Youth provides first-time, non-violent youth offenders a second chance to get on the right track along with youth counseling. All services are provided at a discounted rate to children and families, and no one is turned away. Since 2009, the organization has helped over 1,800 teens who were first time offenders. The non-profit also provides support to youth experiencing depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues. 

Indy Reads

The goal of Indy Reads is to make the city 100 percent literate by improving adult reading skills. Indy Reads assists adults reading below a sixth-grade level in community classroom sessions held in libraries, community centers and criminal justice settings. 

School on Wheels

The mission of School on Wheels is to provide “one-on-one tutoring educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness.” Since its inception in 2001, more than 5,000 school-aged homeless children have been tutored by nearly 4,800 volunteers. School uniforms and supplies have also been distrusted to students in need.