Below you can learn more about each of the participating charities for 2022. We are open to receive donations for the Alternative Christmas Fair between December 4 and December 18, 2022. We’ve added two new charities for 2022: RISE (Reading IS Enlightening) and Ridgelines Language Arts, bringing our total to 31 charities! Below you can check out all the charities and start working on your donation/gift list for 2022.
Center for Alternatives in Community Justice
CACJ’s mission is to serve society by working with the community and justice system to promote, develop and implement effective alternatives that preserve human dignity and restore, heal and empower individuals.
Centre County PAWS
Centre County PAWS is committed to finding forever homes for cats and dogs, educating citizens on responsible pet ownership, providing spay/neuter assistance, and ending pet overpopulation. PAWS is a non-euthanasia, member-supported, volunteer-enabled organization dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and safety.
Centre County Youth Service Bureau
The Youth Service Bureau was created in 1968 to ensure that children, youth, and families have opportunities to realize and fulfill their potential. Although YSB’s basic mission has remained the same for over five decades, their services have evolved and grown as they continually assess needs among local youth and look for creative, evidence-based ways of meeting those needs.
Centre Helps navigates the local safety net for those in need, whether in crisis or struggling to make ends meet, through their 24/7 hotline, text, chat, and community collaboration. Everyone knows people who are suffering in silence. The well-trained, compassionate team at Centre Helps transitions those friends and neighbors from crisis to viability.
Centre LGBTQA Support Network
The mission of Centre LGBTQA Support Network is to bring the community together through LGBTQA education and activities in the Centre region. Centre LGBTQA Support Network holds regular support groups focusing on sexual identity, gender identity, and parenting LGBTQ kids, and in the summer of 2021 they sponsored the first-ever State College Pride Parade.
CentrePeace was established in 1994 to provide a wholesome working environment for Centre County inmates. They operate the largest used furniture recycling project in the county, keeping tons of stuff out of the landfills. Inmates repair and restore electronics and furniture, participate in classes to improve their life skills, and learn to handle conflict.
Centre Region Down Syndrome Society
The Centre Region Down Syndrome Society provides individuals with Down Syndrome and their families with the tools, resources, and support necessary to participate in and contribute to achieving their personal fulfillment.
Centre Safe’s mission is to empower survivors of sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, and to work toward the elimination of such violence. Established as the Centre County Women’s Resource Center in 1975, their services include a 24-hour hotline, a sexual assault emergency response team, emergency shelter, counseling and advocacy, support groups, and transitional housing.
Centre Volunteers in Medicine
Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a free clinic providing medical and dental care, case management, and medication assistance to low-income individuals living or working in Centre County. They have been especially active in 2021, organizing large-scale vaccination clinics as an essential part of the effort to vaccinate our community against COVID-19.
Centre Wildlife Care
Centre Wildlife Care is located on 15 acres of wooded land in Port Matilda, PA. Since opening in 1995, they have rehabilitated thousands of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals until they can be released back into the wild. They care for all native species of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Church World Service
Church World Service has worked for seven decades with one goal: building a world where there is enough for all. They affirm the power of individuals and communities to take ownership of their own futures. CWS meets them where they are, helping to create solutions local communities can maintain and build on.
ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA
ClearWater Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust dedicated to conserving and restoring natural resources through land conservation, water resources stewardship, and environmental outreach across central Pennsylvania.
Dyslexia Reading Center of Central PA
The Dyslexia Reading Center provides the highest quality evidence-based, multisensory reading and writing instruction to individuals with dyslexia and/or learning differences. They also train tutors in the Orton-Gillingham method of multisensory teaching in reading, writing, and spelling; and educate the public about dyslexia and the need for more effective instruction of students with dyslexia in public education
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County (HFHGCC) is one of 1,500 independent affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). To date, HFHGCC has served nearly 70 families by building/renovating homes for first-time homebuyers in the Centre Region. Currently they are constructing homes in both Bellefonte and State College.
The mission of Heifer International is to end hunger and poverty in 21 countries, beginning with a seed investment of livestock or agriculture, followed by mentorship to help project participants build a business and ultimately to gain access to supply chains and markets. By supporting and training the world’s farmers, ranchers, and female business owners, Heifer International enables them to earn a living income and continuously lift up their communities as they train the next generation of leaders.
Hope International Services
Hope International Services has provided integrated health care, education, environmental, and outreach services to needy children and families in the U.S. and the disadvantaged population in EL Salvador for 27 years. Their services include medical clinics, food and clothing donations, nutritional health education to pregnant and breastfeeding moms, and water filters to impoverished villages, orphanages, and prisons.
Housing Transitions has been providing shelter and guidance to individuals and families experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity in Centre County since 1984. Services include the Centre House Homeless Shelter, open 24/7; Permanent Supportive Housing for those who have experienced chronic homelessness; and Rapid Rehousing to provide a period of rental assistance and case management following homelessness.
Interfaith Human Services
Interfaith Human Services helps Centre County neighbors in crisis move toward financial stability and self-reliance through various programs that guide and educate families and individuals. Their programs include the Centre County Fuel Bank, Free Furniture and Appliance Recycling, Basic Needs Financial Assistance, and a Financial Care Program.
Jana Marie Foundation
The Jana Marie Foundation harnesses the power of creative expression and dialogue to spark conversations, build connections, and promote mental wellness among young people and their communities. The Foundation works to open minds and save lives.
Mid-State Literacy Council, Inc
11% of Centre County adults read below a third-grade level. The Council’s programs equip people with the skills needed to connect and communicate with others. With the help of 200 trained volunteers, the Literacy Council provides essential instruction. Life-saving instruction includes reading, writing, computer skills, English, math, and health literacy. Literacy is access to a life of safety, realized goals, and community participation.
Out of the Cold
Out of the Cold: Centre County is an emergency low-barrier overnight shelter open every day from 8 pm to 8 am. Additionally, Out of the Cold operates a day shelter and resource center for the community. We are powered by a small staff, community volunteers, and 14 partner church congregations. Guests are welcomed warmly, served hot meals, given a cot and blankets, and access to basic needs case management.
PA Interfaith Power & Light
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light is a network of individuals and faith communities responding to climate change in a variety of ways, practical and prayerful. Their work includes a Sustained Advocacy initiative that supports individuals engaging with lawmakers and civic leaders over clean energy and care for people and the planet. Their Creation Care work to remove invasive species and plant resilient, eco-system-appropriate trees and plants is sustained by congregations and individuals who join or create work parties.
PA Prison Society Centre County Chapter
For more than 230 years, the Pennsylvania Prison Society has advocated for humane prisons and a rational approach to criminal justice. The Centre County Chapter has been active since the 1970s and serves over 4,800 inmates and their families in Centre County. Volunteers provide one-on-one visits, special programs, and re-entry services that bring hope to people during their incarceration and support upon release.
Park Forest Preschool
Park Forest Preschool is a state-licensed, nonprofit, tuition-free school for two, three, and four-year-old children from low-income families in State College, PA. Their comprehensive program includes education, social skills, and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a friendly, safe environment.
RISE is a 5-year effort to ensure that Centre County elementary schools have access to high quality children’s books that portray individual differences and encourage respect and understanding of those differences. RISE will donate children’s books to Centre County elementary school libraries and preschools in these diversity categories: culture, disabilities, race, gender/family structure, and religion as well as social justice issues. Additionally, a student reward program will encourage students to read books in diversity categories, and funds will provide grants to elementary educators for diversity curriculum resources.
Ridgelines teaches in-depth language arts programs to marginalized people in Centre County including survivors of domestic violence, low-income older adults, at-risk youth, rural LGBTQA+ teens, residents of our region’s youth detention center, and incarcerated women. Our goal is to create a more empathetic, inclusive central PA in which language arts serve as essential tools for emotional literacy and mental health, and where everyone’s stories can be appreciated and heard.
Save the Children
For over 100 years Save the Children has given children in the U.S. and around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. Donations to Save the Children go toward UBBC’s sponsorship of Mesfin, an 8-year-old child who lives in Ethiopia.
State College Food Bank
The State College Food Bank has provided services to clients since 1982. Their mission is to provide food security, directly or indirectly, to everyone at risk in Centre County. Our primary focus is to ensure access to healthy and nutritious food for anyone who is in need of our support and assistance.
State College Meals on Wheels
State College Area Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to people who are elderly or disabled and homebound and who are living in the State College Area School District. During COVID their services evolved to include delivery of groceries and fresh local produce as well as meals from local caterers and restaurants. Their services help our neighbors to live healthy lives in their own homes.
Ten Thousand Villages
The mission of Ten Thousand Villages is to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships. The State College store is part of the larger Ten Thousand Villages organization, which operates more than fifty stores across the county and builds and maintains fair-trade business relationships with the international artisans they serve.
The Tides program offers no-cost support for families coping with the death of someone special to them. Children and teens from pre-school to age 18 and their adult family members come together to share their grief in a supportive setting. The mission of Tides is to provide safe and nurturing peer support programming for children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one.