Giving Tuesday is a time to give back to the nonprofits that do so much for us. For 2023, I put together a list of smaller nonprofits who may not be as well known, but their work is no less important.

Check back this week as I add new nonprofits, leading up to November 28, 2023.

Nu2U Again

This thrift store in Saline, MI was born from a mom’s need to find appropriate employment for her son with autism. When the available solutions didn’t line up with his abilities or interests, she looked for other options. The Nu2U thrift store was closing, and she grabbed the chance to buy the business and start something special.

Five years later, Nu2U Again employs over 50 people with disabilities, with individualized job roles matched with their abilities and what they love to do.

Ways you can help:

  • Volunteer
  • Donate your housewares, clothing, shoes, jewelry, working electronics, newer craft items, and furniture.
  • Shop! Nu2U Again has a great furniture selection and an entire storefront just for women’s clothing.
  • Share their story

Learn more at:

🚲 PEAC – Everyone Can Ride

When a special education student was severely injured while riding his bike in 1988, a public school teacher decided to make a difference. He started an after-school bike safety program for kids with disabilities. Safer biking became a means of independence and a way to join biking clubs alongside people without disabilities.

PEAC promotes bike safety and transportation access by:

  • Creating adapted bikes for people with disabilities
  • Hosting summer biking programs
  • Advocating for all modes of transportation access and safety
  • Partnering with organizations to run Demonstration Days

Ways businesses and organizations can help:

  • Sponsor a location for a summer biking program
  • Provide a location for summer biking programs
  • Schools can offer the School Active Transportation Program
  • Advocate to make your community safer for cyclists of all kinds
  • Fundraise with bike races

Ways individuals can help:

  • Bike mechanics are needed to adapt and maintain bikes
  • Volunteer to work onsite with students
  • Donate

Learn more at:

Sheldon Clubhouse

Sheldon Clubhouse in Grand Rapids, MI provides a “bridge to the life our members want” for people living with mental illness.

Sheldon Clubhouse supports its members with:

  • A working community: each member’s talents and abilities are recognized and used
  • Employment: paid employment opportunities are available through local businesses
  • Wellness: health and wellness initiatives for healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Education: support for members to reach their educational goals
  • Social activities: members can build social connections and relationships

Ways you can help:

  • Employers in the Grand Rapids, MI area: provide limited-time jobs
  • Follow social media for restaurant and store donation specials
  • Donate

Learn more at:

(Many thanks to my longtime friend David Good for this suggestion. David has done amazing work building the International Friend Connection Meetup group to “connect people worldwide and improve people’s quality of life and chances for survival.” His groups have connected tens of thousands of lives across the globe.)

Dementia Friendly Saline+

Dementia Friendly Saline+ creates a welcoming space for people with dementia and provides community education for businesses. They do this through:

Business Lunch and Learns: free 45-minute workshops educating businesses on ways to adapt their interactions and make the experience less difficult for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Dementia Friendly Cafes: a café-like setting at local churches where people with dementia and their caretakers can meet friends, listen to live music, and enjoy a coffee.

Dementia Friendly Movies: partnered with Emagine Saline, DF Saline+ offers a monthly classic movie in a sensory friendly environment.

Volunteer opportunities

  • “Purple Angels” are needed to assist during movie events.
  • Musicians are needed for Memory Cafes.
  • Host an event
  • Sign up for free educational brown bag lunches adapted for your business and customers
  • Talk with DF Saline+ about offering dementia friendly cafes in your church or community location
  • Community connections

DF Saline+ aims to expand into other communities. Offer connections with interested businesses or organizations who support DF Saline+’s mission.

I was honored to play a key role in DF Saline+’s efforts:

  • Logo redesign to reflect a wider community reach
  • Wix website design that can be easily updated by their team
  • Designing a 2024 calendar to help with fundraising

Donate through their website:

Cat rescues, Michigan

When I asked my friends what nonprofits they supported and loved, several mentioned cat rescues in Michigan. And who doesn’t love a little kitten? Here are local cat rescues and ways you can help:

😺 Leuk’s Landing

A sanctuary for cats with the feline leukemia (FeLV) virus
Ann Arbor, MI

  • Buy a cat calendar
  • Volunteer (playing with kittens included!)
  • Foster a cat
  • Donate

Learn more at:

🐱🐶 Happy Paws Haven

Royal Oak, MI

  • Volunteer: in person and virtual volunteers are welcome
  • Foster: cats (and D.O.G.S.) are available for foster families
  • Donate

Learn more at:

😻 The Next Chapter Cat Rescue

Grand Rapids, MI

  • Volunteer: specifically, a volunteer coordinator and a fundraising coordinator
  • Foster a cat
  • Donate

Learn more at: The Next Chapter Pet Rescue

😺🐶 Always Hope Animal Rescue

Howell, MI

  • Volunteer
  • Foster: all rescued animals live with foster families
  • Purchase wish list items
  • Donate

Learn more at:

Make a stronger impact on Giving Tuesday

Companies that donate to nonprofits have a direct and tangible impact on the lives of those in your community. Unlike large, well-established organizations that may have extensive overhead costs, smaller nonprofits allocate a higher proportion of your donation directly to their programs and services. This means that your generosity is making a real difference in the lives of the people they serve, whether it’s providing essential resources to those in need, offering educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth, or supporting local initiatives that enrich the community as a whole. By choosing to support smaller nonprofits, you’re not just making a financial contribution; you’re investing in the well-being and future of your community.

The Giving Block says 20 million people donated on Giving Tuesday 2022. I hope this list gives you a starting place to find a nonprofit that speaks to your heart. If you decide to make a donation or volunteer with one of these groups, I would love to hear about it!