Notable San Diego nonprofits to support for National Nonprofit Day

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National Nonprofit Day, celebrated on August 17th of each year, commemorates when the Tariff Act became law in 1894 and gave exemptions for charitable institutions and nonprofit organizations. In San Diego, we can celebrate National Nonprofit Day by recognizing local charities and helping to support them in their missions. Across the county, nonprofits are helping build up communities through food services, veterans support, children’s organizations, and more. By helping these local charities, you can make a long-term impact on the community’s well-being by volunteering, donating, or helping raise awareness. While there are many impactful nonprofits in San Diego, here are a few that are making an exemplary difference:

Wounded Warrior Homes

Wounded Warrior Homes was established to serve our heroes by providing them with a safe environment of support and supplemental services to aid them in transitioning back to civilian life. The nonprofit provides transitional housing and re-integrative services to post 9/11 veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The City and County of San Diego have not only one of the highest population of veterans, but also one of the highest number of homeless veterans. Wounded Warrior Homes’ aim is to alleviate the growing stress of unsheltered vets in California by providing transitional housing to these veterans. 

Next month, Wounded Warrior Homes annual golf outing, Fairways 4 Veterans, will raise money for veteran services. The community can sponsor a veteran to play for $175 or make a donation to support the event.

Oncology And Kids (O.A.K.)

Oncology And Kids (OAK) is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to ensuring that no child feels alone when dealing with cancer. They operate a free peer support program, Camp Reach for the Sky, that since 1983 has provided children impacted by cancer and their siblings (between the ages of 4 and 17) the chance to simply be kids again. This year’s re-launch is connecting new families with a childhood cancer diagnosis with existing families. OAK’s programming helps with the emotional toll that cancer takes on children and their families. Current initiatives include the Junior Council for kids between the ages of 12-21 who are developing an emotional health toolkit for kids their ages to deal with life during and after cancer. 

Foundation for Women Warriors

The only organization of its kind in the country, Foundation for Women Warriors assists more than 1,100 women and children each year with life-changing services that enhance their personal and fiscal well-being and enable them to reach their full potential. 

Foundation for Women Warriors provides essential programs to empower the resilience and professional development of Women Warriors. Additionally, the organization provides childcare assistance, one of the most overlooked components in military transition. Foundation for Women Warriors also hosts interactive sessions on budgeting, networking, interviewing, navigating career change, leadership, resilience and negotiating salary. Veteran participants are able to enhance their professional skills and build productive relationships with both business professionals and other women veterans. 

Cristo Rey High School

Cristo Rey San Diego High School is looking ahead to their second year of supporting low-income students with a college preparatory education and work study jobs. The nonprofit high school welcomed its inaugural class of freshman students in August 2020 with virtual classes, then opened in-person in September. Now, they have more than twice as many students enrolled in the coming school year, but not enough partner businesses to support the work study program.  

To qualify to attend the school, a family’s income has to fall below 300 percent of the federal poverty rate. Cristo Rey San Diego High School is preparing students with limited economic means to be successful in the workforce of tomorrow.  The Corporate Work Study Program is an innovative model of education that gives students a college-preparatory education while earning work experience in a corporate setting. The program also helps to bridge tuition shortfalls. Cristo Rey High School is looking for additional corporate partners in San Diego to help support their students’ education.

Cristo Rey High School


PAWS4Thought is an all-breed animal rescue organization, which rescues dogs at risk of being euthanized, as well as abandoned, abused, and stray dogs in the U.S., Tijuana, and Rosarito areas. PAWS4Thought is always looking for fosters who are willing to open their homes and hearts to dogs waiting to be adopted, and they cover all expenses. You can also support the local non-profit by signing up to volunteer for adoption events, transporting dogs and donations, fundraising events, and more, or you can donate directly through their website here. PAWS4Thought will be celebrating their 5-year anniversary in September with a fundraiser at Second Chance Brewery!

Corazon de Vida

Corazon de Vida, established over 26 years ago, is a “for-purpose” organization, providing life-changing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Baja, Mexico. The mission of Corazon de Vida, to end child abandonment by breaking the vicious cycle of poverty, is carried out by funding local orphanages, providing quality-of-life improvement services, and investing in children’s futures by funding higher education. You can get involved by sponsoring a child, joining the non-profit on a trip, or donating through their website, and on Saturday, August 21st, Black Swan Initiative will be hosting a Gatsby Summer Gala, with 100% of net proceeds to be donated directly to Corazon de Vida.

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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