It takes a community to make a difference. In the spirit of Merlin’s magical word, Generosity, last month I hosted the Giving Hope for the Holidays charity contest, where I encouraged my readers to share charities and organizations making a difference in their communities. I was so touched at all the nominations submitted, and by all the good work your neighbors are doing to make a difference in the world.

Now that the votes have been tallied, I am pleased to announce the winners. Each of these inspirational charities is making their communities better, improving the lives of others, and protecting the environment.

Winners of the Giving Hope for the Holidays Charity Contest

Humanitarian Category: Covered With Love, Inc.

Covered With Love is standing in the gap of child poverty by providing diapers, disposable training pants, wipes, and baby hygiene products to families in need or in crisis. Its mission is to provide baby hygiene products for newborns, infants, and toddlers, in and around the Wabash Valley community.

Literacy Category: Brooke Erin Posey Foundation’s Little Library Program

Created in honor of Brooke Erin Posey in 2019, this foundation serves New Orleans by spreading kindness. One of the ways they do this is with their Little Library Program, a literacy-focused initiative aimed at providing new and gently used children’s books to the existing Little Free Libraries throughout the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Environmental Category: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a sanctuary with a mission of preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, education, research, and quality animal care. They rescue injured and orphaned animals year-round and provide them with spacious enclosures and quality animal care.

Honorable Mentions

Each of these charities fill me with hope — for humanity, for literacy, and for nature. I invite you to visit the websites and support the causes of these extraordinary endeavors and make your own difference in the world!

Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah

Founded in 1997 in Cedar City Utah, Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing wildlife, rehabilitation, international wildlife and environmental education, and the development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.

The Welman Project

The Welman Project connects schools and nonprofits with the community in ways that ignite creativity, environmental activism, and social responsibility.

Canyon Cares

Canyon Cares’ mission is to serve the residents of their community by providing short-term resources to help care for the necessities and urgent needs. They help their neighbors in Coal Creek Canyon, Nederland, and unincorporated Gilpin County in Colorado’s Front Range.

Fifty Shades of Purple Against Bullying

Fifty Shades of Purple Against Bullying is a community initiative that supports safe spaces and increases awareness about bullying in schools, homes, and in workplaces. They share, encourage, and support anti-bullying campaigns through supportive and informative resources and volunteerism.

Clay County Community for Students

Clay County Community for Students, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that promotes and facilitates the coordinated delivery of existing resources to children and their families within a school community.

Cherokee County Educational Foundation

The Cherokee County Educational Foundation is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the students and staff of the Cherokee County School District by promoting teaching and learning and celebrating achievements.