Many people who feel altruistic don’t know where to find legitimate charities. In Santa Monica, there is an official list of nonprofits recognized by the Chamber of Commerce. This is a great jumping-off point for your quest to find which causes to support. 

Some national organizations, like the American Red Cross, have a local affiliate in Santa Monica. This humanitarian organization was founded in the late 1900s and is run entirely by volunteers. Their unique relationship with the federal government is outlined in the congressional charter which states that they must abide by certain rules such as fulfilling the provisions of the Geneva Convention for the protection of victims of conflict. In addition, members of the Red Cross are bound to uphold multiple forms of support to the U.S. military, as well as maintain a system of both domestic and international disaster relief. The Red Cross has been known to work alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in times of strife.

The YMCA has long been a pillar of every community around the globe since its inception in the 1800s in London, England. Since then, it has gone through multiple iterations as a bed and breakfast, academic hub, health and wellbeing center, and religious outpost. The Santa Monica chapter is always looking for endowments or volunteers. 

Meals on Wheels has been around since the 1950s, starting in Philadelphia, PA. Since then, the organization has spread nationwide providing meals to those who are unable to leave their homes. In addition to offering nutritious food, qualified members also provide an emergency preparedness program for their clients, as well as connections to other services promoting independent living and wellbeing.

The American Cancer Society is another national nonprofit with donation locations located around Santa Monica. Much like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, these stores need volunteer support and kind donations from the public.

Homelessness, alcoholism, and substance abuse problems run rampant in the state of California. They are listed as having one of the top three homeless populations within the U.S. Often, alcohol and substance abuse are the reasons behind homelessness, which is why organizations exist to tackle the problems head-on. The CLARE Foundation and the Matrix Institute merged in 2018 in order to combine the 50 years’ experience of CLARE’s residential services with Matrix’s outpatient treatment, training, and research on addictions.