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Top Charities in Metro Detroit That are Under the Radar

Giving back is top of mind during the holiday season and, for many Detroiters, year round. Here are some smaller nonprofits worthy of your dollars and time.

The season of charitable giving has arrived. And, while you likely know the heavy-hitting charities, many smaller nonprofits don't have that same visibility or name recognition to draw in volunteers and donations. That's where BLAC Detroit comes in. We found seven lesser-known metro Detroit "underdogs" that deserve your attention and generosity this winter, too.

ANIMALS

Our four-legged friends support us in good and bad times. Pet adoption centers are a great place to grow your furry family – or help creatures find a home.

Detroit Dog Rescue 

When it comes to preference, like your favorite music or food, this organization's name leaves little room for interpretation. If you have a natural love of canines, Detroit Dog Rescue offers adoption rescue, fostering and volunteer opportunities.

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit 

Located in Dearborn, this organization provides homes for dogs and cats that might not have had the opportunity to experience the warmth of a family. You can donate time or money – especially vital as it begins work building a new larger facility.

ARTS

Whether it comes in the form of physical art, dance or music, its importance can't be overstated. And it's just as important for youth with special needs or those without a vehicle for artistic expression.

Art Road Nonprofit

Sometimes you have to bring art to the people. Springing from this simple idea, Art Road Nonprofit targets schools without art programs. Its purpose is to bring in the necessary resources to inspire a new generation to find personal expression through the visual arts.

New Generation Fine Arts Foundation

Spotlighting young artists with developmental disabilities, this nonprofit, launched in 2017, puts the arts within their reach as a form of expression. Join in supporting its future stage shows, which will occur around metro Detroit.

COMMUNITY

Taking part in the construction of your community isn't just good citizenship; it's crucial to keeping a community alive. Help foster a new generation of leaders.

Cass Community Social Services

This organization takes a holistic approach by "providing food, housing, health services and job programs" with the community, its website notes. It also hosts a Ms. Cass Pageant to "empower women with developmental disabilities" – and it's helped to build small houses throughout the city.

Detroit Impact Inc. 

As a youth-centered nonprofit, Detroit Impact Inc. works to "teach, mentor, guide, motivate and encourage" in an effort to help children become leaders in their west-side Detroit neighborhoods. With a variety of engagement and other activities, this group always needs volunteers.

EDUCATION

Everyone deserves the chance to be a productive member of society and support themselves and their families. Putting academic resources in reach is key.

Mercy Education Project 

Helping girls and women is this organization's mission – specifically, giving them "educational opportunities, life skills development and cultural enrichment," its website notes. That includes a focus on math and reading improvement with ongoing assessments, tutor matching and much more.

Reading Works 

The old adage "reading is fundamental" not only applies to children but adults, as well. Reading Works provides a crucial framework for grown-ups to gain confidence in all aspects of life. Whether it's home, work or developing a new hobby, the organization hopes to eradicate illiteracy one person at time.

ENVIRONMENT

When is it time to take eco action? Right now. As we improve our roads and infrastructure, we should also consider how to keep our environment safe.

Detroiters Working for Environmental Injustice

While Detroit is seeing a comeback, it also has lingering environmental issues. DWEJ "champions local and national collaboration to advance environmental justice and sustainable redevelopment" – and fosters clean, healthy and safe communities through policy, education and workforce initiatives.

Green Living Science

If the lines at your local grocery store's bottle return nook are any indication, people care about recycling. Green Living Science widens that awareness by working with schools, businesses and the community to spread the word about the importance of building – and maintaining – a sustainable world.

FOOD/SHELTER

They're two of life's essential elements, yet they're out of reach for too many. Give the gift of dignity, respect and self-sufficiency to those who need it most.

DO Foundation 

You might occasionally offer some assistance to a homeless person or donate food to your favorite local charity, but DO Foundation's mission is to feed and assist individuals daily. The program is geared at not just giving support but also helping people rise above their circumstances.

Heart 2 Hart Detroit 

This organization helps feed the homeless every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Beyond these weekly acts of kindness, Heart 2 Hart also helps connect individuals to vital services, such as rehab centers, job opportunities and even to "estranged" family members.

HEALTH

We're told daily that we should be more conscious of our health. Some organizations actually do something about this within our communities.

Healthy Detroit 

Since 2013, this organization has been improving the physical lives of Detroiters – as well as building a culture of health and active living in the city. With "health parks" and prevention strategies, Healthy Detroit strives to make health the city's number 1 priority.

Yoga 4 Peace 

You can spend a lot of money to maintain your health. Single yoga sessions, for example, can range $20-$30 – and most monthly packages cost hundreds of dollars. Translation: Yoga isn't for everybody. But Yoga 4 Peace's nonprofit mission strives to make it affordable for everyone – you set the price.

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