Helping Hands, Helping Hearts

Local, global nonprofits provide community improvement


Charlotte Rooney, Opinion Editor

While donating to charities can be rewarding, many people wonder what their money is really going toward. These charities and nonprofits cover the spectrum of different causes that would interest anyone to donate or volunteer.

The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City

Like Wayside Waifs, the Humane Society also benefits from volunteers and donations, but you can also help specific animals.

On their website,, you can choose to sponsor a pet, spay or neuter a pet to prevent overpopulation, help a sick or injured pet, help a senior pet and even donate money specifically to help animals in kill shelters be brought to the Humane Society. They even have an app called Woolftrax that raises money for the shelter every time you walk your dog.


Unbound is a nonprofit that seeks to help out children in poverty all over the world. More than 300,000 people have already been helped. By sponsoring a child for $36 a month, the child receives care and access to education they may not have had before. Unbound is upfront about where it’s money is going, and says exactly what sponsoring a child will do and has done for countless families. You get a photo of the child and updates each month in the mail.

Sponsor an impoverished child now at

Friends of Yates

This nonprofit gives the choice of both volunteering and donating to help those who have experienced domestic violence and prevent domestic violence. Friends of Yates supports and cares for communities by offering prevention services, youth and adult development and distribution of food and clothes. By developing children and adults, it facilitates a healthy and violence free life, and gives them a lifeline if they ever find themselves in a violent situation.

St. Luke’s Hospital

While you can choose from an array of volunteering opportunities, patient visitation is the most popular form at St. Luke’s. Going to visit patients of all kinds — children, the ill, the elderly, and even those who have gone through surgery — is available at the hospital. Just talking to patients and their families can lighten the mood and especially patients who may not get many visitors it can change their entire day.

Culture House

Culture House is a nonprofit that allows those in the KC community to get involved in the arts through its theater, dance, lecture and outreach programs. Up until recently, the Culture House was a Christian nonprofit, but they revoked that because many felt they weren’t welcome if they weren’t Christian. The same values and enthusiasm to include everyone in the arts is still there, though. The Culture House’s mission is to give professional education of the arts to everyone in the community. Again, you can donate or volunteer by helping and engaging those in the community.

The LM Alcott Arts Center Foundation

For fifteen years, the Alcott Arts Center has been giving artistic opportunity to those who otherwise wouldn’t have had it. They host a lot of events and cultivate opportunities to get involved, like holding auditions for plays, an arts and crafts night and sponsor a variety show where singing, dancing, music and comedy can be showcased. They also have a summer program for children. Volunteers help teach different classes, act as camp counselors during summer classes and usually work with children. Donations are also welcome through the website,