Giving Tuesday in Beacon - Ideas For Local Groups To Support in 2016 and Beyond

Every day could be a giving day, so it's nice that #GivingTuesday is here as an official day to focus on all of the giving you might do. It is a natural cleanse in the murky sea of increased promotion that is done during the holiday season. On the other hand, when you shop local, and go down the commercialism route over the Black Friday weekend before #GivingTuesday, you are directly helping your neighbors, your friends, and their families when you purchase from their stores and eateries, and buy their services (like massages).

This Giving Guide will expand to include opportunities to help others in need. We'll feature coat donations, food donations, and other collection activities that are happening this season. If you are running such an effort, please submit details about it to to be considered for publication.

For this season, we have done a roundup that barely scrapes the surface of where you can donate, but hopefully gets your wheels turning and heart-strings pulling - if they weren't already.

Beauty of This Region

Stony Kill
When you're driving up 9D, peeking over at those cows and sheep grazing in the incredible fields at sunset, remember that there's no guarantee they'll be there forever. Stony Kill Foundation keeps the farm running through different events, rentals to others using the property including Common Ground Farm, and fundraising and memberships.
Donate Now >

Wee Play Project
Wee Play is the reason why Beacon has colorful playgrounds in our parks for toddlers. The group also helps organize and promote some of the baby and toddler classes at the Howland Public Library. We have reported on them several times, especially when they reach a major milestone in their fundraising. There are many ways to donate, from gifting a tree or piece of equipment to sharing cash and even your time.
Get Involved, Shop the Clothing/Toy Sale, and/or Donate Now >

Scenic Hudson
Dedicated to protecting the land in this region, Scenic Hudson's work can be spotted up and down the Hudson Valley. In Beacon, it is most noticeable at Long Dock Park on the Hudson River, Mount Beacon Park, the Fishkill Ridge, Madam Brett Park, and other recreational spaces. They are currently trying to develop the Beacon waterfront a bit more, with more park development and eating and food truck opportunities.
Donate Now >

Public Services

Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps
Founded in 1959, Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing advanced and basic life support ambulance services to Beacon, NY, and its neighboring communities. When you get hurt or need saving, they come when 911 is called. The Ambulance Corps currently runs a fleet of three modern, fully equipped, New York State Certified ambulances, a Basic Life Support First Response vehicle, and a mass casualty incident trailer. Additionally, BVAC maintains a utility terrain vehicle for rescues within the vast mountainous terrain of our district. They currently run approximately 2,500 calls per year, making BVAC one of the busiest volunteer services in the county. Take a look at their past history.
Sending a check via mail is the best way to donate >

Fire Departments in the City of Beacon
The city's organized Fire Department dates back to 1886, and has been protecting the City of Beacon since the city's establishment in 1913. The combined volunteer and paid Fire Departments provide fire and rescue services with a staff of 13 full-time paid firefighters, approximately 40 volunteer firefighters and three support personnel. The Fire Department operates out of three firehouses that accommodate six fire apparatuses. Two of the city's firehouses are in beautiful historic buildings. The Department responds to more than 1,700 calls per year, while being designated as having the fastest response time in Dutchess County. The City of Beacon Fire Department is part of Battalion 7 of the Dutchess County Emergency Response Unit.
Sending a check via mail is the best way to donate >

Women and Family Services

Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens in Beacon
Whether you are looking for a warm meal, canned goods, or friendly community, or you’re in a position to help by donating food or time, the following organizations in and near Beacon would love to see you. Contact organizers for information about the most up-to-date ways to participate.
Here is a list of Beacon soup kitchens and food pantries >

Grace Smith House
The mission of Grace Smith House, Inc., is to enable individuals and families to live free from domestic violence through:

  • Providing shelter and apartments, advocacy, counseling and education
  • Raising the consciousness of the community regarding the extent, type and seriousness of domestic violence
  • Initiating and taking positions on public policies in order to provide options that empower victims of domestic violence

Grace Smith House, based in Poughkeepsie, is a private, not-for-profit domestic violence agency, which provides both residential and nonresidential services to victims of domestic violence and their children.
Donate Now >

Local Planned Parenthood Office - Newburgh
Planned Parenthood is a health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide. One in five American women has chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once in her life. The heart of Planned Parenthood is in the local community. The closest office to Beacon is in Newburgh.
Donate Now >

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh was founded in October of 1999 by a group of dedicated volunteers who shared a vision to revitalize Newburgh’s neighborhoods and help local hard-working, low-income families help themselves create strong, stable, and self-reliant families. Habitat Newburgh is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
Donate Now >

Veterans Services

Disabled American Veterans
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. The organization provides more than 700,000 rides for veterans to get to medical appointments, while assisting veterans with more than 300,000 benefit claims annually. In 2015, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits to care for veterans, their families and survivors.

DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing other resources to make sure that veterans have the opportunity to participate in the same American Dream their sacrifices made possible. Read some highlights of Beacon-based veteran and volunteer, Sgt. Thomas Wohlrab, during the Veterans Day ceremony of 2016 at the Memorial Building.
Donate Now >


ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) Beacon
ARF is a federal 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, 100% volunteer, "no kill" animal shelter and organization founded in 1986. They house and care for cats and dogs in need of a second chance or more time to find just the right home. ARF is a participant in the Pilots n Paws program, founded by two pilots who were passionate about rescuing shelter animals in need. Pilots and plane owners volunteer their time, planes, and gas to transport animals from point A to point B. ARF is a recipient of some of those animals transported by Pilots n Paws.
Donate Now >


Highlands Current
The free newspaper you pick up from numerous locations in Beacon used to be known as The Philipstown Paper. In 2014, it rebranded and reclassified itself as a nonprofit. In 2016, they renamed as Beacon was officially adopted into their coverage. A Little Beacon Blog will run an article on what being a nonprofit means for a newspaper, but all you need to know at this point is that you can make a donation to the newspaper.
Donate Now >

Public Radio and TV
Now is definitely the time to renew your memberships to public radio and television stations, no matter where you listen to or watch them.. Streaming different NPR stations is easy, and you may like one in another state. The reporting is crucial. The programming from PBS is enriching, for adults and children. Fund the stations by participating in the membership drives, or by going to the websites on your own to increase or re-activate your membership.