Help your neighbors — give to Reno charities

The whole Komen-Planned Parenthood kerfuffle (I LOVE that word) has me thinking — why donate to a mega charity that pays its CEO $400,000 or more a year (both Koman & PP do!), when so many local non-profits need funds to help people right here.  Small donations made by many people could help so many of our neighbors. Think what local charities could do with those two salaries ($800,000-plus). An even better plan: Donate money if you can, but find a way volunteer TIME. Nevada has about 3,000 registered non-profit organizations — likely a cause for just about everyone.

Here are a few options:

Cancer support 

Moms On The Run is a Reno-based non-profit organization created to assist local cancer patients during their treatment when it is at times very difficult to keep rent paid, buy groceries and pay for other living expenses. Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill is sponsoring its 12th annual Mother’s Day race with a 5K & 10K run, plus walking events on Sunday May 13. All the money raised helps LOCAL women with cancer.  My daughter for years played in charity basketball games to benefit Moms on the Run; other groups host concerts, fashion shows and more.

Pregnancy support

Casa de Vida, Reno offers support to teens who choose to carry their pregnancy to term. Casa de Vida is a private, nonprofit corporation providing a home and support services for pregnant young women. While some teens facing a crisis pregnancy have the support of a loving family, many others are less fortunate. They are frightened, disillusioned, and often without a safe place to live. Casa de Vida is a place to call home for any young woman facing this difficult situation. 

Unwanted/displaced/needy children

Children born into sad situations, without supportive adults in their lives abound. Poverty, neglect and abuse are realities for so many in this area. Volunteering in a school as a tutor, teacher’s aide or other support person helps children in need. A teacher friend told me that working one on one with a child for just 15 minutes a week can spur tremendous educational gains. Washoe County School District, the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sister, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so many other organizations always need help — and money.

Health Services for low-income people

Washoe County Health Services and HAWC Community Health Centers offer low-cost help to the uninsured and under-insured and working poor in the Reno/Sparks area.  

For 10 years, HAWC, which is supported by federal grants and donor gifts, serves women, children and the homeless — regardless of ability to pay.

Let’s piggy back on the buy-local/buy “Made in the USA” movements. Donating and volunteering locally can make a huge difference. This week I read that it takes more than 5,000 entry fees in a “Race for the Cure” event just to pay the CEO’s salary. Wow … I had no idea. My money — and time — may be better spent right here in Reno.  Consider it.  It’s good business.

Know of a charity that helps local women, cancer patients, children or pregnant teens? Spread the word — and add a note here.

4 thoughts on “Help your neighbors — give to Reno charities

  1. The Nevada Youth Empowerment Project is a phenomenal organization run by a phenomenal group of people. They provide a community living program for young women between 17 and 21 and focus on four milestones for independence:

    •Completing education and/or training.
    •Increasing skills and income level, in most cases leading to economic self sufficiency through employment.
    •Obtaining and remaining in permanent housing; and
    •Greater self determination, including personal decision making and behavioral skills that will enable residents to avoid future homelessness, unplanned pregnancy and negative involvement with the criminal justice system.

    More information about this local nonprofit organization is available at:

  2. Holly…

    Great blog. I love reading posts, like yours, where community members plug local non-profit organizations. I’ve worked for schools, local nonprofits, and one national organization and am happy to say that our local community benefits from all types of organizations. While I can’t speak to the inflated salaries some “earn”, I can share that the leaders staffing our local non-profit (community-benefit) organizations certainly earn their (uninflated) keep.

    In today’s world, transparency is a major topic (or opportunity), which donors are increasingly demanding from local charities. And right they should. Rather than serving as a nuisance to charities to continually prove that they’re distributing the dollars based on each donor’s intent, it’s an opportunity for them to build meaningful and rewarding relationships with their supporters.

    Our community will continue to shine even brighter thanks to leaders like you. Thank you very much for spreading the good word!


    • Thanks Pete! I agree that there is so much going on here to highlight … and that doing so will benefit the whole community. I, too, volunteer and have volunteered for years in numerous organizations. The people I have met are terrific. The people each of us impacts — especially children and families — helps make this a stronger community. We truly are so much more than the statistics imply.
      Thanks for all you do too!

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