Best Appalachian Charities

9 Best Appalachian Charities to Donate in 2023 | Full List with Details

Have you ever wondered how you could make a real difference in the lives of those living in some of the poorest areas of the United States? Look no further than Appalachia, a region that boasts breathtaking mountainous landscapes and is home to some of the country’s most resilient and hardworking communities.

However, many Appalachians face daily poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to basic resources. That’s where charities step in. In this blog post, we’ll highlight the best Appalachian charities that are making a difference in the lives of those in need and providing opportunities for everyone to get involved in making an impact.

Here are the 9 Best Appalachian Charities to Donate to in 2023

1. Appalachian Voices

Let’s start with Appalachian Voices. Based in Boone, North Carolina, they protect the Appalachian region’s land, air, water, and communities. Founded in 1997, the organization promotes a just and sustainable future for the region by opposing mountaintop removal, and coal mining, advocating for clean energy and energy efficiency, protecting public lands and watersheds, and supporting sustainable agriculture and local food systems.

The organization also publishes a magazine and maintains an online news outlet to provide news and analysis about environmental and social issues in the Appalachian region. As seen on Charity Navigator, the organization has 99% ratings with 4 gold stars. 

2. Feeding America Southwest Virginia

Based in Salem, Virginia, they aim to fight hunger by providing food assistance to individuals and families in the Southwest Virginia region. The organization was founded in 1981 and operates various programs and services to address food insecurity in the area, including food distribution, child nutrition, senior hunger, and nutrition education, as well as aims to eradicate the root cause of hunger.

The organization runs a network of food banks, pantries, and mobile food programs to distribute food to those in need and offers meals and snacks to children through programs like the Kids Cafe and BackPack program. Like Voices, Feeding America also has a 99% score on Charity Navigator.

3. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC)

SAHC is a non-profit land trust based in Asheville, North Carolina that works to protect the natural heritage and rural landscapes of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. They employ various conservation strategies, including direct ownership, conservation easements, and partnerships with other organizations and agencies, to conserve ecologically significant land that provides habitat for rare and endangered species and contributes to the region’s scenic beauty and quality of life.

The organization is also committed to promoting sustainable agriculture and forestry through the Farmland Preservation Program and the Working Woodlands Program. Speaking of numbers, the charity has a perfect 100% score on Charity Navigator with 4/4 stars.

4. Appalachian Sustainable Development

Appalachian Sustainable Development is yet another organization that is working to build a more sustainable and equitable future for the people and communities of Central Appalachia. Their programs to support sustainable agriculture and promote economic development in the region are impressive.

It’s especially heartening to see their commitment to providing job training and employment opportunities for individuals facing barriers to employment. They have a special program- the Appalachian Harvest Food Hub, which connects local farmers with markets, and the Farm-to-School program, which brings fresh, locally grown produce to school cafeterias. Noting the bonus boosts, this charity is rewarded with 100% score on Charity Navigator.

5. The Housing Assistance Council

Moving forward, we have the Housing Assistance Council. They work to improve housing conditions and economic opportunities for rural communities across the United States. Their focus on financing and technical assistance, research and policy analysis, training and capacity building, and providing information and resources is vital to supporting rural housing and community development. It’s great to see an organization taking such a comprehensive approach to address rural housing issues.

Additionally, the organization provides information and resources to hikers, trail clubs, and the public to promote responsible use of the trail and raise awareness about conservation issues. The council also has a 100% score on Charity Navigator!

6. Appalachian Outreach, Inc

It is a non-profit organization located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, that assists low-income and at-risk populations in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee. Established in 1983, the organization offers food assistance, housing assistance, medical and dental assistance, and education and youth programs.

They run a food pantry and provide emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities to prevent homelessness, home repair, weatherization services, after-school programs, summer camps, and educational support services. The organization is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families in the region by providing essential services and support. The charity is not yet rated by any Charity Watchdog. 

7. The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF)

Let’s talk about the Appalachian Community Fund (ACF). They grant and support grassroots organizations working for social, economic, and environmental justice in Central Appalachia. The organization builds a just and sustainable future for the region by supporting community-led initiatives addressing issues such as environmental justice, racial and economic inequality, and human rights.

They provide funding, training, and technical assistance to organizations working in civic engagement, community development, and similar areas. The organization also operates a Rapid Response Fund to provide emergency grants for urgent community needs. As per Charity Navigator, they have a 94% score with 4 gold stars. 

8. The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge

Based in North Carolina, they aim to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife and release them back into the wild. The organization runs a wildlife rehabilitation center that provides medical care and rehabilitation to various animals, including birds of prey, reptiles, small mammals, and songbirds.

In addition to rehabilitation, the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge researches local wildlife populations and partners with other organizations to raise awareness about wildlife conservation. The organization relies on donations and volunteers to support its work. They have received a platinum seal on Guidestar

9. The Christian Appalachian Project (CAP)

Finally, we have CAP, a non-profit organization founded in 1964 and based in Paintsville, Kentucky. CAP offers a variety of programs and services to address the needs of low-income and at-risk populations in the Appalachian region, including housing assistance, education, and youth programs, elderly services, food and nutrition assistance, and disaster relief.

The organization is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families in need by providing essential services and support with compassion and respect. Moreover, they have been rated 3 out of 4 stars on Charity Navigator with 93% ratings.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Appalachian region is home to a rich culture, history, and natural beauty, but it is also home to many challenges that require the support of charitable organizations. Through their dedicated efforts, these organizations have made significant progress in addressing the needs of the region’s vulnerable populations, such as children, veterans, and families struggling with poverty and addiction.

As you consider which charities to support, it’s essential to remember that Appalachia is not just a place of need but also a place of resilience and hope. The region’s people are working hard to create positive change, and by supporting their efforts, you can help build a brighter future for all.

Perhaps the most critical takeaway from this discussion is that giving to charity is not just about providing financial support; it’s about recognizing and valuing the humanity of others. By engaging with these organizations and their communities, we can better understand the issues they face and work together to create lasting solutions.

As you think about which Appalachian charities to support, we encourage you to approach the decision with an open mind and heart. Remember that every dollar you donate can make a real difference in the lives of those in need and that your support can be a powerful force for good.

Ultimately, the best Appalachian charities embody the region’s spirit: resilient, resourceful, and compassionate. By supporting these nonprofit organizations, we can help ensure that the people of Appalachia have the resources they need to thrive and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

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