One of the basic tenants of Christianity is that it is better to give than to receive, and there are many charities in Pasadena that are in need of the gift of your time or donation this Christmas to help those less fortunate. 


In these tough times, with many charities grappling with shrinking budgets, the people around us need our help more than ever. Needs are so great that it isn’t hard to find a place to lend a hand.


If you desire to give a gift that will impact the needy and downtrodden or just support a cause, Pasadena has a number of charities that are always in need of help.


The Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA is the perfect place to visit to adopt a pet and give to a child on Christmas Day. Many seniors are also looking for that companionship the right dog or cat can provide.


Besides pet adoption services, the Pasadena Humane Society cares for more than 10,000 animals annually and also provides animal training and humane education. If you can’t adopt, you can always donate. 


Medical treatment for critically or terminally ill children suffering from cancer and other debilitating diseases can put a significant amount of stress on a family. In addition, many families must travel great distances looking for treatments and answers not found near their home. That’s where the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House comes into play. The charity provides a “home away from home” for the families of terminally ill children while their loved one receives medical care in Pasadena. 


In 1987, concerned community leaders reacting to a growing drug epidemic in Pasadena and Altadena came together to advocate for effective, high quality and culturally sensitive public health education and intervention. Almost 30 years later Day One is still going strong in its anti-drug, anti-violence, pro-youth message.


The Door of Hope provides transitional housing for homeless families making a real effort to get off the streets. The organization places families in housing while helping their kids stay in school. People also receive counseling and training in the following areas: anger management, parenting and finance, job skills training, spiritual care, individual and marital counseling and one on one case management. 


Five Acres helps kids who are victims of abuse through a range of community-based and residential programs, including mental health services, foster care, adoptions and domestic violence prevention. While monetary donations are always welcome, Five Acres also welcomes people to volunteer with their programs. A visit to their website ( also features lists of specific toys that kids at the center request. 


The Lake Avenue Community Foundation works with 170 low-income students in Pasadena, cultivating greater hope in the lives of these students and their families. It also partners with local churches and other organizations to provide housing and other resources to low-income residents.

The LACF has four key goals, to help students excel academically and attend college, to teach problem-solving skills that will help students meet daily challenges, give students the tools that will enable them to become economically responsible stable adult, and help students attain a thriving relationship with God.


They are always looking for volunteers and donations. Visit for more information.


The Mothers Club Family Learning Center provides a two-generation program that assists families living in isolation and poverty to succeed in school and life. Children and parents are onsite working in the programs which increase literacy and emotional well being.


Young and Healthy works to provide access to high-quality health care for uninsured and underserved children and families and to improve the quality of life for children in Pasadena through prevention, education and enhanced health care services. 


Children are referred to Young and Healthy, which sends them to one of their volunteer doctors, where they are treated at no cost. You can make a difference by purchasing a prescription for a child, or by buying eyeglasses a child need.