Several charities in Minneapolis and St. Paul provide support for children. Many of them are active programs that encourage the emotional and physical well-being of children, support parents during times of crises, and conduct research to support children’s needs. All of these charities have opportunities for volunteering, fundraising, and donations to support their program and further their goals of supporting children and families.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest has locations that provide support to children and families during medical emergencies. It provides families with a place to stay while their child is undergoing medical treatment. The Oak Street location provides housing for families of children with serious illnesses treated at hospitals in the Twin Cities who live more than 60 miles away. Dinners are provided each evening and an on-site school program is available to child patients and siblings. Another Ronald McDonald House can be found inside Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minneapolis, for children treated in the Intensive Care Unit.
Girls on the Run of Twin Cities
Girls on the Run of Twin Cities is a nonprofit program for young girls. It aims to build self-esteem and confidence by training for a 3.1 mile run. For girls in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, this program promotes overall healthy development, with an emphasis on social, emotional, physical and mental growth. This organization is part of Girls on the Run International, which has programs throughout Canada and the United States. Donations to the program help cover the cost of the program, running gear and other program materials.
Children’s Cancer Research Fund
Originally created as a small benefit through the University of Minnesota, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund is now a national organization that helps to raise money for children’s cancer research. Research conducted through the University of Minnesota Cancer Center helps gather critical data and contribute to larger research grants for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Money is raised through individual or group donations, fundraising events, and business promotions.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide mentoring and support for at-risk children between the ages of 6 and 18. Children are matched with a mentor who has similar personalities and interests, and are nearby. Mentoring is offered through the community and through schools. Community mentors and their mentees do two to four activities together each month. School mentors meet with their mentees at school for one hour each week. Donations to this program fund its needs, such as recruiting, background checks, and opportunities for activities.