(KRON) – As a teen, Christian Aguirre leaned on the Rainbow Community Center in Concord for support, now he’s helping others as an HIV Outreach Manager.

Aguirre says without this non-profit, “I probably wouldn’t be here right now.”

The center has been providing resources for the LGBTQ community since 1995.

On Tuesday, the non-profit reaches more than 1,000 people every year all across Contra Costa County.

They provide access to housing, funding, clothing, toys during the holidays and mental health services.

So Giving Tuesday is a big deal for them, along with other non-profits like Homies Empowerment in East Oakland, who rely on donations from the community to keep their good work going.

“Black Friday is all about shopping, it’s all about supporting consumerism. But Giving Tuesday is all about caring for each other, us being community-minded, us taking care of our neighbors. It’s a beautiful idea and this is the first time we have ever participated. To hear from neighbors who have been impacted by our work and now they want to give back,” Dr. Cesar Cruz, Founder of  Homies Empowerment said.

The volunteers at Homies Empowerment were once troubled youth who participated in the program themselves, turned away from gang life, and now give back.

Since the pandemic, their work has shifted to handing out food, clothes, supplies, and $1,000 to those in need.

The FREEdom store serves on average 400 individuals and families weekly.

In the North Bay, Napa Wildlife Rescue runs purely on volunteers, grants, and donations to help orphaned or injured animals.

“Wildlife is in crisis. It has been in crisis across the world for some time. We have lost about 60% of the wildlife since 1970. and organizations like napa wildlife are the only ones really who are working to push back on that,” President John Cominsky said.

There are of course many more charities out there that are doing important work and, could use your assistance too.

Non-profit donations are tax-deductible. Money or time can go a long way.

For more information, visit the following websites: