With the holidays comes visions of cheerful families with warm homes to celebrate in, but what if that is not your reality? This time of year is also the season to give, and there are many local non-profit organizations in the Yakima area that do so much for the community. Now is the time to help those who help others with donations of items, money or your time.

non-profit organizations Yakima
Comprehensive Healthcare offers special programs for veterans, victims of crime, parents, and employee assistance programs. Photo courtesy: Comprehensive Healthcare

Comprehensive Healthcare

Comprehensive Healthcare is a private non-profit organization offering a full range of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, with special programs for veterans, victims of crime, parents, and employee assistance programs. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in the need for behavioral health support and instances of domestic violence.

Often the case manager and peer support teams encounter clients who need a meal or change of clothing. Residents at their Veterans Initiative Project House and Domestic Violence Shelter in Kittitas County need home essentials. Youth at the Adolescent Inpatient Facility (Two Rivers Landing) could really use art and school supplies. “These seemingly minuscule things don’t seem like necessities, but they can make all the difference for a client who recently experienced a traumatic event or is transitioning to independent living, and we rely solely on donations to provide such things,” says Director of Marketing and Communications, Victoria Tarter.

non-profit organizations Yakima
Support Comprehensive Healthcare this holiday season with a donation of your time or money. Photo courtesy: Comprehensive Healthcare

The community can support Comprehensive Healthcare’s mission by addressing stigmatizing beliefs regarding mental illness and substance use. Realizing and challenging such assumptions is how others can make the most significant difference. They encourage everyone to attend trainings on topics like mental illness, suicide prevention, or sexual assault prevention — which Comprehensive Healthcare regularly provides to the community, often free of charge. Learn more about those events by following them on social media or checking their website.

Monetary donations to any of the non-profit’s programs are another great way to support this worthy cause or send donations to the Comprehensive Healthcare Foundation.

Specific campaigns for some of Comprehensive Healthcare’s individual programs where you can donate include:

  • Aspen
  • Kittitas Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Veterans Initiative Project
  • Peer Extenders who support individuals experiencing a mental illness to live independently. Peer Extenders are Washington State Certified Peer Specialists who have personally faced a major mental health condition, are successfully managing their recovery, and are now supporting individuals in recovery. They have overcome many of the challenges facing people with mental illness who have been discharged from a state hospital, making them uniquely qualified to support others who have similar circumstances.

    non-profit organizations Yakima
    Volunteer with Aspen Victim Advocacy Services. Photo courtesy: Comprehensive Healthcare

To give your time, Aspen Victim Advocacy Services teams are always looking for volunteers. Training is required, but volunteers for Aspen work with and support domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in various ways. Visit the website here to learn more.

NAMI Yakima

With an emphasis on preserving the dignity of all, NAMI Yakima (National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides hope and help to those impacted by mental health disorders and their families.

non-profit organizations Yakima
NAMI Yakima is sponsoring a Tree at the Yakima Valley Museum’s Festival of Trees in December, and donations are accepted then as well. Their primary fundraiser is NAMI Walks, set for June 4, and community members can participate in person, online, or donate then also. Photo courtesy: NAMI Yakima

Since COVID-19 and the subsequent isolation, the many gaps in the mental healthcare system have grown wider. “There are not enough trained mental health professionals including caseworkers, therapists, and prescribers to meet the need, particularly for Black, Indigenous or people of color who reflect the Yakima community,” says Mary Stephenson with NAMI Yakima.

People in crisis are waiting weeks and even months for an initial visit and are often unable to get help due to a lack of police response for non-criminal issues and not enough designated crisis responders (DCRs) to cover the county 24/7. Coupled with a shortage of beds for individuals who require hospitalization, there is an urgent need to support those who live with mental health disorders.

Getting help is just the beginning for those living with these lifelong illnesses. Once stabilized, there is a need for ongoing services, and the lack of mental health providers means that follow-up is not consistent. The community is deficient in affordable and assisted housing for persons with severe mental health issues.

To support NAMI Yakima’s mission, community members can become educated about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and the available resources. “By learning what to do in a mental health crisis, others can be advocates for loved ones who are unable or unwilling to get help,” says Stephenson.

Supporting the community, NAMI offers classes such as the Family and Friends seminar and support groups free of charge for family members and those experiencing mental health issues.  Right now, the programs are online, but NAMI hopes to host in-person events again in the future. Community members can help them in their mission by joining NAMI, where members receive information and support and can become advocates to improve the mental health system.

“NAMI is dependent on volunteers with lived experience, either their own or that of a loved one, to provide the presentations, classes, support groups and advocacy,” says Stephenson. “We are in particular need of volunteers who are bilingual Spanish/English speakers and of young adults to provide Ending the Silence presentations.”  NAMI Washington provides free training for volunteers. Become a NAMI member, contact them about becoming a volunteer, or donate by going to the non-profit’s website.

Love INC

The mission of Love INC of Yakima is to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. The community can support its mission by volunteering, bringing in donations and contributing financially.

non-profit organizations Yakima
Donate to Love In the Name of Christ with time, money or goods. Photo courtesy: Love INC Yakima

Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday, the non-profit accepts donations of gently used clothing, furniture, linens, kitchen supplies, baby items, hygiene essentials, cleaning supplies and nonperishable food for their TEAM (Training, Equipping and Mentoring) Program. Donations of goods can be brought to their office located at 226 S. 1st Street. For a complete list of what items are accepted, see their donation list.

Love INC also appreciates financial support, and they have a year-end campaign to bring in funds. They make it easy to donate at this link. They also have a fundraiser in the spring.

Love INC of Yakima is always looking for groups or individuals to volunteer. Volunteer opportunities range from donation sorting to budget mentoring. You can visit their website to see a complete list of volunteer opportunities.

To stay up to date with all the good things Love INC does in the Yakima community, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Other non-profit organizations to donate to in Yakima:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email