Redefining Self-Care: 15 Nonprofits to Give Back to in 2019

by Minali Aggarwal

by Minali Aggarwal


If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you probably know what we mean by the “self-care hype.” Accompanied by serene depictions of house plant-filled apartments, rose petal bathtubs, and solo beach weekends, the term “self-care” has undoubtedly become increasingly popular over the last few years. But, what really defines self-care?

Self-care can be a practice or routine that builds resilience and grounding to help you take on the everyday challenges faced at school, work, and life in general. How should you practice self-care? Well, Instagram will tell you to smack on a charcoal face mask on a Sunday night after a cleansing hot yoga class, while you meal prep for the week with organic items gleaned from the farmers market. Cute! idyllic! However, in a world that is constantly forcing us to self-optimize, it often feels as if these “self-care” practices are just more items to add to our already crammed to-do list rather than a relief from work.

While face masks, meal-prepping, and yoga classes can definitely help us cope with our ever-changing environment and unprecedented challenges, another way to practice self-care is through community building, connecting with others, and lending a real hand to those around us who might not have the luxury of a meditation app.

Women Sound Off wants to encourage you to focus on self-care as we move into 2019, but to think about different means to this end. We’ve rounded up some pretty amazing Bay Area nonprofits that could use your help this year that will in turn help keep your spirit grounded and fulfilled.



Imprint City

Imprint City is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that aims to bring vitality to the Bayview through large-scale public art. Imprint City also puts on BayviewLive, a SF based festival dedicated to urban arts and culture.

What you can do: donate, sponsor, or attend events!


United Roots

United Roots is an Oakland-based community organization that empowers marginalized youth in socially innovative and sustainable ways. They focus on arts and media training, career development, community engagement, and wellness services.

What you can do: volunteer, donate



Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology (BAYCAT) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that aims to equip youth with the right skills to build a career in digital media. BAYCAT helps students gain knowledge in video production, media production, animation, graphic design, and web design.

What you can do: volunteer, donate




Root & Rebound

Root & Rebound is an Oakland-based organization that facilitates opportunities for people in the process of societal reentry by helping them meet employment, housing, and education goals, as well as family reunification and financial stability.

What you can do: volunteer, donate


Prison Lit Project

Prison Lit Project is a Berkeley based volunteer-run nonprofit that sends free books to inmates throughout the United States.

What you can do: volunteer, donate





Gunxgun is a San Francisco nonprofit that helps mobilize community-led and community-funded gun buyback programs. Gun buybacks help limit the circulation of guns, and reduce gun ownership, leading to a dramatic reduction in gun violence and gun deaths.

What you can do: volunteer, donate


Youth Alive!

Youth Alive! Is an Oakland nonprofit that teaches youth methods of prevention and intervention with the goal of creating young leaders against violence.

What you can do: donate


Robby Poblete Foundation

The Robby Poblete Foundation has been running successful gun buyback programs by partnering with police departments in Solano County, Richmond, and San Francisco. They also promote gun safety by distributing free gun locks to gun owners.

What you can do: volunteer, donate




La Casa De Las Madres

La Casa De Las Madres is a San Francisco nonprofit that supports victims of domestic violence by giving them tools & skills to change their lives. They offer crisis-line services for adults and teens 24 hours a day, everyday of the year.

What you can do: volunteer as a group or individual, donate


The Bread Project

The Bread Project is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides job training in the baking and food service industries through its “Bakery Bootcamp”, where it aims at helping people who’ve had difficulty finding steady employment, who struggle with disabilities, criminal records, and limited English language skills.

What you can do: donate


Refugee Transitions

Refugee Transitions is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that serves low income immigrants and asylees who have experienced forced migration due to war, political turmoil, or economic instability. RT’s goal is to help immigrants and refugees become self-sufficient by connecting them to services that will help them get English language training, job training, and academic skills.

What you can do: volunteer, donate





Misssey is an Oakland based nonprofit that supports victims of sex trafficking and advocates for its prevention. Misssey also provides trainings through to educators, organizations, law enforcement agencies, and healthcare providers to help identify and help victims of sexual exploitation.

What you can do: volunteer, donate


Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is an Oakland based nonprofit that creates space for women with loved ones in prison to organize and take on the injustices created by mass incarceration.

What you can do: donate



Spark is a San Francisco and New York based nonprofit that helps women become philanthropically engaged in their communities by connecting them to women-led nonprofits and women’s causes.

What you can do: volunteer, donate



TurnOut is a San Francisco nonprofit that helps connect volunteers to LGBTQ+ causes. Through volunteer recruitment, matching, and events, they promote volunteerism and community engagement among the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

What you can do: volunteer

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