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18 Local Organizations You Can Support That Will Help Protect Your Hometown

Underfunded and overlooked, local charities and non–profits make a big impact on a small scale. Fighting a national crisis begins in your backyard, so consider making a regular donation to one (or all) of these worthy causes.

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1. Your local library

The Guardian / Via theguardian.com

Local libraries offer education outside the classroom by providing communities with free (or subsidized) ESL lessons, CPR training, and lots and lots of books. Find a complete list of libraries across the country here.

2. Your favorite museum

Philly Mag / Via phillymag.com

Signing up for an annual membership is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to support art in your community. It's basically selfish. Find a comprehensive guide to museums around the country here.

5. Your nearby domestic violence and emergency shelters

Cleveland / Via cleveland.com

When the tenant of the White House condones—nay, encourages—sexual assault, support a home that refuses to accept sexual abuse or domestic violence. Find safe spaces in your town here.

7. Your district's public school system

The Washington Post / Via washingtonpost.com

If your state is on the higher end of the spectrum, consider donating to one that spends less than $8,000 per student each year. (Looking at you, Oklahoma...)

Learn more here.

8. Your local and state political campaigns

UCLA / Via blueprint.ucla.edu

Never again guilt-google your local candidates five minutes before heading into the polling booth. Emily's List can help you keep tabs on badass women running for government jobs who need your support.

And if you're saddled with representatives you can't stand? Speak up. Duh.

10. Your childhood park

Via rebloggy.com

Protecting the environment and a home for children's imagination? Leslie Knope would be proud. Check your local government site regarding conservation efforts or donate to one of the National Park Service's historic sites.

11. Your local food bank

Via futureoffood.ox.ac.uk

With civil liberties, minorities groups, and sheer sanity under attack, it is more important than ever to ensure that every person's basic needs are met. Contact the branch nearest you to find out what it could use.

13. Your community's harm reduction resource center

From needle exchanges to HIV-testing and treatment, support a local organization that provides vital services that probably won't get federal funding anytime soon. Find a center near you here.

16. Your town's Head Start schools

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It's true: Early childhood education has a better return on investment than the stock market. Learn more about your local preschools here.

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