San Antonio Charity Guide
Giving back

Get involved with San Antonio's top children's charities and nonprofits

Get involved with San Antonio's top children's charities

CAMP has been helping San Antonio campers of all abilities since 1979. Courtesy of CAMP Facebook

CultureMap recently introduced the San Antonio Charity Guide presented by Frost's Opt for Optimism, an all-inclusive source for locals looking to give back and get involved in their community. 

As part of a year-long editorial series to accompany the Charity Guide, we will be delivering essential news, thought-provoking stories, and carefully curated roundups to showcase the many ways that San Antonio charities are making a difference.    

This month, we’re spotlighting local children’s charities. These organizations and nonprofits are working in the classroom, on the field, and at home to empower and enable our local youth towards a brighter future.

Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio
Mission: Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio serves youth through a variety of after-school and summer programs, including homework assistance, technology centers, teen centers, career exploration, job assistance, sports and recreation, art classes, and leadership development. Its mission is to inspire youth — especially those who need it most — to achieve their full potential in a safe, positive, and engaging environment that promotes education, health, and character development. Together, the Boys & Girls Clubs empower youth today to build a better tomorrow.
Membership: Children must be between 6 and 18 to be a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs. There are many membership options with varying prices. To learn more, click here.
Big event: Great Futures Annual Gala
Get involved: You can sign up here to become a volunteer for Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, or donate here

Brighton Center
Mission: Throughout San Antonio and Bexar County, Brighton Center provides developmental and educational services to children of all abilities. With a holistic, family-centered approach, the center offers enrichment and development through an inclusive early childhood education program, as well as therapy services, counseling, case management, and special education support and services.    
Big Event: Best Night Ever
Get involved: Donate here.

Mission: Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) began in 1979 when a group of U.S. Air Force pediatricians and other health professionals brought 32 children with special needs together for a weekend camp. Previously, these campers were not accepted to other camps due to the severity of their medical conditions or disabilities. Today, CAMP’s main purpose remains to help campers reach their maximum potential, and the organization has grown to serve well over 1,000 individuals with special needs every year.
Big Event: Starry Night Gala
Get involved: Donate here or email to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Mission: It is the mission of Child Advocates of San Antonio (CASA) to see that all abused and neglected youth have someone in their corner with their best interest in mind. CASA recruits, trains, and supervises court-appointed advocates who provide at-risk children with an adult they can trust. These advocates speak for the child in court and provide them with attentive care and support throughout the case.
Big Event: Gallery of Hope Gala
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

Great Hearts Academics
Mission: Great Hearts Academies is a nonprofit network of public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. A Great Hearts education prepares students to be more than just proficient test takers but to become great-hearted leaders capable of success throughout their higher education and professional careers. Great Hearts operates 28 charter schools throughout Arizona and Texas, with more schools opening soon. 
Big Event: Great Hearts Gala, for tickets and sponsorship inquiries, contact
Get involved: Donate here.

Mission: HeartGift provides lifesaving heart surgery to children from around the world where specialized medical treatment is either scarce or nonexistent. Established in June of 2000, HeartGift began its work in Austin and now has additional service locations in Dallas, Houston, Louisiana, and San Antonio. HeartGift has served over 300 children and families from 34 countries. Participating organizations offer medical diagnosis and care and sometimes travel coordination. All participating physicians and medical partners contribute 100 percent of their professional fees and services, while HeartGift staff and volunteers coordinate travel and temporary housing arrangements, meals, translator services, entertainment, and other needs for the HeartGift child and parent.
Big Event: HeartGift Heroes Golf Event
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here

Kinetic Kids, Inc
Mission: Kinetic Kids are children from all walks of life who experience challenges associated with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, autism, Asperger's syndrome, brain tumors, cancers, or other neurological disorders. The organization was established to provide health, recreational, and educational services to children and their families. Kinetic Kids offers unique experiences through physical and creative activities to children with special needs who may otherwise be excluded, and in doing so, fosters courage, self-esteem, pride, and joy.
Big Event:  Kinetic Kids EXPO & Super Summer Carnival
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

Let's Go to the Show
Mission: The mission of Let's Go to the Show is to bring hope and inspiration to abused, neglected and at-risk children by providing free access to the performing arts. They partner with Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) to provide over 600 tickets for CASA children to attend live performances at the Woodlawn Theatre, Children's Ballet of San Antonio, San Antonio Symphony, Ballet San Antonio, and The Magik Theatre. Two summer theater camp scholarships at the Woodlawn and Magik theaters are also provided. 
Get involved: Tickets range from $10 and up. You can donate here.

P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County
Mission: Since its founding in 2009, P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County has helped improve educational success for children, including kindergarten readiness, early grade reading, and high school completion. In 2018, the group expanded its mission to focus on all youth-serving institutions in Bexar County, not just educational ones, and now has a new mission to "ensure young people across Bexar County are ready for the future."
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here

San Antonio Youth Literacy
Mission: San Antonio Youth Literacy promotes the literacy skills of San Antonio's at-risk youth.
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

Silver & Black Give Back
Mission: As the nonprofit partner of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Silver & Black Give Back strives to inspire and invest in the youth of the San Antonio area to be civically minded leaders through service, sports, and grants.
Big Event: Tux 'n Tennies Gala
Get involved: Donate here or learn how to participate in one of Silver & Black Give Back's auctions, held throughout the year.

SJRC Texas
Mission: SJRC Texas, formerly known as St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, cares for children and families who have been affected by trauma, abuse, and neglect, and have been removed from their homes by the Department of Family and Protective Services. It offers a safe haven, help, and hope to begin the journey of healing.
Membership: Becoming a member of SJRC’s Benefactor Circle means being one of SJRC's most loyal individual donors and supporters and helping cover the cost of daily operations, expanding programs, and providing a solid financial base so that SJRC can continue to help children daily. 
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

Snack Pak 4 Kids     
Mission: Snack Pak 4 Kids was created to provide weekend food supplements to students, creating food security over the weekend. With the support of partners, donors, and volunteers of all ages, Snack Pak 4 Kids San Antonio works hard to be a learning enhancement tool for kids, solving their weekend hunger issue so they can learn during the school week.
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

The Children's Shelte
Mission: The Children's Center has provided a safe haven for child survivors of abuse, neglect, and abandonment in San Antonio and Bexar County since 1901. Today, The Children’s Shelter is a trauma-informed care certified organization that provides a continuum of care through its services. Services include emergency shelter and therapeutic residential treatment for children in crisis and helping children find permanent homes through treatment foster care. The center's Family Strengthening programs teach nurturing parenting skills to vulnerable families and help families overcome crises, while The Children's Center's mental health clinic provides trauma-sensitive therapeutic interventions for children impacted by maltreatment.
Big Event: Give a Piece of Your Heart Luncheon
Get involved: Donate or learn how to volunteer here.

Thrive Youth Center
Mission: The mission of Thrive Youth Center is to provide a safe and supportive center for homeless LGBTQ youth so they may become productive, skilled, educated, and successful adults with the opportunity to achieve their dreams. In addition to providing safe and secure housing, Thrive Youth Center provides counseling, life skills classes, and other resources to help youth develop self-sufficiency, secure and maintain employment, pursue educational goals, and secure and maintain stable housing. 
Big Event: Thrive Youth Center hosts an annual fundraiser with entertainment, food, silent auction, and trivia competition. Stay tuned for more details about this year's festivities.
Get involved: Learn how to volunteer here or for a list of donation items that Thrive is currently accepting, go here.

Mission: VIDES is a volunteer mission organization that is dedicated to education and development for youth and women in situations of poverty, marginalization, or difficulty, both in the U.S. and worldwide. VIDES provides service opportunities that build leadership skills by emphasizing the value of respect of the human person, striving for social justice, sharing oneself freely, and incorporating Christian spirituality into the rhythm of everyday living.
Membership: Through service and support, VIDES members are collaborators who share their experience, time, talent, and resources to support and carry on the organization's vision and mission of helping those in need.
Get involved: Donate here or learn how to become a VIDE volunteer mission here.