OUR Clemson

Giving back: Local organizations and non-profits to help during the holiday season


Not only is the holiday season an opportunity to recharge and spend much-needed time with family and friends, but it’s also a great opportunity to help give back to the community and those in need.

Unsure of how to help? Many service organizations in the Clemson and Upstate area offer volunteer or donation opportunities. Though it is not a comprehensive list, here are a few charitable Upstate organizations and non-profits helping our community this holiday season. Additionally, consider neighbors and the elderly who may not have access to family, friends or feasts this season. Visiting nursing homes, cooking or grocery shopping for your neighbors and donating blood are other helpful ways to give back.


  • American Red Cross, Upstate South Carolina – Provides services to the residents of South Carolina including disaster relief, health and safety classes, blood collection for hospitals, and services to the armed forces.
  • Community Impact – This fund helps children in foster care and families in need during the holiday season.

Clemson Area:

  • Clemson Paw Pantry – The Paw Pantry is a community-wide movement to reduce food insecurity and promote well-being at Clemson University. The Pantry is available to any current student with a valid CUID.
  • Clemson Community Care – Helping persons in difficult circumstances with necessities such as food, shelter and utilities.
  • Helping Hands of Clemson – Foster home and emergency shelter for abused and neglected children.
  • Staff Senate Emergency Fund – The fund assists employees who are experiencing times of financial hardship due to unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable circumstances, that can create financial hardship.
  • Community Foundation of Greater Clemson – The Foundation promotes local philanthropy and volunteerism and has established long-term sources of financial and human support to address needs in the greater Clemson area.


  • Rebuild Upstate – Repairs and improves existing homes for elderly, disabled, and impoverished people.
  • Harvest Hope Food Bank – With a local branch in Greenville, this organization serves hungry people by gathering and sharing quality food with dignity, compassion, and education.
  • Meals on Wheels of Greenville – This nonprofit group provides home-delivered meals and fellowship to the homebound, elderly, and frail of Greenville County.
  • Christmas Shoes – This organization aids children six months to 18 years selected by school counselors, social workers and the organization’s team and provides them with a new pair of shoes, socks, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
  • Toys for Tots – An organization for donating toys to children in need.
  • Grace’s Closet – Now in 19 schools in Oconee County, Grace’s Closet helps students build self-confidence and succeed both in and out of school by providing basic resources such as food, clothing, school supplies and hygiene items– all free of charge. 


  • Country Santa – Collects toys for needy children across the Upstate.
  • Upstate Food Co-op – Member-owned volunteer organization that helps provide natural and organic food.

Upstate (multiple locations):

  • The Salvation Army – Addresses community needs in various community and health areas.
  • Habitat for Humanity – Habitat for Humanity works with motivated people to build decent, affordable housing sold to families in need at no profit or interest.
  • Second Chance Toys – A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 2006 to rescue and recycle plastic toys for children in need by donating them to community organizations.
  • Miracle Hill Ministries – Operates four adult homeless shelters, three children/youth homeless shelters, and eight thrift stores. It also offers residential addiction recovery programs and recruits foster care families in the Upstate.
  • Foothills Community Foundation – Donates funding to community-based organizations in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
  • Upstate Warrior Solution – Provides veterans, first responders, and their family members who live in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee counties assistance with housing, employment, mental health, benefits, family support, basic needs and more.
  • United Way (Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, Anderson) – Communities tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to boost education, economic mobility, and health resources.