Trim your tree and support these seven Pittsburgh nonprofits

These local gifts also give back to the community

by Rachel Cunningham
December 18, 2020

Trimming the Christmas Tree is one of the most fun parts of the holiday season and ornaments are one of my favorite gifts to give. I have ornaments with all sorts of different places, from different people, with different meanings.

While giving and receiving ornaments has special meaning, what can add even more meaning to the experience are ornaments that help local nonprofits raise funds. These funds are even more vital this year as so many nonprofits have taken a financial hit because of COVID-19. So, if you are into giving ornaments as gifts, here are some options that are sure to not only look great on your tree but will also work for everyone on your list.

For the History Lover

Heinz Christmas Pickle Glass Ornament

Ever heard of the Christmas pickle? Get in on this Christmas tradition with a glass Heinz pickle from the Heinz History Center, of course. Your purchase helps to support the Heinz History Center in preserving Pittsburgh’s history.


For the Community-Minded

Light of Life Rescue Mission

Sometimes people need a hand up, not a hand out which is why Light of Life Rescue Mission has been helping Pittsburgh’s homeless for years. These ornaments, which are offered each year, help to raise funds to continue to provide hot meals and shelter for those who need it most.

Overly’s Country Christmas

Overly’s Country Christmas has been a Westmoreland County staple for over 60 years. Although this year’s setup is different, you are still able to purchase the 2020 commemorative ornaments at the special pull-off sections where food and other souvenirs can be purchased. The proceeds from this ornament go toward the overall mission of Overly’s Country Christmas which is to help at-risk and disadvantaged kids.

[Be sure to read our Know Before You Go Guide to Overly’s if you are interested in checking out this holiday tradition.]

For the Arts

Pittsburgh Glass Center

Pittsburgh ornaments

The Pittsburgh Glass Center offers mosaic ornament kits. Make your own glass ornament and support the Pittsburgh Glass Center. They even have a class on YouTube to show you how to make a mosaic at home.

For the Animal Lover

Venango County Humane Society

Pittsburgh Ornaments

Some of the best pets are the ones that come from the animal shelter, which is why it is so important to support these great organizations. Venango County Humane Society, which is a no-kill animal shelter, produced ornaments through August Wendell Forge to raise funds. The proceeds of these ornaments help to fund the shelter operations.

For the Sports Fan

Ben Roethlisberger Foundation 2020 Steelers Ornament

There are two variations of this ornament: One is a snowflake, the other is the Steelers emblem. Both benefit the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation which provides K-9s to police and fire units across the United States.

2020 Annual Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation Snowflake

The 2020 Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation ornament is the first in a ten-year series and features the Penguins logo inside of a snowflake. The proceeds from this ornament benefit the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation which is committed to helping Pittsburghers, particularly children, in need through hockey.

Rachel Cunningham is a Pittsburgh-area blogger who loves to write about anything historical, quirky, or abandoned. She has written three local history books through Arcadia Publishing, with the most recent being Western Pennsylvania's Lost Amusement Parks. You can view more of her work on her blog at Third Stop on the Right. She's also a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

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