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Holiday Cheer for Charity: Vote, help a charity win $20K

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

It's time to open hearts and open pocketbooks to give a group of Metro Detroit nonprofits a holiday boost. The Detroit News is holding its Holiday Cheer for Charity competition and the newspaper will give $20,000 to the nonprofit with the most votes at the end.

Eleven nonprofits make up this year's field for the first round of the contest, now in its fifth year. Go to to vote and to share with others.

The nonprofits are:

Alternatives for Girls: An organization that helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, pregnancy, exploitation as well as assists them access support services and resources needed to make positive choices. Facebook | Twitter 

Coalition on Temporary Shelter: Founded in 1982, the group works to serve Detroit's homeless and offers emergency shelter, transitional housing and support services to homeless men, women and children. Facebook | Twitter

Detroit Dog Rescue: A group that works to raise awareness about Detroit's forgotten, homeless and stray dogs. It advocates for humane rescue alternatives and assists police departments and residents with stray dogs. Facebook | Twitter

Detroit PAL: An organization that works with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers to offer sports, academic enrichment and leadership development programs to Detroit children. Facebook | Twitter

Freedom House Detroit: A nonprofit that provides temporary homes and a lifelong community to people from around the world fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the U.S. It also offers legal aid as well as medical and mental health care. Facebook | Twitter 

LEAD Foundation: A nonprofit that helps communities through youth development programs, community service, educational services in addition to a leadership academy and scholarship assistance program. Facebook | Twitter

Life Remodeled: A nonprofit that works to revitalize Detroit neighborhoods by repurposing former school buildings into "opportunity hubs," repairing owner-occupied homes and mobilizing volunteers for beautification projects. Facebook | Twitter

Mercy Education Project: Its mission is to provide women and girls with limited access to resources the tools for educational equity, economic stability and mobility; and cultural enrichment opportunities. Facebook | Twitter

Mittens for Detroit: A group that collects, buys and distributes new pairs of mittens and gloves for children, teens, and adults in need in Detroit and other nearby underserved cities. Since 2010, it has collected and distributed more than 250,000 pairs. Facebook | Twitter 

Ruth Ellis Center: A nonprofit that provides lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning — LGBTQ+ — youth with outreach and safety-net services, skill-building workshops and HIV prevention programs. Facebook

Southwest Solutions: Its objective is to enhance Detroiters' quality of life through 40 programs, including mental health counseling, housing, real estate and commercial development, job training, financial coaching, literacy and food distribution. Facebook | Twitter

Readers who are 18 and older will narrow the field by voting for their favorite charity at They can vote once a day each day of the first round, which kicks off at noon Wednesday and ends at noon on Dec. 1.

The top five vote-getters advance to the second and final round, which begins at noon Dec. 8. and ends at noon Dec. 22.

In the last round, each contestant calls for donations to be made through the online fundraising platform Donations are a minimum of $10. Each donated dollar counts as a vote and the finalists keep the money they raise, but the charity with the most votes also wins the $20,000 grand prize.

Readers are also encouraged to show their support for their favorite contestant on social media and tag The Detroit News in their posts. 

Last year, more than 12,600 votes were cast in the first round and more than $78,000 was raised in the competition. Long-term mental health facility Rose Hill Center in Holly won the $20,000 prize after raising almost $43,000 in donations.

For information on how to participate in this year's contest, log on to