Giving and Volunteering
DHS relies on the generosity of county residents and organizations to provide much-needed items for children, youth and less fortunate individuals. Please note, DHS is only able to accept some items at specified times of year.
Unless otherwise noted, monetary and in-kind donations should be mailed or delivered to:
Event and Donations Team/DHS/OCR
One Smithfield Street, First Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-350-3428 or EventandDonationsTeam@AlleghenyCounty.us
Year Round Opportunities
Allegheny County Music Festival Fund
This Fund, dedicated to providing life-enriching items and opportunities to children, is supported through two annual fundraisers: Allegheny County Music Festival and Candidates’ Comedy Night. Monetary donations are always welcomed. Please make checks payable to the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund.
New and gently used books for all ages are accepted for distribution to children, Senior Community Centers, CYF family visitation rooms, and others in need. See * below for items that cannot be accepted.
Find the Room in Your Heart – CYF Family Visitation Room Project
When children are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, parents and children often have supervised visits with each other at one of the CYF visitation rooms located at the five CYF regional offices. Keeping these rooms well-equipped with appropriate toys and furnishings is an ongoing challenge. Donors can help in this effort in many ways. See * below for items that can not be accepted. If you would like to donate, please contact the CYF Family Visitation Room Project through the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-421-3889.
The Holiday Project provides gifts for children who are in families receiving services through the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF), through donations from the public. There are several ways to make a donation to the Holiday Project including purchasing a gift directly for a child, coordinating a gift drive, or making a monetary donation. Accepted items: NEW, unwrapped, toys, gifts and stocking stuffers for children and youth ages birth to 18 years.
Independent Living Initiative
Donations benefit young adults who are aging out of the child welfare system and beginning their post-secondary education. Monetary donations and items that young adults might need when starting post-secondary education are welcomed. Donate items or organize a dorm-supply drive by contacting DHS-IndependentLiving@AlleghenyCounty.us .
We accept new and gently used formal attire, as listed on the Project Prom webpage, year round in anticipation of the upcoming prom season. Formal gowns, tuxedos, shoes and handbags can be dropped off in person or mailed to One Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (in the first floor lobby) from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Monetary donations are always welcomed.
Monetary donations to the Independent Living Initiative, the DHS Holiday Project, and Project Prom, can be made at any time. Please make checks payable to the “DHS Donations Fund” and include the name of the project on the memo line.
October through March only
Severe Weather Emergency Shelter (SWES) Collection Support
The SWES is open from November 15 through March 15 to accommodate homeless individuals overnight when the temperature dips below 25° F, and during a National Weather Service declared emergency weather situation.
The following items are collected for distribution through the SWES. All must be NEW or gently used.
- Hats and gloves (men's only)
- New underwear
- Ski parkas
- Sweat pants
- Sweat shirts
- Thermal underwear
Contact the Event and Donations Team at 412-350-3428 or EventandDonationsTeam@AlleghenyCounty.us for more information.
Donations DHS cannot accept
*Used items we cannot accept
If you have any of the following items in used condition, we recommend that you consider donating them to the Alliance of Nonprofit Stores. The Alliance is a partnership of nonprofit charitable agencies in Western Pennsylvania that have joined forces to form the first collaborative effort in the history of Pittsburgh’s thrift and resale shops. Proceeds from your purchases and donations support positive change throughout our communities. Our children and families still benefit from these generous donations.
- Battery-operated toys
- Clothing (except as noted above re: SWES)
- Damaged books (i.e. written in, musty odor, water damaged, etc.)
- Items with religious connotations
- Opened toiletries
- School or office supplies
- Stuffed or plush animals or dolls (Please donate them to an animal shelter.)
DHS conducts many events and support efforts throughout the year. We welcome the involvement of volunteers, both individuals and community groups, to help these programs succeed.
Unless otherwise noted, for additional information or to volunteer, please contact the Event and Donations Team at 412-350-3428 or EventandDonationsTeam@AlleghenyCounty.us.
Allegheny County Music Festival
The Allegheny County Music Festival Fund provides life-enriching items and opportunities for children receiving services from DHS or the Allegheny County Juvenile Court. Funds for these items and services are raised at the Allegheny County Music Festival, an annual benefit concert. Volunteers are needed from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to direct cars to parking spaces, collect donations from patrons and sell raffle tickets. Please allow extra travel time as traffic patterns are often slow close to start time. See above for contact information.
Embark! Mentoring of Young Adults
Young adults who are aging out of the child welfare system often do so without supports and connections to a permanent family. Mentors are always needed to donate their personal time to nurture the positive growth of a young adult. Contact JoAnn Hannah at 412-350-7153 or JoAnn.Hannah@AlleghenyCounty.us for more information.
Find the Room in Your Heart – CYF Family Visitation Room Project
When children are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, parents and children often have supervised visits with each other at one of the CYF visitation rooms located at the five CYF regional offices. Keeping these rooms welcoming is an ongoing challenge. Volunteers can help in this effort in many ways. Please contact the CYF Family Visitation Room Project through the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children at email@example.com or 412-421-3889 for more information or to volunteer.
While a stipend is provided to foster parents to help defray the costs of caring for their foster child, their reward is knowing that they have helped give a child comfort, guidance, security and a loving home.
The Holiday Project provides gifts for children who are in families receiving services through the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF), through donations from the public. Volunteers are needed to match a child's wish list to a donated gift and/or to pick up gifts from donors and deliver them to CYF regional offices throughout the county.
Join the Campaign to End Hunger
There are so many things you can do to help those in need of food. Write a check. Attend a special fund-raising event. Volunteer your time at the Food Bank. Sponsor a food drive. Take a tour of the Food Bank. Have someone from the Food Bank come speak to your class or group. For more information visit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank website or call 412-460-FOOD.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
1 North Linden Street
Duquesne, PA 15110
Having a place to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a wonderful life. Lifesharing providers live and share their home (owned or rented) with an individual diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Lifesharing providers are a diverse group and includes single people, couples and families. Together the Lifesharing provider and Lifesharing participant form a supportive and loving household. Lifesharing providers receive a stipend to help defray costs, 24-hour back-up support and training. Contact Marilyn Shiwarski at 412-253-1252 or Marilyn.Shiwarski@alleghenycounty.us.
Mentoring page from the DHS Community Referral Packet
Money In Your Pocket Coalition Tax Return Preparation Assistance
The Money In Your Pocket (MIYP) Coalition organizes teams of students and retired and current professionals in the accounting field who volunteer during tax season (mid-January through April 15) to assist low-income wage- earners recover their maximum tax refund. Volunteers receive free training and may choose to work at one of several assistance locations. Volunteers are asked to assist a minimum of three hours per week. Volunteer recruitment occurs from November through early January.
Project Prom provides formal attire to eligible high school students. Volunteers are needed to assist in organizing and maintaining the shop and to help during the giveaway.
Refugee Career Mentoring Program | Program Application
The DHS Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council has developed a Refugee Career Mentoring Program. Refugees with advanced education and work experience will be matched with mentors who are local professionals. These mentors will be their guides through a career development program, introducing them to opportunities to connect with local professionals, develop career plans, establish professional connections and contribute their skills and experience in our region. See links for prospective mentor information and application.
Mentors are being sought in the fields of engineering, health care and computer science. If you would like to volunteer as a mentor, please download the program flyer for more details. Contact Barbara Murock at 412-350-5835 or Barbara.Murock@alleghenycounty.us for more information.