Ideas and insights > Giving Tuesday: Celebrating how JK Gives Back.

Giving Tuesday: Celebrating how JK Gives Back.

Our thought leader:

Katie DeGennaro
Katie DeGennaro
Associate Creative Director, Copy

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a day spent with loved ones, reflecting on all the things we’re thankful for. But the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a time to think about what we can give. Nationally recognized as Giving Tuesday, this day gives nonprofit organizations a chance to raise even more funds, awareness, and participation than they would on an average day.

At JK, giving back is a core part of who we are. We can’t think of a better way to honor Giving Tuesday than by sharing some of our favorite nonprofits. Read on to see which organizations our JK-ers feel passionate about. We hope you’ll join us in supporting them!


Nominated by: Chris Milan

The Plainfield Area Humane Society (PAHS) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to find a safe, loving, and appropriate home for every homeless pet, including those with special needs or challenges. They strive to treat, heal, and provide optimal well-being for the animals placed in their care, and to create an environment where their animals receive love, respect, and attention.

My family adopted our first cat from PAHS in the 80s; more recently, my husband and I adopted two cats who had each been there for 4+ years. Although they operate on a shoestring budget, they do an amazing job of finding every animal a forever home.

Donate to Plainfield Area Humane Society >

22q family

Nominated by: Sharon Weresow

22q11.2 Deletion syndrome or 22q (aka: DiGeorge syndrome) is a disorder caused by a small missing piece of the 22nd chromosome. It is the second most common genetic disorder behind Down’s syndrome, yet most have never heard of it! It is often times not diagnosed for years, because each person diagnosed with 22q presents a unique set of the possible 180+ symptoms. The 22Q + You Center is an internationally recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of children with this disorder.

My oldest son, Ayden, was born with an interrupted aortic arch and diagnosed with 22Q. At 6-days old, Ayden had open heart surgery and was referred to the 22Q + You Center at CHOP. They’ve since provided specialty doctors and therapy support for him.

Donate to 22Q and You Center >

Mini Horse Heroes

Nominated by: Kate Goushy

Mini Horse Heroes is an outreach program of the Kenneth Tietjen Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization to honor Port Authority Police Officer Kenny Tietjen, lost on September 11th. Mini Horse Heroes has become an important part of the mission to provide relief to veterans, children, and adults experiencing trauma, and to provide educational and mentoring programs to high-risk children, as well as comfort those dealing with life threatening illnesses.

The family that started it are friends who give everything in memory of their lost brother, son and husband to carry on his mission of always looking out for others—and everyone knows I love horses and helping people!

Donate to Mini Horse Heroes >

Oligo Nation

Nominated by: Chloe Orr

Oligo Nation is a non-profit that raises money for oligodendroglioma research, a rare form of brain cancer. There is little to no research funding put towards oligo. Oligo Nation is driven by the urgent need in our community for new treatments now. There hasn’t been a new treatment approved for oligo in 20 years. Oligo is currently an incurable disease and the chances that it will recur and eventually progress are very high, which is why research into new treatments is so critical.

In 2010, my mom was diagnosed with grade 3 oligodendroglioma, and as a result I might have a genetic predisposition for developing it. I’ve seen first hand how difficult it was for her and my family, and Oligo Nation wants to change that experience for others.

Donate to Oligo Nation >


Nominated by: Jeff Miele

TDF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone.

Not only do I believe theater is the pinnacle of art, but also that it’s a vital part of NYC’s economy. TDF supports many productions each year by making theater accessible, engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance.

Donate to TDF >


Nominated by: Sarah Freid and Allison Kroepfl

Tabby’s Place is a cage-free sanctuary that provides refuge to cats in hopeless situations. They fill a unique niche in the animal welfare sector by rescuing cats in the most desperate situations, regardless of age, temperament, or most medical issues. Most of their cats go on to be adopted, but those who aren’t find a loving home for life at Tabby’s Place. Located in Ringoes, NJ, the sanctuary is currently home to over 100 residents and is expanding soon to include, “Quinn’s Corner”. The addition will house cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and neonatal kittens.

From Sarah: I have been volunteering my time at Tabby’s Place for the past seven years and have witnessed firsthand the love and devotion that is poured into the organization. Tabby’s Place is truly one-of-a-kind, offering a safe haven to those who otherwise would never have a chance. They are an inspiration to me and all who love and want to help animals.

From Allison: Prior to the pandemic, I worked as a volunteer at Tabby’s place. It was an amazing experience and they are truly making an impact in the community.

Donate to Tabby’s Place >


Nominated by: Katie DeGennaro

Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their vision is to see “A world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia®.” They provide care and support both nationally & locally for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. They also are the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, and advocate at the state and federal level for more research and care initiatives.

The research and resources this charity provides is so important. My grandpa had early onset Alzheimer’s, and didn’t recognize any of us by the time he was 70. I would love to live in a world where no one else has to experience that ever again.

Donate to the Alzheimer’s Association >

Embrace Kids

Nominated by: Barbara Kaulius

Embrace Kids Foundation exists to lighten the burden and improve the quality of life for families whose children are facing cancer, sickle cell and other serious health challenges.  Embrace Kids addresses the spiritual, emotional, and financial needs of patient families in the New Jersey/New York City metropolitan area.

Jerry and I have been involved with Embrace Kids for over 30 years. We even got to help name them! We have seen firsthand the joy on the faces of the children and their families when we have been able to help them through this difficult time.


Donate to Embrace Kids >

Thank you for reading about and supporting the nonprofits that matter to our JK family. JK Gives Back is just one of the great things about our culture. If you’d like to learn more, visit our culture page.

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