5 Nonprofits We Love to Support In & Around the Bay Area

Supporting nonprofits is something very close to my heart. My philosophy on philanthropy is pretty simple: give with no expectations. I know that not all people in our community, country and world are as fortunate as I have been. Too many people are raised in broken homes, are born on “the wrong side of tracks,” as the saying goes, live with disabilities that hinder their growth, and some people live in countries that offer absolutely no opportunity at all. 

Giving back is my way of thanking life for all the opportunities I have been offered. I’ve had the ability to make a good living, receive incredible love and support from my family, get a higher education, and pursue my dreams. From living in Baghdad, a land with no opportunities, to relocating to the land of opportunity — I would say Mother Earth has been kind to me in so many ways! 

So I give with gratitude in my heart and the hopes of improving the lives of others however I can. If something comes back in return, whether a smile, a thank you, or even an inner feeling that you did something good, that’s purely an added bonus.

In this spirit, I want to share 5 of the nonprofits that Douglah Designs and I love to support. I’ll also include some information about how to get involved if you’re interested! Come take a look…

1. Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE)

LPIE is a community-based foundation for education. It’s run by a board and small staff who work to enhance and expand the educational opportunities for students in Lafayette’s six public schools. They aim to support and enrich the education of every child by funding instruction in art, science, music, writing, and social studies. 

I strongly believe that educating our youth is the means to a vibrant and successful future – a future that encompasses compassion, awareness and a better understanding of our world at large. I often ponder what our world would look like if every child had access to a good education, and if the education they received supported high moral values.

While I can’t make that dream come true all on my own, I will certainly do my part and more on a local and global level to progress toward this vision. I can’t think of a better organization than LPIE to assist in making this dream a reality.


LPIE Derby annual event; Douglah Designs main event sponsor. 

How to get involved:

This wonderful foundation takes annual direct donations, or you can sponsor their events. Go here for more info.

2. The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer-based organization serving the interests of the business community with an ongoing commitment to the City of Lafayette. Their mission is to promote and maintain a healthy business climate and to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Lafayette.

Not only have I owned a business in Lafayette for over 24 years, but I have also lived here for well over 28. I love the city that I live in! Being part of the chamber has allowed me to connect with the community on a deeper level and be at the forefront of new projects coming to town. Being a Chamber member allows me to take an active role in shaping the future of Lafayette, the future of the town I love and call my home. 

How to get involved:

Visit the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce website to join us!

3. Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County 

Shelter Inc. rebuilds lives one family at a time by helping them re-establish a home and assisting with the skills and resources needed to live the life they deserve. I admire their holistic approach to serving this community, as affordability is only one factor that results in homelessness. Education, training, counseling, and goal planning are vital to the success of regaining and maintaining a home and new lifestyle.

Shelter Inc. is particularly close to my heart because I have seen how their efforts have made a great impact on our community over the past few years. 


Shelter Inc. fundraising event at our showroom. Hike for Shelter event. Douglah Designs presenting sponsor. 

How to get involved:

The best way to support Shelter Inc. is to participate in their events or organize fundraisers. We’ve hosted a few at our showroom with all the proceeds going to the foundation. During the last fundraiser we hosted, we were able to raise over $12,000 in one evening! Learn more about getting involved here.

4. Lafayette Juniors

Lafayette Juniors is a nonprofit organization of local women who come together to raise funds and offer service in support of other nonprofits that serve children, families and seniors in need throughout Contra Costa and the broader San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past 21 years, the Lafayette Juniors – through the dedication of members and the generosity of partners, sponsors and participants – have raised over $865,000 for more than 50 Bay Area nonprofit groups!

Their diverse membership includes educators, stay-at-home mothers, executives, artists, attorneys, financial advisors and entrepreneurs. They also host fun events, including their Kitchen Tour event that I’ve been attending for years.

How to get involved:

You can check out their local fundraisers, donate to their causes, or become a member here.

5. Habitat for Humanity 

Habitat for Humanity partners with people in our community, and all over the world, to help build or improve a place they can call home. The Habitat homeowners will help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. I also love that they are supported toward achieving the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families. 


Douglah Designs builds at Habitat Walnut Creek (left). Habitat for Humanity, Thailand build trip (right).

As a way of supporting the foundation, I have participated in several Habitat builds, both personally and with the Douglah Design team. I actually spent 2 weeks in Thailand on a Global Village trip helping rebuild homes in a small village after the tsunami. 

How to get involved:

You can go to Habitat for Humanity’s website here to donate or volunteer for projects near you.

That makes 5! I hope these have struck a chord with you, or maybe even inspired you to think about your own passions and how you could get involved in your community. Whether you choose to give your time or your financial support, I firmly believe that every little bit goes a long way. Together, we can work toward a better future.


Leila Douglah