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For Giving Tuesday, five L.A.-based charities worth your dollars

For Giving Tuesday, five L.A.-based charities worth your dollars
A formerly homeless woman hugs the CEO of the Downtown Women's Center in her new room at their downtown location. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Your wallet's had a workout this week.

Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, your holiday shopping should be done by now. (And if not, you've still got 24 days before Christmas.)

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The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been designated for a somewhat less materialistic cause: Giving Tuesday. Since 2012, nonprofit organizations have urged people to get into the true spirit of the holidays by donating to a charity -- and posting about it on social media (obviously) with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

For this Giving Tuesday, we wanted to put together a list of ideas for charities that focus on philanthropy in the Los Angeles area. Each of these charities is rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator, an independent website that evaluates how nonprofits use donated money.

Cause: Homelessness

Organization: Downtown Women's Center

What it does: Homelessness has reached critical levels in Los Angeles. The Downtown Women's Center is on skid row and provides housing, a health center, a day shelter and other community services for homeless women.

Cause: Animals

Organization: The Lange Foundation

What it does: The Lange Foundation rescues dogs, cats and horses from overcrowded public animal shelters. Since the nonprofit was founded in 1993, it has placed more than 25,000 pets in new homes.

Cause: Culture

Organization: The Los Angeles Conservancy

What it does: The Los Angeles Conservancy advocates for the preservation of historic buildings in L.A. County. It offers walking tours and other forms of education about the landmarks, landscapes, structures and neighborhoods.

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Cause: Education

Organization: The Library Foundation of Los Angeles

Website: lfla.org

What it does: Support your local public library! Or at the very least, support this organization that does. The Library Foundation of Los Angeles works in concert with the public library system to create programs for students and underprivileged youths, adult literacy initiatives and efforts to digitize the library's archives to preserve them for the future.

Cause: Environment

Organization: Wildcoast

Website: wildcoast.net

What it does: Love the beach? This organization is dedicated to the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. It has helped preserve more than 17,000 acres of Marine Protected Areas around Southern California.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter @jessica_roy.

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