Founded in 2012, the U.S. National Day of Giving—known as Giving Tuesday—was created to inspire support of causes close to your heart. And if you live with vitiligo or know someone with this condition, supporting vitiligo research, advocacy or community efforts might be just that.
The idea is simple enough—Giving Tuesday is founded on the belief that everyone has the ability to contribute to building a better world. And that every single act of generosity counts, no matter how small or big. Giving can take any form, whether it’s giving of your time, money or voice. Perhaps it’s smiling at a stranger, hosting a fundraiser or supporting a friend going through a hard time.
So what does this look like for vitiligo? The good news is that today there is more being done for the vitiligo community than ever before—with groundbreaking FDA approved treatments, advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and celebrities openly raising awareness for vitiligo.
That said, there is still a significant amount of support needed for those living with this chronic autoimmune condition. What’s not breaking headlines in the media is the harsher reality that there are many people suffering from life with vitiligo—from depression to social alienation and more. It’s the adult who is scared to leave their home without makeup; it’s the child being bullied at school and online; it’s the lawmakers who don’t understand the need for funding vitiligo research or rewriting insurance policies for coverage of treatments. And this is why supporting the research, advocacy and community efforts within the vitiligo community is so vital.
Here’s a guide to ways to give to the vitiligo community on Giving Tuesday and every day. You’ll find a number of nonprofits and other organizations supporting research and local communities, along with ways to donate your time and voice to vitiligo. Join the movement and give to the vitiligo community by supporting the work of these research and community support organizations. And remember, every single act of generosity counts.
Give to vitiligo research
Did you know that vitiligo still doesn’t have a cure? Or that the first FDA-approved treatment for repigmentation of vitiligo only recently became available in 2022? There is still much to learn more about vitiligo and its impact on those living with the condition—and funding for research and treatments is essential to making that happen. Here are some of the organizations leading that effort today.
Vitiligo Research Foundation
Founded in 2010, the Vitiligo Research Foundation (VRF) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to developing effective treatments for vitiligo by transcending national borders by funding and instigating vitiligo research across the world. To date, the VRF has launched and funded the World Vitiligo Day campaign to increase awareness of vitiligo, created a networked Vitiligo BioBank and a bio-IT system Vitiligo CloudBank to support research, conducted master classes on vitiligo in eleven countries and educated over three thousand doctors, and published over 50 articles, reviews and other papers in seven languages. Donations fuel the VRF’s mission, enabling groundbreaking research and innovations to transform vitiligo from a challenge into history. Donate now.
Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School
The Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School is committed to improving the lives of those who have vitiligo through advocacy, support, diagnosis, treatment, and research in vitiligo. The center’s work has supported the FDA-approval of Opzelura for vitiligo, treatment coverage by insurance payers, and new treatments currently in testing. The process of discovery in vitiligo requires time, dedication, training, and resources–a lot of resources. Contributions, small and large, enable the center to pursue important leads that may result in the next new treatment and, someday, a cure for vitiligo. Donate now.
Give to vitiligo patient advocacy organizations
Both in the U.S. and abroad, there are leading organizations that are contributing to advancements in research while also driving efforts around patient support and education. Within these organizations, you’ll find scientific symposiums for dermatologists but also patient live chat services and digital magazines.
Global Vitiligo Foundation
The Global Vitiligo Foundation (GVF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an international group of researchers, physicians and advocates with a mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with vitiligo through education, research, clinical care, and community support. The GVF’s efforts include support for three major events each year—the U.S. World Vitiligo Day celebration, the GVF Annual Scientific Symposium and the Vitiligo International Symposium (VIS). Contributions advance research, treatment, and advocacy efforts led by the GVF. Donate now.
While not located in the U.S., the Vitiligo Society is a UK charity established in 1985 that supports those living with vitiligo by providing education and support for those with vitiligo, and by advocating for vitiligo and contributing to the latest research. The society features a robust educational website, virtual support group meetings, live chat services and a member-only online magazine called VitLife. Donate now.
American Vitiligo Research Foundation
Founded in 1995 and based in Clearwater, Florida, the American Vitiligo Research Foundation (AVRF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides public awareness about vitiligo through education and community support. Each year, AVRF hosts an annual retreat for children with vitiligo and their families with the goal of helping children understand that they are “okay just the way they are.” Donate now.
Vitiligo Support International
Founded in 2004, Vitiligo Support International (VSI) is a 501(c)(3) vitiligo patient advocacy organization with over 60,000 registered members from over 200 countries. Long known for its patient outreach, support, and advocacy, VSI serves the vitiligo patient community and its stakeholders by offering a comprehensive resource of vitiligo education, research, and awareness information, to which the millions of vitiligo patients, their families, physicians, and the general public can turn. Donate now.
Give to vitiligo support groups
Living with vitiligo can be incredibly isolating, with significantly detrimental mental and social impacts. That’s why the work of local vitiligo support groups is so critical—these organizations are directly supporting those with vitiligo in local communities through networking, education and even advocacy and awareness efforts. These organizations are the heart and soul of support for those living with vitiligo—and need funding to continue this vital work.
VStrong Vitiligo Support Community
VStrong is a Detroit, Michigan-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to education, awareness and mental support for those living with vitiligo. Since 2007, VStrong has registered more than 200 people living with vitiligo. The organization offers in person and virtual meetings and is focused on providing education, advocating for vitiligo and working with researchers to promote the scientific advancement of vitiligo. Donations help VStrong advance its goals. Donate now.
Beautifully Unblemished Vitiligo Support Group, Inc.
Founded in 2017, Beautifully Unblemished Vitiligo Support Group (BUVSG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit serving central and south Florida. BUVSG’s mission is to increase public awareness of Vitiligo as well as offer support services to patients and their families through education, healthcare, and resources. The organization provides quarterly meetings for adults and youth, in addition to signature events like Mind My Skin, focused on mental health for individuals living with a skin disorder, and the Annual Vitiligo Awareness Walk. Donations provide essential funding for awareness campaigns, support programs and resources. Financial contributions also help sustain day-to-day operations, ensuring that our organization can continue making a positive impact on the vitiligo community. Donate now.
VITFriends is a national vitiligo support group and 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to raising public awareness and offering education about vitiligo. With more than 12 locations around the U.S., VITFriends works to enhance the quality of life for members through programming, community and education. Donations support operations for VITFriends, including children and teen programming, as well as financial assistance for those who need it to attend the annual U.S. World Vitiligo Day conference. Donate now.
Founded in 2017, the Litty Ligo Vitiligo Community Network is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the black and brown experience of living with vitiligo. With seven U.S. locations, Litty Ligo curates programs, workshops, events and more to connect millions of people living with vitiligo with resources to improve quality of living and care. Donations help fund the numerous yearly Litty Ligo programs supporting those with vitiligo. Donate now.
Other ways to give
Beyond donations, you can also give your time or your voice to the vitiligo community. Giving doesn’t have to be complicated—it can be as simple as offering a smile, giving a “like” on Instagram, wearing a t-shirt, volunteering or sharing your story. Here are some donation-free ways to support the vitiligo community on Giving Tuesday and every day:
- Shop and wear a vitiligo t-shirt.
- Smile at someone who has vitiligo.
- Buy a children’s book about vitiligo (Bonus: Donate books to your local school or offer to read a book to a classroom.)
- Ask your friend/family member with vitiligo how they are doing and simply listen.
- Reach out to your local vitiligo support group and offer to volunteer.
- “Like” a post of someone you know with vitiligo on Instagram. (Bonus: Give them some positive words in the comments!)
- Offer to join a vitiligo support group with your friend/family member with vitiligo.
- Share your story with Living Dappled or a local media outlet.
Do you know of a non-profit or other organization supporting the vitiligo community that should be on this list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.