Children's charitiesThe nicest thing about our recent XBox 360 giveaway was seeing all the fabulous local children’s charities that you wanted your second XBox donated to should you win. The lucky winner was reader Marcela W (Go Marcela!) along with her charity, Ann Arbor’s Ele’s Place which helps grieving children coping with death or life-threatening illnesses of family and friends. (We kind of get a catch in our throats just thinking about it.)

But we thought there were winners in all the lesser-known organizations who got a little recognition on our Facebook Fan Page. So we wanted to give a few of them a shout-out here, to shine a light on some needy charities that don’t necessarily get the funding and attention of all the the big dot-orgs out there – and some of our awesome readers whose hearts are so big, we only wish we had an XBox to give to each of you.

From Cynthia G: The Roots of Music which offers free music education and academic mentoring to kids in New Orleans, but is desperately struggling for funding.

Roots of MusicFrom Lizz S: One Heartland offers local camps and other programs to support kids whose lives are affected by AIDS.

From Ashley S: The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter, which provides emergency residential care to kids around the clock.

From Delaine H and Karen H: The Cancer Center at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta which treats more than 350 new patients a year.

From Jamie Y: Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, a community rehabilitation program for children with intellectual disabilities.

Jonathan H: Kulture Klub Collaborative, an arts program in downtown Minneapolis that helps homeless teens develop and express their creativity.

From Charlene C: Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids in New England (cool even if you’re not a Red Sox fan)

From Angela S: Homes for Kids, a 20 year-old charity that helps homeless kids in the Norfolk VA area

AJ Stinger of Riley KidsFrom Jennie K: The Riley Children’s Foundation in Indiana which kids coping with illness and severe disabilities.

From Jacy C: The Primary Children’s Medical Center treating seriously ill children in Salt Lake City

From Michele L: Asian-Americans for Community Involvement in San Jose, CA which advocates for civil rights and provides services for those in need.

From Sara V: Florida’s Hibiscus Children’s Center which for more than 24 years supports children in extreme crisis and offers foster care services

From Coya W: The Rapid City Club for Boys. More than 50 years old, wow.

From Jenny B: The Jeremy Fund helping kids with cancer in the New York – New Jersey – Philadelphia area.

[photos: AACI, Roots of Music, Riley Kids]