As our charitable acts continue into the month of December, so does my goal to help you connect to a cause. In the spirit of making lists around the holidays, I’ve created a list of 10 community-based organizations that are great places to support.
While there are many worthy causes beyond this list, these suggestions all offer services that are particularly relevant in 2010, and all carry a unique capacity for citizens to get involved.
Furthermore, I have selected them for their commitment to create local impact in our community, and their viability to be successful in carrying out their mission.
10. Operation Homefront Georgia: Our military families are adapting to a new normal – one centered on sustaining a lifestyle of active duty for more than nine years. Especially around this time of year, the support of our soldiers and their loved ones is needed. www.operationhomefront.net/georgia
9: One Love Generation: A unique grassroots program that empowers Atlanta’s youth to inspire positive social change through art, service and awareness. onelovegeneration.org
8. Partnership Against Domestic Violence: One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. PADV works to end the crime of intimate partner violence and empower its survivors. Everyone deserves love and peace around the holidays and all year-round. www.padv.org
7. Safe Haven 4 Pets: For all the animal lovers out there, this is the pick for you. www.safehavenforpets.org
6. VOX Communication: I think we can all greet it has been a tough year for our teens. VOX is dedicated to giving teens the skills and resources to raise their voices about issues that matter. I also appreciate community it creates for youth to build critical life skills such as compassion, empathy and self-efficacy. www.voxrox.org
5. Kate’s Club: Come on, it had to make the list. One in 20 children are navigating the holidays with grief apart of their life, coping with the loss of mom or dad during this time of year is particularly challenging. Kate’ Club offers special programming for these families over the holidays at no charge. www.katesclub.org
4. Trees Atlanta: Trees are such a symbol of celebration around the holidays; let’s make sure we continue to plant more so our traditions can continue. www.treesatlanta.org
3. CURE Childhood Cancer: For advocates and activists this is a great organization to support as it sets out to end pediatric cancers through research and education. www.curechildhoodcancer.org
2. Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency: This past spring, the Samaritan House of Atlanta merged with the Atlanta Enterprise Center to form this new entity that carries the mission to break the cycle of homelessness by enabling people to transform their lives through sustainable employment and income. During these tough times, our neighbors need our support more than ever and ACSS is providing the tools for individuals to build themselves back up in life and in spirit. atlantacss.org
1. _____________: The blank is for you to fill in your favorite cause. My number one cause for you to support this holiday season is the one most important to your own life. I just encourage you to do something to help others.
Even if you are in the midst of a tough time in life, and giving is the last thing you would think to do, I am encouraging you to do so. It will bring amazing joy to someone else this holiday season, while bringing joy into your life as well.
For more information about Kate Atwood and her nonprofit, visit www.katesclub.org.