When considering all the things I have to be thankful for, it gets me thinking about paying it forward. I believe that sharing your blessings with those in need keeps positive energy flowing in the world. I know that probably sounds a little cheesy, but that’s me! I’ve written about 5 organizations whose mission and work I find to be truly remarkable. If any appeal to you, please click on the links to learn more and see how you can get involved. When the weather gets cold our hearts get warmer!
1. The American Red Cross is one of the many organizations aiding the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. They have 2 programs in place. One distributes relief items, repairs and rebuilds shelters, provides healthcare and ensures access to clean water and sanitation systems. The second helps families connect with their loved ones who are unreachable due to the destruction of telecommunication systems. If you would like to donate to this cause click here.
My connection: This organization has been present in my life as long as I can remember. From blood drives in high school to fundraising for victims of the Joplin tornado, I always feel my contribution is utilized effectively.
2. The Covering House was started in St. Louis in 2008. Its mission is to provide refuge and restoration for girls who have experienced exploitation or trafficking. As stated on their Facebook page,The Covering House provides a secure shelter and all-inclusive care for girls who are victims of exploitation and trafficking. When rescued, an extensive needs’ assessment is conducted. Each girl receives a comprehensive customized plan to help provide healing, instill self-worth, and the necessary components to rebuild her life. Donations and volunteer service are welcome.
My connection: A friend who volunteers with The Covering House invited me to fundraising event last winter, a clothing swap (so much fun-I’ll be sure and post when it is coming up!), and since then have been following their Facebook page and learning a great deal. This is an issue that I was not aware of and I applaud their efforts to tackle it head on and raise awareness. Bravo!
3. Gateway 180 is the largest 24-hour emergency housing organization in Missouri. Their mission is to provide a valuable resource for women and children experiencing the unimaginable burden of homelessness. Gateway 180 will provide safe, nurturing emergency shelter services and offer supportive housing services that empower individuals to become independent and permanently housed. Donations and volunteers are needed. Check out their Fresh Start Program and Facebook page. Right now Gateway 180 needs the following items to help the families escaping the cold:
- Food (Click here for their food wishlist)
- Underclothes and Socks (Kids and adult sizes are needed, and we request these items still be in their packages.)
- Gift Cards to Aldi, Walmart, Schnucks, Target or JC Penney for purchases for the shelter or assist individual client needs.
- Personal Hygiene Items (Sanitary Napkins • Body Wash • Deodorant • Baby wipes • Baby Lotion • Diapers Diaper Cream • Toothpaste • Toilet Paper • Laundry Detergent)
My connection: A friend recently took a position with this organization and since then I have been following them on Facebook. I’ve learned so much about the incredible work they do. I’ve started a bag for the Fresh Start program I mentioned above.
4. Bridge Bread is a social entrepreneurship initiative designed to provide job opportunities for guests of The Bridge. The goal of the initiative is to help disadvantaged guests engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity and enables the guests to help themselves. Click here to donate to this cause.
My connection: After tasting some of this delicious bread, I was hooked! We’ve got some in our freezer and when it runs out I will stock up again. I think it tastes so good because I know how much love goes into it. Yum!
5. The United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. They have 3 goals: improve education, help people achieve financial stability, and promote healthy lives. If you live in the St.Louis area, please consider supporting the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Click here to watch a video explaining how this organization helps people in STL. Your contribution or involvement will directly impact people in your community.
My connection: I work for one of the many agencies in St. Louis that the United Way funds. My husband and I have also donated for several years. As you click through their website, you will be humbled by the stories you read and success the United Way has delivered.
I know money and time are hard to come by when you have a family. I struggle with it frequently. But I really want my children to grow up with a sense of charity and compassion so I try to make an effort to share this with them. How do you do this with your family? What organizations do you support?