I believe that everyone of us has the ability to give. You can give money and/or you can give your time. If those are out of reach then buy a box of cookies or popcorn from scouts. Stop by the church the next time you see their youth group washing cars. And by all means, sponsor your friend when they commit to a walk-a-thon. Is all that out of reach? Support those who are volunteering. Little things can mean a lot.
If your new years resolution is to give more this year and your are looking for ideas, here are a few organizations in my home town that mean a lot to me.
As an Eagle Scout it was all but inevitable that I would donate my time and money to the Boy Scouts. There are many ways you can serve with the Greater Alabama Council. You can be a leader in one of the many units or at the district and council levels. You can support your son or daughter and help the leaders in their units. You can also support scouting by donating to the Friends of Scouting campaign or American Family Values Luncheon. And by all means, buy some popcorn or a Christmas tree or whatever your scout is selling. We make sure that kids don’t miss out on scouting due to finances. If you would like to donate or volunteer, the best way is to start by calling the council office and asking how you can help. You can always email me and I will point you in the right direction.
Community Furniture Bank
The Community Furniture Bank is a non-profit organization that specializes in the pickup, storage, and delivery of donated furniture, appliances, and other household goods. The furniture and goods that you donate go straight to a family in need. These families may have been homeless and are trying to get back on their feet. A place to sit and sleep and clean sheets can make a big difference to a family who didn’t have these things. If you don’t have furniture they take donations as well. I am a big fan of this group and their mission.
Homewood City Schools Foundation
I am lucky to have attend Homewood Schools and even luckier that my children go there as well. The Foundation provides financial support for educational programs and technology at all five Homewood schools. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization led by parents, business owners and community leaders who are committed to making our school system the best it can be. They fund programs and grants that support “out of the box” thinking and bring new ideas and concepts into our classrooms.
The Exceptional Foundation serves mentally and physically challenged individuals in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama area by targeting social and recreational objectives not met by educational institutions or the community at large. When individuals with special needs turn 21 they can no longer find opportunities for social interaction within the school system. The Exceptional Foundation provides a place where these individuals can enjoy social and recreational activities just like the rest of us. I can’t express how great this program is. My experience with them is working with their Boy Scout Troop. Visit them online to find ways you can support them.
Every day after school and even in the summer, my children attend the extended day program (EDP). A day doesn’t go by when I am picking up my child that another child is upset that their parent didn’t let them stay until it ended at 6 pm. EDP gives parents a place for their children until they can be picked up after work. It costs to attend this program and Project Homewood was started to raise funds so that families in Homewood could continue to send their children to EDP.
I encourage you to support these great organizations or whichever ones are near and dear to your heart. 2015 is going to be a great year.
“13318-Extraordinary Leadership-Habitat for Humanity-5087” by Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography, via Flickr, is licensed under CC BY 2.0