Year end giving

During the holiday season and going into the New Year, many of you will be considering where to make your year end gifts.  Inspired by my friend Dan (who I often think is inside my brain), I thought I would share with you a few organizations I have worked with in one capacity or another, either through my consulting work, or as a volunteer.  I have seen that these organizations have a commitment to excellence, to being good stewards of the resources so generously invested in them and truly make an impact in the lives of those they serve.  In the interest of full disclosure, some of the organizations have paid me at one time or another, but I am not currently under contract with them and all thoughts here come from my observations of them first hand.

Project Hope School Foundation

The foundation supports the school (go figure).  They have a different model than many programs but having had the chance to spend time with the kids, heard from graduates and hang out with the staff, I can say, the model is strong.  Homeless and at risk kids get an education from people who understand the unique struggles that they go through.  Families get support and advice.  They were recently featured in a documentary on kids living in motels that was aired all summer on HBO that I would strongly suggest you take a look at.

Renewing Hearts

With focus on the hurting, abandoned, broken, addicted and an innovative model, this small local (in Orlando, Florida) to rally therapists and other mental health professionals around the country to help just one pro bono or reduced fee client.  They hope to serve as a clearing house to make sure that clients receive top notch care and service providers don’t have to take non stop calls from people looking for free services.  They are in the early planning stages of how this system will be implemented but continue to provide reduced fee and free services at their center in Orlando as well as through a network of other non profits and churches in the region.

Laundry Love Santa Ana

They work with the homeless and at risk community throughout Santa Ana.  They provide laundry services, but more importantly, they provide an fun and friendly environment where those dealing with the crushing emotional toll of poverty can enjoy themselves for a little while and can connect with people from various Orange County businesses, non profits and the faith community.  In doing so they provide many opportunities that arise organically from job offerings to service connections to new found friendships.

Salem Christian Homes

They provide residential care facilities to those with disabilities.  While this is cause generally only supported by families of those affected and government agencies, this organization really impressed me.  The focus on empowering an often written off and forgotten community.  The idea that no matter ones background they should be pushed to reach their full potential.  The level of passion viewed as I worked with the staff.  I was floored by this organization in a way I really was not expecting.  I think that with the right budget invested in the advocacy and awareness side of their organization they can dramatically impact how the world views people who have disabilities.

Give well. Give often.

Giving is good for the soul.  It is good for society.  The organizations here are a great start.  I believe they have a ton of potential and that they operate at a high standard of integrity.  Who are your favorite organizations?  Anyone we should have on radar?

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