Giving back to the Community this Holiday Season
Now that the holiday season is underway, we often think about giving to those we care about, but it is also a great time to give to those in need. Opportunities to donate to charity during this annual time of giving are bountiful. The telltale red pail and bell ringing makes the Salvation Army hard to miss and as we naturally think of children during this time, Toys for Tots is a standard for organization and individual giving.
We volunteer our time each year to help out the community. Keller Williams Realty has REDDAY each year where we take the day off from the day to day real estate business and give back to our community. We have donated our time and efforts at a couple of these including Veterans, Inc and Why Me, Inc.
While most of us can immediately think of many national charities, we must not forgot about local organizations who need help. If you want your contributions to have a more local reach, here is a list of some organizations throughout Worcester County that would welcome donations and volunteers.
African Community Education Program
Mission: To assist African refugee and immigrant youth and families in achieving educational and social stability through access to academic support, leadership development, cultural expression and community outreach in Worcester, MA. The vision of African Community Education is a community where African refugees and immigrant youth and families are empowered, self-sufficient and secure.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 90 students and their families!
Programs: After-School Tutoring Saturday Program After-School Tutoring Mentoring for Empowerment and Exchange (MEE) Parent Outreach Summer Reading Program Workforce Development Program Mentoring Program Family Literacy Program
For more information, visit www.acechildren.org
Mission: To end homelessness among veterans and to be there for our veterans and their families in their time of need. Since 1990, we have helped over 60,000 veterans in need and today operate offices and programs in all six New England states.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, we helped over 3,000 veterans and their family members
Programs: Emergency, Transitional, and Permanent Housing, Job Training and Employment Services, Health and Wellness Programs, Case Management, Preventative Healthcare, Outreach, Access to Food and Clothing, and Supportive Services ranging from Transportation to Temporary Financial Assistance.
For more information, visit www.veteransinc.org
Why Me, Inc.
Mission: To help Central New England families cope with childhood cancer. Why Me is not affiliated with any national organization. All funds are raised directly by the Why Me organization and no funding comes from our hospital partners.
Programs: All assistance and services are offered to the whole family, completely free of charge. All assistance and support is tailor made to best serve the immediate and long-term needs of each child and family.
For more information, visit www.whyme.org
Seven Hills Foundation
Mission: To provide comprehensive support for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The Seven Hills Foundation traces its roots to Worcester Area ARC, which was founded in 1950 by parents of children with developmental disabilities. It grew, over three and a half decades, to become a comprehensive agency addressing the residential, educational, vocational, and recreational needs of people with developmental disabilities.
Programs: As one of New England’s most comprehensive human service agencies, the Seven Hills Foundation and affiliates offer advocacy, residential and home care, supportive living options, transportation, respite services, employment opportunities, rehabilitation and clinical services, therapeutic and social recreation programs.
For more information, visit www.sevenhills.org
These are just a few of the local opportunities to give. Many of these organizations also would welcome volunteers and/or wish list items to donate in lieu of cash donations.