There are many non-profits in the area where I live that I have been privileged enough to be a part of, many whose purpose is to serve and make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities. Because of my son, these are the organizations that are close to my heart. I have made many friends in these circles and being a part of these organizations has made me a better person. I think many of us that have children with special needs find that where we find our support networks are within organizations that share the struggles with raising a child with special needs. Are the organizations that impact you non-profits?
I am finding that many of the non-profits in our area are all facing similar struggles. A non-profit is only as strong as its volunteers. The word volunteer can seem overwhelming to many of us who are trying to spend all of our time getting help for our children, but it doesn’t have to be that way. What type of help does your local non-profit need? Well, they all need money but when we are already struggling trying to afford care, how are we supposed to do that? There are 3 ways you can help your local non-profit. You can donate money, you can donate time, OR you can donate your VOICE!!!! The last one is actually the most important!!!! Non-profits get their funding and volunteers through exposure!!!! We each find a few minutes a day to get on our social media pages and email. Do you realize the impact you could have on your local non-profit by spending a few minutes every day thinking whom you could reach out to and let them know your story and how your favorite non-profit has made a difference in your life? Spend one afternoon and draft a letter telling your story and how a non-profit has helped you and your family. Share that letter, or blog in an email or on your social media page and simply ask your friends and relatives to share the story and consider supporting your favorite organization when they are considering how they can help make the world a better place.
Your story can make the difference. You may not know that your cousins-grandfather’s sister-in-law actually has funds set aside waiting to hear that perfect story and wanting to do something with that money. She could have a trust fund set up to support that great organization but she won’t be able to hear that story until you sit down and write it and share it!!!! Your voice is powerful and even though it seems like such a small task, it can make a difference. Use your VOICE!!!!!
I sat down to write this because not quite a year ago, I joined the Line Creek Civitan Club. I had never heard of the Civitans before. They are similar to Kiwanis and Rotary, but the Civitans are different in the fact that all of the funds they raise go towards organizations that help with those affected by Developmental Disabilities. For the last 12 years, the Line Creek Civitans have hosted the Great Chili Challenge in the fall in addition to an annual golf tournament. They have raised on average, $10,000 per year to support local organizations in Peachtree City and Fayetteville that help those with developmental disabilities, and over the last few years that number is closer to $15,000. At our last meeting, we had to cast a vote to close this chapter of the Civitans. Many of the founders of this chapter have been doing it for years and have moved out towards Sun City in Griffin and have become active in that chapter and it was too much for them to be active in both clubs. As much as they didn’t want to, they felt the need to resign their positions in the Line Creek Chapter. We have reached out to people that we thought might step up and take the lead roles, but due to lack of participation in the club, it appears that unless by some miracle people step up and volunteer to be a part of it, our local chapter will close and the events that they have hosted to raise funds for those with Developmental Disabilities will just disappear along with the money that they raise.
I am not in any way saying that the Civitan Club is where you need to focus your efforts. I am simply sad to see the end of this organization due to lack of participation. I am also not listing any of the non- profits that I am proud to be a part of. This post is a plea for those that have been impacted by a non-profit to realize the small things that you can do to make a difference. We all have busy lives but the non-profit sector needs your support to spread the word about the good that they do and who better to spread the word than those whose lives they have touched. Reach out to the admin of your local non-profit. See what opportunities there are; ask if they have any literature you can keep in your car to get the word out, etc. In other words, get involved or the Non-profit that you love may not be there in another year.
-Parent of a Child with Special Needs