This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things – making the list of gifts you want, making the list of gifts you need to buy, making the list of people you need to visit, and so on and so forth. In this frenzy, it’s also easy to not think of those less fortunate. But I’d like to ask you to take a moment to consider a few local causes, as there are some fantastic non-profits in Charlotte!
As a realtor, I embrace the importance of having a home, and homelessness is a cause that stands out for me, personally. In the greater Charlotte area, there are a slew of non-profits that aid the homeless and help them get back on their feet. A few of my favorites are Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Assistance Ministry and Fifth Street Ministries. Homelessness also affects people reentering society after incarceration. Changed Choices engages women during their incarceration, and upon release supports them through the challenges of transition (housing, employment, rehabilitation).
I’m also a veteran of the US Coast Guard, which is why veterans’ issues mean a lot to me. Charlotte Bridge Home helps Charlotte-area veterans successfully transition home after military service by identifying their education, employment and healthcare needs and connecting them to available community, state and federal resources. This is a much-needed service, and I applaud this non-profit!
It recently came to my attention that services for those with developmental disabilities end when they turn 18. That’s why I’m impressed with Camp Blue Skies. They offer 5-day, 4-night overnight camps at three locations for adults with developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and mild to moderate Autism. This gives the campers a fun time and their caregivers a much-needed break. They’re even running a holiday campaign where you can give specific experiences to the campers with your donation!
And then there’s the issue of our youth. The future of Charlotte is nothing if we leave our youth behind. Heart Math Tutoring is a math intervention program that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to work as tutors in high-poverty elementary schools in Charlotte. A Better World reaches out to children and families in the Ashley Park Community and the surrounding area to offer after school care, classes and training which will assist them by enhancing their educational and holistic growth. Time Out Youth offers a safe space, support, advocacy, and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 11 through 20.
After the holidays, if you find you’ve been treated too well and you have an extra gaming system or games, consider donating those you no longer need to Heart Meter. This fantastic organization donates games and gaming systems to children’s hospitals. It’s been proven that having fun and keeping a positive mental attitude is crucial during hours and hours of treatment, and playing these games can provide just that!
I invite you to find a way to give back this holiday season. The non-profits mentioned here are just a tiny percentage of all the amazing opportunities for giving there are in Charlotte. If you need to find a charity that fits you, check out the Charlotte Observer’s full Giving Guide.