Published On: Mon, Dec 17th, 2018

Remember Your Local Nonprofits in Your Giving This Christmas

The nonprofit organizations that make such a big difference in South Palm Beach County need our help year-round.

But with Christmas just one week away, several local charities that depend on our generosity to help them offer their services beyond the new year are waiting on edge.

That explains the importance of us opening our wallets and pocketbooks during this time of the year.

Some among us are under the impression the government and social service agencies have everything covered when it comes to helping the needy. Not even close. That there are hundreds of nonprofits out there doing things for people should be evidence of the need.

There clearly is no shortage of noble causes in need of support next year. We all are inundated by requests to give, whether through the mail, over the phone and through social media. Like any decision-making, solid information is the key to making sound donation choices. Since no one wants to waste his or her hard-earned money on a group that is not worthy of receiving it, it is therefore fair to wonder which charity will make the best use of your donation.

While there are several charities that are doing great things in our community, I will highlight a few that stand out.

  • The Rotary Clubs in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Rotary has grown in this city and so has the reach of all the Rotary Club’s service projects and community efforts. As a Rotarian for more than 30 years, I attest that these Rotarians represent the clubs’ history of Service Above Self.

They raise money to award scholarships to our students and fund projects to reduce gender disparity in education as well as increase adult literacy. Rotary International has been a leader in the fight to eradicate polio and has kept the pressure on as worldwide cases plummeted from 350,000 in 1988 to only 15 recently.

The Rotarians also fund projects to train communities with the skills to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

  • Boca Helping Hands, which serves the poor in our community. The organization, in its 20th year, provides food, financial assistance and job training to those in need.
  • Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County, which fills a vital role in our community and beyond by providing families with stable housing.  By having stable homes, the homeowners and their children, who typically flourish when the stress and fear of being uprooted or displaced from rental housing is eliminated, receive all kinds of financial gains and societal benefits.
  • The Delray Beach Public Library. In this digital age when many read books and newspapers on phones and stream their movies TV sets, our local library continues to thrive by adapting to the changing times and creating new programs while still offering traditional library services.

Under the direction of director Karen Ronald, the county’s only nonprofit library has become a focal point for the community. It is a place for residents and nonprofit organizations to meet, where residents can learn how to access computers and other services, and a welcoming place where teenagers and children and families can gather. 

  • You Are Not Alone, an organization in its 13th year, which has partnered with One Soldier at a Time and the City of Delray Beach to support deployed members of the U.S. military. They sponsor Project Holiday, which collects and ships much needed items to servicemen and servicewomen who are not able to come home for the holidays.
  • KOP Mentoring Network, one of the county’s leading small nonprofits that is creating life-changing opportunities for our young people through exposure, field trips and three academies: oratorical, financial literacy and innovation, and STREAM.

For example, the organization is holding a daylong Go4it Youth Entrepreneurship Summit, to teach youth ages 14-24 wealth building strategies.

The free Jan. 26, 2019 event at the Delray Beach Library is designed as a multi-media event, which will incorporate music, entertainment, celebrities and interactive financial literacy and wealth building workshops. It will conclude with a “speak off” pitch competition.

Let me remind you that without your giving at Christmastime, charities and other nonprofits would likely fall short on the funding they need to support their missions.

Consider this, just as holiday shoppers are essential for many businesses to have a successful year, holiday giving is critical for many nonprofits to have a successful year.

We hope you find it in your hearts to give it up South Countians. It is a win-win all around.

 

C.Ron Allen

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