Every quarter, Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles donates to great charities around the world. Each member gives just $25/month, but together we’ll give $3,000!
Here are the charities we chose this quarter….
People for Pets Giving Circle Chooses…
Creative Acres is a unique sanctuary. It currently houses 400 animals of 100 different species including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, ferrets, turtles, chickens, sheep, horses, emus and many others.
They’re located on 44 acres outside of Brighton, Colorado. Animals who arrive at her door are often severe medical cases with no other options. She was the first to have a veterinarian do a surgery to give a dog a pacemaker and a chicken a new beak. Most of these animals will live out the rest of their lives at the sanctuary, although some will be adopted.
Disabled and at-risk youth visit her sanctuary to help her care for the animals, but some days, Maxine, the charity’s president who lives on the 44 acres and has run this sanctuary for 30 years, is the only one to take care of all 400 animals which she does without financial compensation. She says taking care of 400 animals doesn’t take as long as you’d think.
100% of donations go directly to take care of the animals. This is a 100% volunteer organization
Located in Denver, Colorado, A Precious Child ensures that children are properly clothed and have the necessary supplies to participate in school. Education is one of the most important factors in getting out of poverty, but the Educational Services of America (ESA) learned through the district truancy officer that, in many cases, “students were not coming to class simply because they didn’t have clothes or school supplies.” By providing these essential services, A Precious Child helps children stay in school, focus on learning, and maintain positive self-esteem.
They partner with about 300 agency partners like Hope House or Big Brothers Big Sisters who can give families in need a voucher for a shopping trip to their facility. Families can visit the facility up to 3 times per year. A Precious Child strives to provide a dignified experience, so families make an appointment for a 2 hour window when they can come and shop in a clean, well organized, and normal store like environment. Kids who come along with their parents can hang out in the Inspiration Corner where they can play with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) toys.
A Precious Child has seen a huge increase in the need for their services. 25-40 families are now visiting their service center every day. They couldn’t operate with their massive volunteer support. 3,500 people gave more than 20,000 hours of their time to hold fundraising drives, sort donated goods, stuff backpacks, and more.
Veterans Giving Circle Chooses…
Grace After Fire helps women veterans transition back into family life, achieve success in the workplace, and be successful in her pursuit of happiness through their Table Talk peer group, employment services, mental health resources, and veteran retreats.
We donated to Grace After Fire in December of 2015, and I was glad to take another look at them. It’s been a busy year and a half of growth. They’ve opened 2 physical offices: one in Dallas and one in Houston. A 3rd office will be opening in San Antonio next month. Plus, they now have trained Table Talk coordinators in 4 other states beside Texas: Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Washington.
Table Talk is the main program they deliver, and it serves as a peer support system designed specifically for women veterans. Approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, Table Talk focuses on gender specific aspects through structured interaction with trained facilitators and fellow peers while identifying and addressing barriers women veterans face on the path to positive change. The program provides educational materials and activities that promote self-knowledge, self-understanding, self-development and self-renewal. It consists of seven cycles covering topics on Grief & Loss, Mood Disorders, Self-Esteem, and Emotional Intelligence.
A couple other cool developments…. They had a documentary crew follow them for a year, and a film was released last November. You can check out the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-edbCL7wMD8&feature=youtu.be. Plus, they collaborated to produce a coloring book for women veterans. You can check it out here: http://www.chloemcfeters.com/beyond-the-call/.
In 2016, they engaged 3,321 women veterans via phone call, email, event connection, or marketing literature. Facilitated 245 Table Talk Color me Camo peer groups which were attended by 704 different woman. Served 143 dependents/family members. Connected 64 women with employment resources or employer. Connected 58 women veterans with mental health resource or treatment. They held 2 Veteran Retreats that impacted more than 45 families.