Playing Santa Claus

Okay, so technically Christmas is over and Santa is no longer making his rounds, but this week we had the privilege of making donations to 5 area non-profit organizations.  When you are able to give to this many organizations at one time, it does feel like Christmas regardless of the date on the calendar.  Following are the organizations we supported and little about the work each one does.

The Children’s Assessment Center was started in 1991 by the Grand Rapids Chief of Police to serve the needs of sexually abused children. Here, in a child-friendly, safe environment, children are evaluated, counseled and supported by a staff of highly trained individuals at no cost.   In addition, the staff provides training and education for parents and those who work with children.  In the midst of a crisis situation, they offer hope and healing. The support and compassion this group has is amazing!  To learn more visit them at:   www.cac-kent.org

The Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation also has a heart for kids.  They teach “teamwork, commitment, generosity, academic achievement, goal-setting, perseverance and good health…not to mention some hockey” to underprivileged and at-risk youth in the community.  They offer hockey instruction and games for kids in 1st through 9th grades.  Almost 300 kids participate each year at no cost to them (or their parents).  If you know a child who would like to get involved check them out at: www.griffinshockey.com/community/youth/The Sled Wings game is scheduled for January 12th at Griff’s Ice House.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks focuses their attention on maintaining and expanding parks and public spaces in Grand Rapids, MI.  With organized events their goal is “to help Grand Rapids rebuild and sustain an exceptional system of parks and public spaces and, by extension, increase home values, improve citizen health, safeguard air and water quality and strengthen the community’s ability to retain and attract residents, businesses and visitors.” From January 11-16 they have a build week scheduled for a Bike Park.  Visit www.friendsofgrparks.org for the details and how you can get involved.

C-SNIP works to solve the imbalance in the number of puppies and kittens born every day compared to the number of homes available to accept them. C-SNIP believes that “Pet sterilization is the solution to a problem that drains communities both emotionally and financially.  Until every dog and cat born is assured of a safe and caring home, this essential surgery must be available to everyone.  C-SNIP is making that happen by providing pet owners with a spay/neuter clinic with prices they can afford.”  Their website (www.csnip.org) explains more about their passion and ways to get involved.  Coming up in February is an event, Bow-Wow’s & Brews for you and your pup.  Check it out!

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services provides support to help those who cannot hear well, adapt to daily life.  They educate individuals and companies about how to better serve deaf and hard of hearing consumers and employees.  Their wide range of specific services include: providing interpreters, career development, and sign language and lip-reading classes.  These efforts have gained them a reputation for excellence and caring.  A Euchre Tournament is planned for February 27!   Visit their website (www.deafhhs.org) for more details about this event or others like the weekly support group meeting on Tuesday evenings.   

If you are, or know of, a non-profit organization that works to better the lives of people in your community please let us know.  We’d love to be able to give you a donation too.  (Our ‘Santa’ works year round.)       

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