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#GivingTuesday: The Nonprofits That Inspire Me

These organizations – and the people who make their work possible – are worthy of your support.

As a storyteller, I love working with nonprofits because they have so many good stories to tell. Each day in every community across this country, nonprofits improve lives, right wrongs and provide leadership for overcoming some of society’s biggest challenges.

On #GivingTuesday, we have an opportunity to support this work and make a difference. The collective action of people around the globe reminds us that we are strongest when we join together.

Below are organizations that I've gotten to know through volunteering or through my business. I respect their leadership teams, their boards, their volunteers and their missions. In a world often filled with bad news, these organizations – and the people who make their work possible – inspire me.

I’m proud to support these nonprofits, and I hope you will too. But mostly, I hope you give on #GivingTuesday. Choose any organization that does meaningful work and give generously. You can give to any of these organizations and many others on Facebook or on their websites.

Alzheimer’s Project helps remove the fear of this dreaded diagnosis and empowers caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. Services include respite care, which gives caregivers a break while their loved ones stay in a nurturing environment; support groups; education; counseling; and Project LifeSaver, which provides bracelets to help locate people who are prone to wander. Please join me in making a tax-deductible gift to Alzheimer’s Project.

Not all hospices are the same. Thanks to generous community support, Big Bend Hospice provides excellent medical care and a range of services including music therapy, spiritual care, grief support for children, teens and adults and charity care. This story by Betsy Fisher, whose 17-year-old son Marshal died at Hospice House, embodies everything I love about Big Bend Hospice. Give in honor of Marshal, an amazing young man I wish I could have met.

This is an ongoing effort that I founded with another writer, Laurie Dennison, who lives in Sneads. We are both moms, writers and small business owners who want to bring joy to children affected by Hurricane Michael. We’re collecting new and like new children’s books (grades K-6) for children in Gulf and Jackson counties. Our first distribution will be in early December. NOTE: Books for the Panhandle is not a 501(c)(3), but we are partnering with the education foundations in each county and they can accept monetary donations. For more information on how you can help, visit Give online here.

The ICE Foundation provides thousands of hours of service annually to youth and families throughout Florida. Volunteers, many who are attorneys and other young professionals, work within the schools and the community. They assist teachers by providing subject matter experts and programs such as mock trials and career days, and distribute clothing, toys, back-to-school supplies and turkeys to families. Give here.

Sex and labor trafficking are happening all around us. Every day. Tallahassee’s proximity to Interstate 10 brings this prevalent, but often hidden, crime to our doorstep. STAC empowers trafficking survivors to experience freedom and fulfillment and trains law enforcement, health care professionals, and others to recognize, report and prevent human trafficking. Will you help?

Walk into the Tallahassee Senior Center on any given day, and you will find dozens of classes and programs for active adults: everything from art and exercise to technology and travel. Generous community support makes these programs possible. Your gifts inspire friendships, lifelong learning and optimal health for thousands of adults age 50+.

I recently met Carly J Sinnadurai. She is a vibrant woman with a vision for a sustainable creative play lab for children in Tallahassee, something that I as a mom of a toddler would love to see happen. The Sharing Tree’s previous home at The Centre of Tallahassee is no longer available, and the organization needs a new space. From Carly: “The Sharing Tree is not over. We are growing ... bigger and better than ever. Giving Tuesday was founded on the premise that we shop. We gift. We have Black Friday and cyber Monday, but what about our nonprofits that fight to stay alive and service communities? Let's contribute to a big, creative cause! The Sharing tree is raising money for our new location. Give through Facebook.

These are just a few of the nonprofits worthy of your support. Choose one – or more! – and give on #GivingTuesday.

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