The numbers can be hard to look at, but it’s often even harder to look away. In the US alone, over 564,000 people are homeless, while roughly 10 million suffer from domestic violence; children across the country go hungry and are subject to untenable and chaotic situations in their daily lives. There are so many in need, and so much to do, that sometimes it can seem difficult to know where to start. For some, it may seem like those affected are frustratingly far away – as though there isn’t anything they can do in their town.
These people would be wrong. Those looking to enact positive change need to take a closer look at their own neighborhoods and communities. Every helping hand matters – especially when there is so much to be done.
I myself am a resident of Dallas, Texas, and have found a number of local philanthropic organizations that work hard to bolster our community and help those in need. Please consider contributing your time and support if you live in the area – and if not, find other worthwhile organizations in your area!
As its name suggests, Color Me Empowered focuses its energies on empowering at-risk children through the creation of public art in neglected neighborhoods. The nonprofit brings in talented artists, designers, and teachers to run cross-curricular civic art programs that place subjects students study in school – such as math and writing – into a real-world, positive context. CEM aims to show its students that they have the power to enact positive, long-lasting change in their own environments.
Dress for Success Dallas believes that every woman should be able to find financial independence and chart the course of her own career. This organization not only provides its clients with professional clothing to gain employment, but offers additional programs to help them build self-confidence. Above all, DSD aims to empower women to break the cycle of poverty by taking control of their lives and achieving their full potential.
Family Place offers a safe haven for victims of domestic abuse, and provides further counseling and job training programs to help its clients build confidence and find independence. The organization additionally promotes community engagement and advocates to prevent family violence. Their achievements are significant; in 2016 alone, FP provided aid to almost 10,000 people in need.
The statistics may be shocking and hard to look at, but I believe in good people – and I believe in the power of positive change. Find organizations in your community, and offer your time and skills in support; not only will you be making a positive impact, but you’ll likely feel fulfilled after doing so.