Thank you for your business. When you purchase an AST Labs product, you are supporting our hard working employees and the other local businesses we depend on. This directly strengths our local community with more economic activity. But this is not just about us. At AST Labs, we believe that giving back to the communities where our customers live and work is just as important. Starting in 2017, a portion of our profit will be used to support organizations that serve the local communities of our customers. Every month, we will highlight and contribute to an organization that is dedicated to making those communities stronger and a better place to live.
Fresno, California – Self-Help Enterprises
Self-Help Enterprises is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. Since 1965, Self-Help Enterprises’ efforts have touched the lives of over 55,000 families. Its service area is comprised of eight counties – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tulare County – in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural area. Please see their website for more information here.
Springfield, Virginia — ECHO
Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO), based in Springfield Virginia, has its mission is to assist people in need in the community, those who suffer the effects of long-term poverty as well as those who are experiencing an emergency financial need. To that end, it provides food and financial assistance to help families or individuals through a crisis. ECHO offer access to donated clothing, school supplies, and household goods such as bed linens, cookware, and small appliances to ease the burden of those who struggle with long-term low income. For more information, please see their website here.
Middletown, Delaware — Our Daily Bread
Our Daily Bread was formed in 2008 serving meals at the Dale United Methodist Church. Its mission is to feed low income families, individuals, children, the elderly and all those in need in the Middletown, Odessa & Townsend communities with nutritious meals in a safe environment. Starting with 30 to 40 guests per meal with donations from local churches and businesses, it has since leased the New Castle County Health Building and built a commercial kitchen and dining room. The new facility now serves lunch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the month. It serves dinner every Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, please see their website here.
San Antonio, Texas – San Antonio Food Bank
Times are tough and it’s especially poignant during the holidays. Founded in 1980, The San Antonio Food Bank has quickly grown to serve 58,000 individuals a week in one of the largest service areas in Texas. Its focus is for clients to have food for today but to also have the resources to be self-sufficient in the future. The San Antonio Food Bank takes pride in fighting hunger, feeding hope in its 16 county service area. It believes that no child should go to bed hungry, adults should not have to choose between a hot meal and utilities, nor a senior sacrifice medical care for the sake of a meal. For more information, please visit their website here.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Second Helpings
For more than 20 years, Second Helpings, Inc. has accepted donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. More than 4,500 nutritious meals each day that are distributed to more than 90 social service agencies that feed Hoosiers in need. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry. More than 900 adults have graduated from this program. Second Helpings alumni are working in Central Indiana as cooks, executive chefs, business owners and culinary instructors. To learn more about Second Helpings, please visit their site here.
Durham, North Carolina – Ronald McDonald House Durham
In 1973, Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill teamed up with Mcdonald’s owner/operators to purchase and restore a house near the hospital where families could stay near the Chlidren’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since then, more than 350 Ronald Mcdonald House have been opened worldwide and Durham was the first House in North Carolina. It is entirely supported by the surrounding community to this day. The Durham House welcomes 55 families each night as their “home-away-from-home” where this is a home-cooked meal and activities for the kids. But the most important offer is the opportunity to meet and share with other families that are going through similar situations. Although there is a minimal fee, no one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. The House also has a helpful staff to provide information on neighborhood resources. To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Durham and Wake, please visit their website here.
Whiteland, Indiana – Resources of Hope
It takes a village to raise healthy, happy, strong children. Most children are very lucky to be born and raised by their birth parents, but more than half a million children are placed in foster care. Resources of Hope in Whiteland Indiana is dedicated to support foster parents in their journey by providing resources to meet the physical and emotional needs of foster youth living in Central Indiana. It does this by offering several programs such as Teen Connect that connects foster youth with mentors on a monthly basis. It’s goal is inspiration, personal advancement and empowerment. There is also the Morning meet-up program whereby fosters parents share the ups and downs of foster care with other foster parents, and to provide the support and education needed. There is also the recharge program that offers an afternoon off for foster parents by having high school and adult volunteers take over the parents duties in the host home. Please consider supporting this wonderful organization with such a worthy cause. For more info, please visit their website here.
Langhorne, Pennsylvania — The Peace Center
The Peace Center of Langhorne, Pennsylvania is dedicated to creating a diverse community living together in justice and peace. Since 1982, it has programs designed to help reduce violence and conflict in our schools, homes and communities through a multicultural, community-based approach. Its programs are split between education programs for students and programs for adults, families, schools, businesses and other organizations. Student programs include STAR, the Stop, Think, Ask, Resolve bullying prevention program which targets students from grade 2 to 4. For 4th and 5th graders, there is the Celebrating Me, Celebrating You program to challenge stereotypes and prejudice to celebrate diversity. For adults, families, and organizations, there is staff training programs in bullying awareness, conflict management, and restorative justice. There is also the SAFE (Supportive Alliance for Family Empowerment) program that provides services dealing with violence prevention and intervention, emotional and anger management, and many other topics. To learn more about the Peace Center, please visit their website here.
Little Falls, Minnesota — Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving Greater Minnesota since 1986. During the decade of the 1980’s, Minnesota faced widespread financial hardships, high unemployment, and shifting rural economies that severely impacted the farming and mining industries. The foundation was created to strengthen its regional economy and communities by investing in business loans, nonprofit grants, programs, and donor services. Through regional partnerships, grants, and programming, it support pathways for aspiring workers to gain the skills necessary for living-wage jobs. It also creates child care solutions that free parents up to work. More information about the Initiative Foundation could be found at their website here.
Syracuse, New York — Westcott Community Center
Westcott Community Center serves the Syracuse, New York and surrounding communities by offering essential services and engaging programming to embrace the diverse needs of all. It offers a variety of services such as a dry food pantry, computer resource center, and the popular Senior Day services. Senior Day services included daily breakfast, lunch and recreational and leisure programs. It also has a neighborhood advisor assistance to help seniors complete medical applications, located needed services such as healthcare, legal advise, transportation, nutrition, and income stretching programs such as SSI, SNAP, and other assistance programs. For community members in interested in obtaining work, Westcott Community Center has employment services and work training programs. To learn more, please see their website here.
Barre, Vermont — Vermont Foodbank
In Vermont, 1 in 4 people struggle with food security. The mission of the Vermont Foodbank is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry. It is a member of Feeding America, and locally service over 153,000 Vermonters each year. It currently works with over 215 network and agency partners to provide nutritious food in each county in the state. The Vermont Foodbank opened its doors in 1986, and is based in Barre, Vermont, with additional warehouse locations in Rutland and Brattleboro. Please visit their website for more info here. To see information specific to the current pandemic, please visit their COVID-19 page here.
Providence, Rhode Island — Rhode Island Community Food Bank
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributes food to people in need through a network of member agencies throughout the state. The Food Bank is committed to improving the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by advancing solutions to the problem of hunger. It serves 53,000 people each month through a network of 168 member agencies in the community. In addition to acquiring and distributing nearly 11.6 million pounds of food each year, the Food Bank operates a number of programs which promote long-term solutions to hunger. To learn more about the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, please visit their website here.
Hillside, New Jersey — Community FoodBank of New Jersey
It is an extreme understatement to say that our communities need our support now more than ever. Organizations like the Community FoodBank of New Jersey serve a vital need, providing a lifeline to the members of our society most at risk. CFBNJ has been fighting hunger in New Jersey for more than 45 years, and continues to find short-term and long-term solutions to those in need. It is committed to engage, educate, and empower all sectors of the society that has to battle hunger far more often than they deserve. To find our more, please visit their website here.
Hartford, Connecticut — Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is Connecticut’s largest volunteer mentoring network. For over 100 years, the NBBBS organization has operated under the belief that every child has the ability to succeed, thrive and reach their fullest potential in life. The Nutmeg chapter has been helping over 132 cities and towns across the state of Connecticut. It matches adult volunteers with children between the ages of 6 thru 18 and help them develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people in need. The community-based mentoring program allows mentors and mentees to meet at least 6 – 10 hours per month, during which the mentors help the youth manage every challenges are that are part of growing up. There are also site-based programs where the mentees participates in activities for 60 – 90 minutes each week during the school year to do activities such as homework, arts & crafts, recreational activities, and many more. To learn more about the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, please visit their website here.
Columbia, South Carolina — Foodshare
Fresh, quality food is something all of us should have access to. Unfortunately, this access is currently limited by where people live, their racial and ethnic background, age, income, and whether or not a family has reliable transportation. Foodshare’s mission is to partner with like-minded organizations in the community to expand access to quality, fresh, affordable food. The fresh food boxes program provides different sized portions to accommodate different needs and budgets. Both cash and SNAP EBT payments are accepted. As a holistic organization, it is not simply a handout. Recipients are also given the opportunity to improve their cooking skills. Culinary Medicine electives offered through the University of South Carolina School of Medicine are also available to medical students. Additional programs such as Community Cooks, Good Food Market, and many others offered by Foodshare also work to improve the lives of the community. To learn more about Foodshare and its services, please visit their website here.
Metairie, Louisiana — Golf Coast Social Services
Gulf Coast Social Services has been serving the communities of Louisiana for over three decades. As a state-licensed, non-profit organization, it is committed to designing an individualized plan to serve people with mental, physical, behavioral, and other challenges to improve their quality of life. GCSSLA offers many programs that ranges from serving the youth and family, to elderly, to programs specifically for individuals with disabilities. In addition, it also offers in-home care to provide non-medical services so family members can have the freedom to live independently at their own home. It has multiple locations throughout Louisiana to serve the local communities of Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Northshore, Houma, and New Orleans. To learn more about this great organization, please visit their website here.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois — Bridge Communities
Bridge Communities serves the homeless families in DuPage County by providing free transitional housing. It all started when Mark Milligan and Bob Wahlgren rented their first apartment for a homeless family, and has grown over twenty years later to serving 137 families each year. Their vision is to create a community where all families are healthy, financially stable, and living in affordable housing. In addition to housing, Bridge Communities provide mentoring services through volunteer mentors. It also provides employment counseling, whereby the employment director assists families in securing and maintaining employment that will sustain their economic self sufficiency. Tutoring and counseling are among other services provided. To learn more about this awesome organization, please visit their site here.
Lincoln, Nebraska — Voices of Hope
Voices of Hope of Lincoln Nebraska is dedicated to assisting the victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. It provides a 24 hour confidential crisis intervention services to victims of violence, sexual assault, incest, and other related forms of abuse. There is also a daily walk-in service available on their 2545 N St. facility. Service offerings include safety planning, short-term crisis counseling, financial assistance, and many more. It also works to increase citizen awareness and prevention by offering community presentations and by providing professional training opportunities for individuals who help victims of relationship or sexual abuse. Voices of Hope has been a vital part of the community in the last 40 plus years originating from the 1975 founding of the Lincoln Coalition against Rape. To learn more about Voices of Hope, please visit their website here.
Spokane, Washington — Union Gospel Mission
The Union Gospel Mission of Spokane has been serving the local community since 1951. Formed by a group of businessmen from Spokane, it started as a chapel/kitchen in an old speakeasy. Over the next 66 years, UGM soon moved into the Mission building at Browne and Trent and has since expanded into a comprehensive ministry with four shelters, three recovery programs, two thrift stores, and many other outreach and community service programs. Services as such food and shelter, job training, recovery assistance are among its most popular programs. All told, it served 331,029 meals, provided 115,756 nights of shelter, serviced 3,622 visits in health clinics, and helped 207 men and women find employment in the last fiscal year. There many other accomplishments too many to list, please take a look them yourself by visiting their website here.
Rapid City, South Dakota — Youth and family Services
Youth and Family Services of Rapid City, South Dakota is dedicated to supporting children and their families in being capable, caring, and contributing members of the community. It is a United Way partner agency that had its start in 1965 as Girls Club of Rapid City, but has grown into one of the largest, most comprehensive youth development programs in western South Dakota. More than 14,000 children and families throughout 24 counties in western South Dakota are served each year. Youth and Family Services offers nine cohesive programs in education, meals and snacks, health advocacy and support, counseling services, fatherhood and parent enrichment education, and prevention programs. In addition, it holds the popular Kids Fair that features favorites such as face painting, live entertainment, inflatable attraction, and many more. To learn more, please visit their website here.
Westbrook, Maine — Woodfords Family Services
Founded in 1967, Woodfords Family Services was started with the mission of servicing children with disabilities. In the last 52 years, it has grown into a leading provider of disability-related services in the state of Maine. Over fifteen hundred children living with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and/or mental health diagnosis receive services today. Services include programs in behavioral consultation, psychiatry services, shared living services, and many others for adults. Programs for children and their families include early childhood and preschool services, in home support, support groups, and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Adoption Program. It also offers the Behavioral Health Professional Training and Certificate Program. To learn more about Woodfords Family Services, please visit their website here.
Manchester, New Hampshire — Girls Inc New Hampshire
Girl’s Inc of New Hampshire focuses on the development of the whole girl. It provides professionally developed program for girls ages 5 – 18. Girls are taught to value her self, take risks, and develop her inherent strengths through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming. Popular programs include BOLD Futures Mentoring Program, Early Learning Center, the After School Program, Young Women’s Leadership, and Summer Camp. Participants are taught how to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers to grow up as healthy, educated, and independent women. To learn more about how Girls Inc of New Hampshire inspire all girls to become strong, smart, and bold, please see their website here.
Kansas City, Kansas — 20/20 Leadership
20/20 Leadership is a youth development program that services Kansas City high school students. It provides high school students from freshman to senior with unique experiential learning opportunities to expand their education, develop leadership skills, and build stronger communities. It also services high schools in nearby Missouri. It has specific programs for different phases of a high school students’ life, from developing self-awareness and knowledge in the first years, to appreciating and exploring higher education as well as social responsibility in the junior and senior years. 20/20 has achieved a remarkable 100% high school graduation rate, 83% post secondary institution attendance, with 69% of alumni reporting continued impact on their lives after graduation. To learn more about 20/20 Leadership, please check out their website here.
Dothan, Alabama — The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention
The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention is dedicated to serving children who are abused or are in danger be being in an abusive environment. Located in Dothan and Geneva Alabama, it provides discreet and private services to victims who need help. The free services include trauma therapy, in-home support, trauma-focused support groups and many others. Staffed by professional counselors are ready to assist children any family members through sometimes very difficult situations. In addition, it also has a well-regarded baby box program that gives babies a good start with education and a safe place to sleep. It also helps new parents adjust to the realities of taking care of a newborn, including information from pediatricians, lactation specialists, and nutritionists. To learn more, please visit their website here.
Rio Rancho, New Mexico — Rio Rancho Youth Chorus
Rio Rancho Youth Chorus offers offers a unique environment where musical instruction is provided to children from ages 12 thru 18. Through musical instruction, Rio Rancho Youth Chorus instills the confidence and self-esteem that will help children achieve their goals in life. The curriculum includes learning harmony, recognizing and reproducing pitch, and working together as a group in a chorus. The Rio Rancho Youth Chorus welcomes children from all backgrounds, styles, cultures, orientations, abilities and identities. The chorus currently rehearses at the ASK Academy at the heart of Rio Rancho, and holds a concert at the end of every season. To learn more about the Rio Rancho Youth Chorus, please visit their website here.
Springfield, Missouri — Springfield Dream Center
Springfield Dream Center was established on March 2017 as an official affiliate of Dream Centers located across the nation. It has sister centers in cities such as Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Nashville. It is located in Zone 1 of Springfield, Missouri and acts as a centralized location to provide services for all members in the community. It offers a variety of services from a food pantry to after school programs, and even adult education. It also offers free programs that help parents, families, and individuals through difficult times such as Family Connection Night, Teen Connect Group, and Baby Hub. To learn more about the Springfield Dream Center, their good work, and how you can contribute to their mission, please click here.
Fargo, North Dakota — The Village Family Service Center
What started as North Dakota’s Home Society in 1891, a home for orphaned children and sanctuary for those without a place to go, The Village Family Service Center has adapted to the changing times and now service all individuals, all families. Today, The Village services more than 80,000 per year through individual and family counseling, mentoring, adoption, financial and workplace issue counseling. In addition, it also has services helping those struggling with substance abuse and dependency as well as pregnancy counseling. It has offices throughout North Dakota and Minnesota and services people nationwide through the Village Business Institute. It has consistently earned excellent ratings for the past 8 quarters from those who utilized its services. To learn more about The Village, please visit here.
Portland, Oregon – Impact NW
Impact NW is dedicated to providing education and social services in the Portland, Oregon area. Started in 1966 as Portland Action Committees Together, four neighborhoods joined together to create an agency that addresses the poverty-related problems of their community. Today, more than 30,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities are serviced annually by Impact NW’s comprehensive anti-poverty programs. Some popular programs include Parent-Child Therapeutic Services, Safe and Together, All Kids are Scientists, SUN Youth Advocacy Program, Energy and Housing Assistance, as well as SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods). There is much more that Impact NW is doing to serve its community. To learn more, please visit them here.
Phoenix, Arizona – St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
The holidays are coming up and for most of us, it is a time of thanksgiving for the good fortune we’ve had this year. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance helps to ensure those less fortunate are not left out. They are a centralized food bank that distributes food to nearly 500 nonprofits partners in 13 Arizona counties. Nonprofit agencies include food pantries, dining halls, and homeless shelters. St. Mary’s also operates children-specific programs such as Kids Cafe and Backpack program to address the special nutritional needs of growing children. To learn more about their good work, please visit their website here.
Hurricane Michael Relief – All Hands and Hearts
It pains our hearts to have another devastating hurricane hit our shores so soon after Hurricane Florence. More than 1,400,000 residents of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina were affected as the category 4 hurricane hit our shores with 155 mph winds. The extensive damage caused included plunging millions into darkness by knocking out electricity line, as well as extensive flooding and in the worst cases, complete destruction of beachfront properties. All Hands and Hearts is one of the many volunteer organizations that has taken the challenge to help the affected communities recover. To learn about their good work and make your own contribution, please visit their website here.
Hurricane Florence Relief – Cape Fear Volunteer Center
Hurricane Florence has been one of the strongest hurricanes that has hit the Carolinas. It has caused extensive damage to communities by causing power outages, uprooted trees, and extensive flooding. Homes, businesses, roads, and all matters of community infrastructure were severely affected by the storm. The Cape Fear Volunteer Center has mobilized and met the challenge of rebuilding the storm-affected areas head-on. In addition to providing critical volunteering services after hurricane Florence, the Cape Fear Volunteer Center run several programs such as the Food Donation Connection, Big Buddy, and Lifeguide. For more information, please visit their website here.
Casper, Wyoming – Wyoming Food for Thought Project
The Wyoming Food for Thought Project was started in 2012 by Jamie Purcell to Provide, Educate, and Empower the local community through food. It provides food accessibility resources, education via workshops and classes on SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, and empowering community members through the Seed Library, Tool Library, and the Food is Free gardens. Through its Weekend Food Bag Program, over 600 children have received kid-friendly breakfast, lunch, and dinner items for every day they are out of school. For more information about their good work, please visit here.
Clive, Iowa – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa has helped children realized their potential and futures for more than 50 years. By connecting adult volunteers as mentors with children ages 5 through 14, positive relationships are developed that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people of Central Iowa. The 1-to-1 relationship has changed the lives of many children for the better, forever. Research has shown that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ unique mentoring process to have a positive impact on children’s self-confidence, educational performance, and making good decisions when faced with risky choices. For more information, please visit their website here.
Bozeman, Montana – Cancer Support Community Montana
Cancer Support Community Montana is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emotional support, education and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones, free of charge. Through participation in professionally led support groups, educational workshops and mind/body programs, utilizing the Patient Active Concept, people affected by cancer can learn vital skills to regain control, reduce feelings of isolation and restore hope–regardless of the stage of disease. It offers drop-in and on-going support groups, networking groups for people with specific types of cancer, educational workshops, exercise activities, stress management sessions, lectures by experts in the field of oncology, and social gatherings-all with laughter, joy and hope. Cancer Support Community Montana is part of the Cancer Support National organization. Please visit their website for more details.
Louisville, Kentucky – Backside Learning Center
Backside Learning Center is dedicated to serving the equine workers of Churchill Down’s, the world famous horse-racing tracking. Backside equine workers are seldom in the spotlight, but their work is as vital and important as the jockeys standing on the winner’s podium. Due to the jobs’ unique working schedule, many workers are unable to utilize the other social services geared toward serving regular 9-to-5 workers. Backside Learning Center fills this gap by providing a variety of services to these workers in the area of adult education, after-school and summer youth programs. Programs as such English Language Classes, Conversation Partners, and Front Runners help the equine workers of Churchill Downs realize their full potential as active contributors to the community. For more information, please go to their website here.
Idaho Falls, ID – Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership
Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (EICAP) has served the communities of Eastern Idaho for the past 40 years by providing direct aid and crisis intervention to more than 205,000 residents. Given its sparse population density, many residents living in poverty do not have the access to the community services that larger cities have. Through its Community Services Block Grant, Weatherization program, Head Start, family and senior programs, EICAP’s provides a much needed community service to those most vulnerable to the effects of poverty. In just 2007 alone, EICAP provided direct services to more than 12,000 individuals.
Madison, Wisconsin – Goodman Community Center
Goodman’s serves the community by providing people the time and financial resources needed so they can strengthen their lives in meaningful ways. It’s 115 strong full and part-time staff is committed to equity and opportunity on behalf of Madison’s children, youth, and their families. Programs such as Early Childhood Education, Elementary Afterschool, and the Fritz Food Pantry among many others have served over 35,000 people ages 3 to 103. The facility also serves the community with a large and ever-changing offering of classes and workshops. For more information, you can visit them here.
Salt Lake City, Utah. – Wasatch Community Garden
The mission of the Wasatch Community Garden is “to empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy, organic, local food.” With their core values of community, sharing, and stewardship, we believe Wasatch Community Garden is a great and positive contribution to the strength of Salt Lake City’s local community. Led by a dedicated volunteers and one dog, Mackay, WCG runs five main programs ” Community Garden Program, Youth Garden Program, School Garden Program, Community Education Program, and the GREEN TEAM Farm.” To learn more about Wasatch Community Garden, please visit their website by clicking here.
Washington D.C. – DC Central Kitchen
DC Central Kitchen’s mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. Founded in 1989, DC Central Kitchen’s model is to train jobless adults for culinary career and then hire select graduates to prepare food for its various community service programs. Those programs include community meals for homeless shelters, healthy farm-to-school food for low-income schoolchildren, and providing fresh produce to DC’s food deserts. Finally, the campus kitchens project enlists student volunteers to run a community kitchen themselves while developing important entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
California Fire Foundation
Southern California is currently experiencing one of the worst wildfire disasters in the state’s history. With so many communities affected, we have decided to dedicate the month of December to all the brave firefighters risking their lives protecting the counties of Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego county. The largest wildfire, Thomas Fire, has burned more than 270,000 acres and has already claimed the life of one firefighter and injured countless others. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those still battling this disaster. The California Fire Foundation provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect. The foundation provides emergency support to departments and families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and provides educational assistance to their children. The assistance is provided through the California Firefighters Endowment and Daniel A. Terry Scholarship programs.
Waterton, Massachusetts – Rosie’s Place
Watertown is a middle-sized city in Middlesex County, which is part of the greater Boson metropolitan area. First known as Saltonstall Plantation, it was one of the earliest Massachusetts Bay colony settlements. It is known for the Watertown Arsenal which began operation in 1816. Today, Watertown is a diverse community with the third-largest Armenian community in the United States. It is also the location of the oldest school for the blind in the United States, Perkins School for the Blind. Rosie’s Place is the first women’s shelter in the United States. Founded in 1974, it provides a safe and nurturing environment for the poor and homeless. It helps more than 12,000 women a year through various supporting services such as food, housing and education services. In the most recent year, Rosie’s place served over 100,000 meals, provided a food pantry for 1,900 women a month, and provided more than 300 women with sanctuary emergency housing. Rosie’s Place is our service organization of November.
Forest, Mississippi – Legacy Education and Community Empowerment
Forest is a city located in Scott County, Mississippi with about 6000 residents. It is a multi-ethnic community with a mixture of White, African American, Native American, and Latinos. It’s not a big town, but it is well-connected to other communities via Interstate 20, Route 80, and Highways 21, 35, and 501. It’s major industries include poultry processing and manufacturing of radar electronics. Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation is dedicated providing a “one-stop educational enrichment program” for the children of Forest, Mississippi. It provides services such as homework assistance, tutoring, educational workshops, and many others. The Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation brings together the parents, children, and local community volunteers to help the children of Forest, Mississippi achieve educational success as well as a life of love and community.
Houston, Texas – Houston Food Back
Houston, Texas is one of a kind. It is the largest city of Texas and the 4th largest in the United States with over 2 million residents. What started as a deep water port after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, has blossomed into a metropolis with a diverse economy, culture, and population. The city of Houston has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other. It is also home to the Houston Rockets basketball team. Houston Food Bank has a simple mission: make food accessible to hungry people in their greatest times of needed. With the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, more people than ever are in need of assistance. The Houston Food Bank has distributed more than 83 million meals in the past year and we hope to help them read their goal of 100 million meals by 2018. Houston Food Bank is our service organization of September.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Las Vegas Rescue Mission
Las Vegas, Nevada is a famous city for its casinos and strip, but it is also metropolis with over 2 million residents. First inhabited by the Paleo-Indians over 10,000 years ago, tourists from all over the world roam its casinos and other world-class resorts nowadays. But Las Vegas is not just casinos and golf courses. It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and had an economy of more than $100 billion dollars. Las Vegas Rescue Mission was founded in 1970 to help the homeless and hungry. Started with a few sandwiches and drinks, Rescue Mission today takes up two city blocks near downtown Las Vegas. More than 30,000 meals a month are served. It strives to serve all in need, including single fathers as well as women and children. The Mission is open to all, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, religion or disability. The Las Vegas Rescue Mission is our service organization of August.
Mountain View, AR – Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches
Mountain View, aka Folk Music Capital of the World, was founded in 1873 and is the largest city in Stone County. It’s famous for the Ozark Folk Festival it hosts every April. In the fall, the Arkansas Bean Fest and the Great Championship Outhouse Races are also very popular. The economy is mainly based on tourism with many notable attractions such as the Blanchard Springs Cavers, the White River, and the Ozark National Forest.
Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches helps children heal from the effects of child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy, and permanent homes for children. The ranch provides an environment that helps children believe in themselves and gain the skills to lead fulfilling, meaningful lives. More than 2050 boys and girls have lives at three locations – Flagship Headquarters Campus (Batesville), Donald W. Reynolds Campus (Mulberry), and the Southern Arkansas Campus (Amity). Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches is our service organization of July.
Ypsilanti, Michigan – Growing Hope
Yipsilanti is home to Eastern Michigan University, between Ann Harbor and Detroit. It started as a trading post in 1809, it became a permanent settlement 14 years. During the early days of the automobile, it was home to Apex Motors and where the Tucker prototype sedan was developed. Its story was later made into a film, Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Eastern Michigan University was established in 1849 and today has nearly 50,000 students enrolled. Growing Hope helps people improve their lives through gardening education and increasing access to healthy, locally grown food. It hosts the Ypsilanti Farmers Marketplace on Tuesdays and the Depot Town market on Saturday. It also offers paid teen mentor internships where teens learn mentoring, leadership, and job skills to help their local community gain access to healthy food. It even has a urban farm in downtown Ypsilanti where the local community can learn about urban, sustainable gardening. Growing Hope is our service organization of June.
Toledo, Ohio – Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity
Toledo is located at the western side of Lake Erie, in the county of Lucas County. It was founded on 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River. The construction of the Mami and Erie Canal jump-started its growth, which subsequently gave rise to industries such as glass making and automobile assembly. Today it is one of the major metropolitan areas of Ohio with a population of over 650,000.
Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to helping people own and live in safe and affordable housing. In the 30 years since its founding, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity has built hundreds of homes and rehabilitated hundreds more. In doing so, it has given the people of Lucas County the strength, stability and self-reliance to build a stronger and more vibrant community. Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity is our service organization of May.
Sperry, Oklahoma – Tulsa Girls Art School
Sperry is a community of Tulsa County that encompasses the greater Tulsa area. Located about 10 miles north of Tulsa, it is a quiet neighborhood with many residents commuting to Tulsa for work. It also has an active retirement population. The town started as a post office in 1902, incorporated in 1920, and has a population of around 1300.
Tulsa Girls Art School (TGAS) provides after-school visual arts education for elementary school girls. Art shows are hosted periodically to help fund the girls education and teach them important financial management and life skills. TGAS works directly with local schools in the Tulsa area to identify talented young girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to pursue a career in art. Tulsa Girls Art School is our service organization of April.
Parsons, Tennessee – ComeUnity Cafe
Parsons is a small town located in the Decatur County of Tennessee. It is located on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River about half way between Memphis and Nashville. The town was created in the late 1880’s by the Tennessee Midland Railway to support its line that connects Memphis and Perryville. It has over 2000 residents with a median age of 43 years.
ComeUnity Cafe’s mission is to “build community by providing nutritious and delicious food made with as much organically, locally and sustainably grown ingredients as possible” to its local community. It engages in community volunteerism and offers work training among other services. ComeUnity Cafe offers its healthy meals to everyone in the community regardless of their ability to pay. To learn more about ComeUnity, please click here. ComeUnity Cafe is our service organization of March.
College Park, Georgia – Your Home Outreach
College Park is a small city of around 14,000 next to the Atlanta airport. It was named after Cox College, a private woman’s college that operated from 1842 to 1934. Today it is home to Chick-fil-A, ExpressJet Airlines, and other aviation-related companies. To learn more about College Park, click here.
Your Home Outreach provides support to families with the basic necessities such as food, clothing, school supplies, etc. It is also committed to giving families the skills they need to succeed in life through mentoring and other volunteering activities. The goal is to empower families to achieve a better quality of life. Please click on their logo above to learn more.
Your Home Outreach is our service organization of February.
Lakewood, Colorado – Gold Crown Foundation
Lakewood is the fifth largest city in Colorado located west of Denver. It is considered part of the large Denver metropolitan area. It has around 150,000 people and has won the All-American City Award twice. To learn more about Lakewood, click here. The Gold Crown Foundation’s mission statement is “Educating youth and community through sports and enrichment programs.” Around 20,000 boys and girls are taught life skills every year and almost $100,000 scholars are granted annually. They run the Gold Crown Field House in Lakewood which offers after school education programs, basketball camps, and hosts community events. Learn more by clicking on their logo above. The Gold Crown Foundation is our service organization of the January.