BY PAIGE ATWELL
In a year that seems to have been filled with more downs than ups, it feels good to finally say, happy Thanksgiving! While there is always something to be thankful for, we would be amiss if we didn’t take time to reflect on the loss this year has brought as well. In either our November or December issues, we always like to talk about ways we can give back to the community through nonprofits during the holidays. This year, promoting that is more important than ever. Like so many other businesses and organizations, nonprofits have struggled through the pandemic to secure funding, host events to raise awareness and retain the proper number of employees and volunteers needed to make day-to-day operations possible. So, as we celebrate the season of giving, consider donating time, resources or support to one or more of these incredible organizations.
Williamson County Casa
Thousands of children are abused or neglected every day in the United States. Through no fault of their own, these children are cast into a complex, chaotic and uncertain environment of courtrooms and foster care. They are alone and often times they are scared. Williamson County CASA helps children in this situation every day by speaking on their behalf in courtrooms, identifying safe homes for them to live in and listening to their stories.
GraceWorks Ministries, Inc. was founded in 1995, when area concerned citizens and faith leaders came together and decided Williamson County needed a central place to send people who needed help with food, clothing and financial assistance. By pooling church resources with private and public sectors, GraceWorks was able to provide more help for many needs to better serve our community, rather than duplicating efforts. Today, GraceWorks has expanded upon these relationships to establish a referral network with other agencies to provide help for immediate needs and long-term resources.
One Generation Away
OneGenAway is a non-profit 501(c)3 that works to bring fresh, healthy food directly to people in need. They strive to eliminate food deserts in the low-income neighborhoods in America. They serve the home-bound elderly, school childre and the working poor of our country by rescuing food seven days a week from local grocery stores and restaurants such as, Whole Foods, Costco, GFS, Publix, Outback Steakhouse, Aldi and many others. Then, each month, OneGenAway, with the help of many volunteers, brings food right to neighborhoods in need by arriving with truckloads of good food... mobile food pantries... delivered right to the streets of neighbors in need on Saturday mornings all around middle Tennessee and beyond.
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue is an inclusive dog rescue center. There are no breed restrictions, no size limitations or age requirements. They help whomever they can no matter their circumstances through programs such as short and long term foster care and adoption, medical surgeries and procedures or just providing extra love.
Williamson County Animal Center
Williamson County Animal Center makes Williamson County better for animals through adoption, education, enforcement and pet population control. Their goal is to increase the save rate, find a good home for every adoptable pet, slow pet population growth, end animal neglect and abuse and be a positive force in the community.
Davis House Child Advocacy Center
The mission and purpose of Davis House is to combat child abuse by coordinating services to children and families in crisis and providing community education focused on prevention and early intervention. They were established as a 501(c)3 not for profit organization in 1999, and began serving children in Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties in Tennessee in 2000. All of their services are provided at no cost to the children and families they serve.
My Bag My Story
My Bag My Story exists to provide duffel bags for kids in foster care. Your purchase of a bag will fund another for a child entering state custody. They believe that having his or her own bag allows a child coming into state custody to maintain dignity and have a sense of pride and self-worth. The sale of their backpacks to the general public will fund the production of a functional, durable, gender-neutral duffel that a child entering the foster care system can use to transport his/ her belongings. The public will be proud to carry one of their bags because they know their purchase also provides a child from a hard place the first step in feeling valued and cared for.
Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury
Habitat for Humanity of Williamson and Maury Counties (HFHWM) is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization and ecumenical Christian ministry that partners with local families in need and donors to build stable, safe homes and sell them with an affordable mortgage. Through this, they build stronger communities and life-changing opportunities for hardworking families in Williamson and Maury County.
A Vintage Affair
Ralph Drury has two main passions: helping those in need... and exquisite wines. When he helped initiate a wine charity event
that raised nearly $50,000 for the Mercy’s Children Clinic in 2001, he realized there was a unique opportunity to connect these two passions. Nineteen years later, A Vintage Affair continues to grow as the most unique nonprofit for women and children around. They work hard each year to put on first-class wine charity events with the goal of giving the majority of it away to those who need it most — the women and children of the Williamson County Community, regardless of race or creed.
United Way of Williamson County
United Way of Williamson County believes that together, we can win if we live as one. If we make our neighbors’ struggles, our struggles. United, we can be the hand-raisers, the game-changers, the problem solvers. Together, we can create a community where every person and every family thrives. Together, we can break the cycle of poverty. Together, we can give kids an equal chance. Together, we can meet our neighbors’ basic needs. Together, we can build strong, healthy communities. But change doesn’t happen alone. If united we fight. United we win.
The Well Outreach
The Well Outreach began as a food pantry in a local church in 2006, with the goal of showing God's love by giving food to those in need. In 2009, The Well Outreach incorporated as its own entity, hoping to expand its reach to more of the community. It is now supported by the amazingly generous community in Spring Hill and surrounding areas. Numerous individuals, churches, civic organizations and businesses contribute on a regular basis to ensure that no household in Spring Hill, Thompson Station, College Grove, Santa Fe or northern Columbia is without food assistance when needed.
Saddle Up!’s mission is to provide children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses. Saddle Up! is the place where all children are equal in the saddle. It’s middle Tennessee’s oldest and largest riding center offering equine-based programs exclusively for children with disabilities.
Tennessee Children’s Home
Tennessee Children’s Home is committed to improving the lives of those we influence through quality services in a Christian atmosphere. Those served by Tennessee Children’s Home will learn to live healthy physical, mental, social, and Christian lives. Tennessee Children’s Home has four campuses, all of them providing safe harbor, treatment and a Christian environment for displaced families and youth.
Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee
Boys & Girls Clubs are places–actual neighborhood-based buildings–designed solely for youth programs and activities.
The Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee serves to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. They do this by helping all young people succeed through curriculum based targeted programs and high yield activities designed to help members reach their priority outcomes: academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.
Best Buddies Tennessee
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).