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Veloise

Charities

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Seeking a new project for the holidays...in the past I've picked a couple wishing stars off the Vets Home tree (the City Hall edition), and helped publicize & assemble bikes for Elves & More.

And I've stood at red kettles, usually with my baritone, often on the Saturday before the big one when folks put in currency instead of mere change.

Your favorite local good cause? And how do you get involved?

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My brother and I use to paint houses for Inner City Christian several years back. I like this organization because like Habitat for Humanity its not a free hand out but a hand up. I.e. potential homeowners had to put in some sweat equity and pay off a deeply discounted and ultra low interest home loan to get their house.

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Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

I noticed an opportunity on the city's web site.

http://www.grand-rapids.mi.us/index.pl?pag...p;news_id=17543

Iraqi School Children Need Your Help

A Grand Rapids Marine reserve unit, A Company, 1st Battalion, 24th MAR (USMC), has sent word that Iraqi children need school supplies. The Army-Navy Club of Grand Rapids and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) of Grand Rapids Public Schools have teamed up to answer the call. From now until the 14th of December the JROTCs of Central HS, Ottawa Hills HS, and Union HS will collect any and all donated supplies of pencils, pens, paper, and other generic school items. The Army-Navy Club will then package and ship the supplies to A/24th for distribution. This is an opportunity for America to reach out to Iraqi children in a simple, yet meaningful gesture of peace and goodwill. To participate, please bring your donated items to either of the JROTCs at Central, Ottawa Hills, or Union high schools before December 14th. If you have any questions, please call Lieutenant Colonel Janowski (Central) at 819-2331, Master Sergeant Hall (Ottawa) at 819-5917, or Major Ware (Union) at 819-3360. Give a gift that will reach far into the future and make a difference in the lives of Iraq's next generation.

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Samaritan's Purse . They do an incredible job reaching out to those in need in impoverished countries. They provide food, clothing, support, etc. They also do the shoeboxes at Christmas time . . . it is amazingly humbling to see the joy on a child's face at getting such "treasures" as a new toothbrush, a pack of gum . .things we take for granted . . . . www.samaritanspurse.org

The Heiffer Program is also a fine organization. They do not give money but rather resources, i.e. cows, pigs, sheep, etc. in order that someone can begin to make a living w/ this resource (cow provides milk, gives birth to a calf which they give to their neighbors, etc.) www.heifer.org

Locally, I like to check out the Christmas wishes in the GR Press (either Thanksigving day or the day after) there are boundles wishes in there for needy families.

The list could go on and on and on . . . . .

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...Locally, I like to check out the Christmas wishes in the GR Press (either Thanksigving day or the day after) there are boundles wishes in there for needy families.

...

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Read those last year, and they all seemed to be for dollar amounts. I was ready to contribute a couple of spare bike helmets, but then realized that it was monetary only.

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I was approached last year to donate to my school system for the holidays. Since it seems like teachers are always in need of supplies and schools can always use additional equipment and/or monetary gifts, this was a very fullfilling experience that I plan to do again this year.

This way it benefits all of the children in your neighborhood. :thumbsup:

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web sites for non-profits (community foundations, churches, schools, etc.)

money to environmental causes

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Locally, I like to check out the Christmas wishes in the GR Press (either Thanksigving day or the day after) there are boundles wishes in there for needy families.

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I used to attend Special Olympics events to cheer on a family member. Eventually, I was encouraged to "help out."

Volunteering your time is great, but then I learned that some special needs folks who don't have sponsorship can't participate in events unless they have the financial means. Future participants aren't always folks who are attending school with sponsorship, but are often adults in supportive care who just need a constructive/competitive outlet. I would recommend help sponsoring anyone who is interested in Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics events instill pride and empowerment in those who are constantly broken down by some in society. I witnessed a transformation from a participant who was depressed and lifted to high spirits -- good stuff.

Special Olympics: Area 11, Southwest Region

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I've always wanted to deliver toys for Santa Claus Girls, but I've always had something going on the day they deliver. They usually ask for volunteers about a week ahead of the day to pick up and deliver donated toys. I don't know how well you'd be able to deliver toys on bike though, veloise. :D

There's an article in today's paper about Spartan Stores donating space to the charity this year

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss....xml&coll=6

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They come out Thanksgiving Day.

I read those every year. Many of them are not just monetary figures, but wishes such as building a wheelchair ramp, used eyeglasses, or seeking other used items for disadvantaged persons. I always wish I had the resources to answer all of them. The ones written by kids, or about kids, will melt even the hardest hearts.

...

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Glanced at these briefly on-line while at my brother's. What's with all the queen-sized beds?? (Why does a single mom need a QS bed?) And what's with "make a nice Christmas" for a 6-month-old?

I will look at them further when the Press brings my welcome home pack (i.e. the vacation loot bag full of all my missed papers). However, early returns indicate that I'm "whelmed" (not over).

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