Don't be misled; you don't have to be in Columbus to make the kind of local differences you're about to see. But for today, we'll use our great city as an example of local needs and ways you can be a part of contagious change. Let's go!
Ohio has a great giving record, if you want to look at a super cool infographic detailing that, check it out here. While financial contributions may be easiest for some, volunteering might be better for others, or even a little bit of both. However you may choose to get involved, here are 5 organizations to check out.
1. A Kid Again *
Working to take the focus off of the hard realities of child illness, adventure days are created for terminally ill children where families can just have fun, and the child can simply feel like a kid again. You can donate to the cause here, or sign up to be a volunteer and help with the adventure days or visit the children in the hospital to make crafts or watch movies. (Make those craft-filled Netflix days more meaningful!)
2. Habitat For Humanity - Mid-Ohio *
Habitat is a nationwide charity with a localized focus on communities building themselves up, literally. They build homes for extremely low-income families and update existing ones. If you choose to donate, your money goes toward the cost of building the homes. You can also volunteer to help build the houses, or help in their project called ReStore where they sell discounted home appliances - diverting it from landfills in the process.
3. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption *
We all know Dave Thomas as the creator of the square Wendy's burger, but did you also know that since Wendy's was created in Columbus his foundation is headquartered here as well? Adopted himself, he felt passionately about finding permanent homes for foster children. His foundation provides grants to adoption agencies to help kids who have been waiting the longest find permanent homes. You can choose to donate, or if you want to do something even more fun, you can play a game of kickball! (P.S. there is a game in Columbus on May 17)
4. Children's Hunger Alliance
Food insecurity is a huge problem in Ohio, affecting about 25% of families, and many families don't have the resources to provide food with adequate nutrition content to their kids. CHA reimburses childcare providers who supply the children in their care with nutritious food and they also sponsor afterschool nutrition programs. You can volunteer in the school programs or make a contribution to directly feed undernourished children.
5. The Columbus Foundation*
Through their concept of PowerPhilanthropy, the Foundation helps you figure out which organizations to donate to out of hundreds based in Columbus. Their projects help cultivate community pride and interest. You can donate, or college students can even apply for one of their summer fellowships.
Ironically enough, while doing the research for this post I was wishing I had the POINT app to help me out. With the app, POINT will bring you (and me) closer to these sorts of local charities that are making a grassroots level difference.
And no difference is too small.
* reviewed with Charity Navigator