Most people think of Giving Tuesday as a day to share your financial resources with non-profits. At CCA, we also appreciate when others give some elbow grease and share their expertise with us. For this Giving Thursday post, we asked staff, “Besides CCA, what is your favorite organization to support with your time, talent, and treasure?”
Sylvia Harris, Program Resource Navigator
We gather as a family and pack “Christmas Joy” gift boxes for Hope for Haiti’s Children (HFHC). The boxes are filled with candy, toys, school supplies which are purchased and packed here in the U.S. by many individuals, then shipped to Haiti and presented to HFHC-sponsored children. It is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to participate in a simple hands-on activity that has the power to bless a child in a foundational way.
Each year our family, many churches, organizations, and individuals lovingly pack shoe boxes with gifts to send to children living in desperate situations in Haiti. When a child opens a shoe box, they’re opening more than a present picked out just for them; they are being reminded that there are others who care and are praying for them. Each shoebox is a beautiful outpouring of God’s love to a child.
Coming together to do this simple act bonds us as a family. It allows us to understand that we can add a smile to another child’s face with a simple act of kindness. Thinking of this simple gesture makes me realize that we can continue to do more services of this nature throughout the year and beyond. I am but humbled of the thought!
Julie Carey, Program Manager
Trinity Haven provides housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing housing instability. Gendernexus provides supports and resources for gender-diverse individuals and their families including doctors, therapists, supports for navigating the work place, and more. In the past, I volunteered by offering donation-based LGBTQ yoga classes, with all proceeds going to the organizations. This year, my wife and I are thinking about embroidering stockings for those living at Trinity Haven and filling stockings with donations specific to each individual. There are a lot of obstacles and challenges for LGBTQ members. Having experienced some of those challenges personally, I feel it’s important to give back, represent, and let others know they’re not alone through their personal journeys.
Jamie Le Sesne Spears, Family Engagement Specialist
When we are able, we like to support Riley Children’s Foundation and Hospital as a family. The staff and resources at Riley carried us through our hardest days in the NICU with our son. After his passing, the acknowledgment and love for his life filled my heart and set the path for how we honor him in our home.
Kristin Kahl, Communications and Community Manager
My time-talent-treasure trifecta is spent at church. I share musical gifts there, lead small groups, and serve partner organizations like Pack Away Hunger and Indy Pride. I’m also a huge fan of the reporting, education, and entertainment that WFYI offers. I donate for more reasons than a free NPR coffee mug or PBS event tickets, but they are great perks!
Mollie Smith, Executive Director
Honor Flight Network celebrates America’s veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation’s memorials. Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the opportunity to share this momentous occasion with other comrades, remember the fallen, and share their stories and experiences with other veterans. Honored veterans always travel free of charge, thanks to generous donations to the organization.
We raised money for my husband to attend as a guardian for two different flights. My family also participated in the welcoming back home celebration at the end of the day. One tradition is for friends and loved ones to write letters and the veterans to receive during “mail call” on the way home. My daughter’s class adopted Jack, our veteran. He visited her classroom, and the entire class wrote him letters.
My husband is a veteran, and it is a great way to show veterans our appreciation and gratitude. This is especially true for those who did not receive a warm welcome when returning from war. It also special for those who haven’t had the opportunity to see the impressive memorials in Washington.
Rosy Sandoval-Hyre, Multicultural Family Engagement Specialist
Our church has a “sister parish” in Texiguat, Honduras called San Francisco de Asis. Every year, parishioners go to Honduras for a week to help missionaries who are medical professionals with their clinics (eye, dental, wellness, etc.). Volunteers also help with any other maintenance needed in the village. Though the church provides services and financial support, every single person who travels to Texiguat, Honduras always comes back with the same spiritual experience. Although we say we’re helping, truly, we experience joy in that they are helping us. They show us that simplicity connects us to one another and to God. My husband and I hope to one day go on a mission trip to experience the joy the missionaries experience at the sister parish. Until then, we will continue to support the Honduras Mission Trip financially and spiritually.
Patti Bowes, Data/Assessment Specialist
For years, I’ve donated gently used clothing, toys, and household items to Thrifty Threads, which the Julian Center operates. The organization lets survivors of domestic violence who may have fled with very few of their belongings shop there free of charge. I hope that the items bring a small bit of joy to those going through a very challenging time in their lives.
Grace Sededji, CCR&R Specialist
We like to make donations to local shelters in our area, especially around the holiday time.
Jessica Carman, Community Engagement Specialist
Isaiah 117 House provides a safe, comforting home for children being removed and entering into foster care as they wait for their placement. This organization is close to my heart after almost 10 years working with DCS. There, I witnessed the trauma children experience when being removed from their family. Isaiah 117 provides for children while also easing the transition for foster families and support case managers. There are many different ways to support during the year. These include donations (both monetary and new items), hosting a lemonade stand, or sponsoring a child involved with DCS at Christmas. Since Christmas is our favorite time of the year, my husband and I enjoy buying presents for a few children. We then volunteer to wrap presents that are being donated and delivering them to the DCS office!