On this page we will propose and examine various needs. We are inviting your suggestions!
FIRST AND FOREMOST, please allow us to suggest that you should support your local church. If you don't attend a local church, we would be happy to help you find a good one. If you are not yet ready for a local church, or another that you want to be a part of and attend regularly, we hope you will feel comfortable in allowing us to at least talk with you about this at some point.
It's possible, you know, in this Age of the Internet, to attend church online, and even attend a live church service online. My wife and I do this regularly, and we consider ourselves to be just as much members of the church as if we drove into the parking lot each week. (But we can't do that, 'cause the church is in San Antonio, Texas!) However, we enjoy being a part of the worship service just as much as if we were physically there in the congregation. And, we support the church just as if we were physically there.
If you'd like to tune in some Sunday (8:30 or 11:00 am Central), just go to GETV.org. The reason we like this church is that it is very Biblical, non-denominational, and it is doing a tremendous lot of good in the world for people who are not part of this church. And when you connect to the Sunday service live through a Roku device and watch on your home TV instead of on a computer screen, there is really nothing better if you cannot attend in person!
The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, is a cause almost anyone would want to be involved in. Founded more than 50 years ago by Danny Thomas, this committed entertainer believed that "no child should die in the dawn of life," and we’ve spent more than half a century focusing on our mission of finding cures and saving children.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Because of you, St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Thanks to donations and support from businesses, government organizations and individuals like you, the Feeding America network of food banks, pantries and meal programs serves virtually every community in the United States — 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Ninety-eight percent of all donations raised go directly into programs serving people in need.
The Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs serves virtually every community in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Food is available to anyone who needs it without obligation, regardless of circumstance and it is free and confidential.
Mercy Chefs is a unique organization. Mercy Chefs originated as a disaster relief organization, and this remains our primary focus. Outside of natural disasters and national emergencies, we recognize a responsibility to utilize our equipment, resources, skills and volunteers to the meet the needs of others. Consequently, our team has formed four branches of service: Community Outreach, Disaster Relief, Permanent Kitchens and Clean Water. We provide nutritionally rich meals in low income communities and among homeless populations within the United States. We host summer feeding programs, bi-weekly meal services, events designed to unify at-risk communities, holiday meals and our annual 17 Days of Christmas event. We work diligently to help create a measure of stability within the populations who do not know where their next meal will come from.
Gary LeBlanc started Mercy Chefs in 2006. He says, "When I founded Mercy Chefs I could have never imagined all that God would do through us. At the time, I was broken by what I had witnessed while volunteering in my hometown of New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The devastation was so intense and widespread. Lives were completely disrupted. The community was in ruins. In New Orleans, I saw first hand the incredible difference a hot meal could make, but with thirty-five years in the hospitality industry under my belt, I was surprised and outraged by the quality of food being served. I knew something more could be done and became inspired to the point of distraction by the idea of serving high quality food in a disaster zone. Little did I know how far that distraction would lead. To date we have served over 1,750,000 meals - an average of 436 meals every day for eleven years! We now have three mobile kitchens and two refrigerated trailers and are able to respond across the United States as well as abroad. Please take the opportunity to volunteer or partner with us!"
NeverThirstWater.org The human body doesn’t care about the color of your skin or if you are rich or poor. Without water, we all die. You can survive without a toothbrush. You can survive without soap. But the absence of water is the absence of life. At Neverthirst, we take a whole-body approach to the people we serve. Though we always begin with water, we also endeavor to teach good hygiene and the value of sanitation. Clean water gives people the gift of time previously spent collecting water (usually hours each day). Clean water also helps to reduce diseases that can lead to death.
GO LOCAL. (1) If you're a pet lover, find a local pet shelter you can visit. Maybe you can volunteer some time. Anybody can donate money...but maybe you can find a way to do that and then some. (2) Want to be REALLY blessed? Visit a local hospital and find out what it needs volunteers for. Or find a nursing home. People in nursing homes hardly ever have enough visitors. (The REALLY BLESSED part comes from the realization that you can get up each day from a bed that's NOT in a hospital or nursing home, AND that you are really making a difference in the lives of patients.) (3) Find a local charity that would just LOVE to have you stop in and inquire about what it's doing and what needs it has. (4) Are you a parent? Maybe you could find some way to get more involved in your child's schooling and sports activities. (5) If you attend, or want to attend, a local church, make it a goal to first find the right one for you and your family, and then to get involved in the life of that church. There is no end to the ways you can be involved. (Here's a radical suggestion: Ask God to direct your path. Ask Him to help you with your desire to get involved. And be prepared for His help!)
If you have kept up with issues like our planet's pollution crisis, you know there is a tremendous amount of junk floating and drifting around in our oceans. Most of that junk is plastic. There is one organization today that is making plastic ocean pollution its mission, and to date 4Ocean has removed MILLIONS of pounds of plastic and trash (THOUSANDS OF TONS!) from oceans and coastlines in 27 countries! 4Ocean was started just a few years ago when two surfers went to Bali in Indonesia for a vacation and were distressed to find that even the pristine Bali beaches were covered in plastic. They decided they had to find a solution to this huge problem.
The two surfers realized that the proliferation of plastic threatened both the ocean environment and the livelihood of fishermen. Could the fishermen use their nets, they wondered, to pull the plastic from the ocean? This idea stuck with the two surfers and they knew it was time to hit the drawing board. After realizing that the demand for seafood was driving the fishermen to focus on fish instead of plastic, they knew they had to create something that could fund the desired cleanup efforts. This is how the 4ocean Bracelet was born. Made with recycled materials, every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines.
OPERATION SMILE A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as $240 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world. Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. Bill Magee, a plastic surgeon and dentist, and his wife, Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates. What they found was overwhelming. "People pushed their babies at us." recalls Kathy. "They tugged at our sleeves with tears in their eyes and begged us to help their children."
Approximately 300 families came hoping their children would receive surgery, but the team was only prepared to treat 40 children. As they prepared to leave, the Magees made a promise they would return to help more children. They began soliciting donations of surgical equipment and supplies from manufacturers, threw themselves into grassroots fundraising and assembled a volunteer team of eighteen doctors, nurses and technicians for another medical mission to the Philippines. This helped approximately 100 more patients, but even this initial need was so much greater than the Magees felt able to meet.
Today, Operation Smile is an international medical charity which has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other dental and facial conditions. It is one of the oldest and largest volunteer-based organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of children worldwide through access to surgical care. Since 1982, Operation Smile has developed expertise in mobilizing volunteer medical teams to conduct surgical missions in resource-poor environments while adhering to the highest standards of care and safety. Operation Smile helps to fill the gap in providing access to safe, well-timed surgeries by partnering with hospitals, governments and ministries of health, training local medical personnel, and donating much-needed supplies and equipment to surgical sites around the world. Founded and based in the US state of Virginia, Operation Smile has now extended its global reach to more than 60 countries through its network of credentialed surgeons, pediatricians, doctors, nurses, and student volunteers.
MIGHTY OAKS FOUNDATION Many of our Nation’s Warriors struggle with the hardships of military service and reintegration back into civilian life, often leaving broken homes in their aftermath and comprising one of the most at-risk groups for suicide. Mighty Oaks Foundation tackles this critical issue with our peer-to-peer resiliency and recovery programs offered at no cost to our honored service men and women. You can make a direct impact today and effect positive change through your donation, guiding our service men and women to find a new life purpose through hope in Christ.
Through the mission of Mighty Oaks Foundation last year, we afforded 672 Warriors the opportunity to attend one of our 32 Legacy Programs, which raises our total program alumni to 2500 in the last eight years. We also reached our goal to serve over 110,000 active duty warriors at Military Resiliency Programs on bases across the nation, while distributing over 65,000 foundation-produced books! The Warriors we serve attend our programs at NO COST, all because of your support!
In 2014, inspired by his rescued Siberian Husky Splash, Justin Palmer started a Facebook page called I Love Dogs. The page quickly grew to over a million fans and in 2015, Justin cofounded iHeartDogs.com with Marshall Morris, an army veteran. Inspired by their passions for helping shelter dogs and supporting our veterans, Justin and Marshall built a line of products that give back to shelters and raise money to provide service dogs for veterans in need. We strive to make the highest quality, most unique products for pups and people that also do something even greater. That’s why when you shop iHeartDogs, we make a donation through each purchased item towards one of a variety of give-back programs. These are real, ongoing programs, making an impact right now, as you read this.