Check This List Twice For End-Of-Year Giving
As the calendar year winds down, there's still time to support worthwhile organizations and get a little tax benefit in the process.
By Dwain Hebda
Many Central Arkansas nonprofits depend heavily on grass roots support to run their programs during the course of the year. December is a great time to give these organizations a little boost. For those still looking to make a donation, please consider the following organizations, all of which are widely recognized for their good works in the community. We asked the leaders of each to let us know exactly how your donations help them achieve their goals.
Providing support for art and young artists is the goal of the Thea Foundation, which augments existing arts programs in schools and forms partnerships to help seed classroom art programs where there are none. The organization fosters outreach such as Thea Paves The Way sidewalk art program, and exhibits to inspire and encourage art in beginners and experienced young artists alike.
“When you donate to Thea Foundation, you help keep the arts alive in schools across Arkansas,” said Paul Leopoulos, executive director. “You help provide art supplies and other creative materials to underfunded classrooms. You help local schools afford advanced visual arts tools, musical instruments and instructors. You help 30 high school seniors each year earn scholarships for doing what they love and countless others find their confidence through the arts.”
401 Main St., Ste. 100
North Little Rock, AR 72114
Haven is a residential group home for adolescent females in foster care, located in Conway. Residents come to Haven by referral from across the state—girls who come from a variety of harmful environments, all looking for a home free from abuse or neglect. Haven, which stands for Help for Abuse Victims in Emergency Need, can accommodate 12 girls at present but the 3,000-square-foot location is stretched to the seams.
“Contributions to Haven House will go to our Every Child Deserves a Home building campaign” said Marti Jones, director. “Haven is in the process of raising $2.4 million to construct a 9,000-square-foot commercial-grade home for the children in our care. This home will provide private bedrooms, a communal dining room, a commercial-grade kitchen to help teach independent living skills, a study room with computers and much more.”
P.O. Box 10105
Conway, AR 72034
CENTERS FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES
Providing for the emotional and social well-being of children and families is the mission of Centers for Youth and Families. Founded in 1884, the organization has offices in Little Rock and Monticello serving thousands of Arkansas families annually with age-appropriate, emotional care for children from infancy to age 26. Programs address typical family issues along with serving specific areas such as socially and emotionally challenged and at-risk youth, runaway and homeless youth, pregnant and parenting teens, foster families and victims of human trafficking.
“A donation of $100 will help provide clothing and basic necessities to a child admitted to our residential care,” said Melissa Dawson, CFYF chief operations officer. “Many times, kids come in without any possessions except the clothes on their back. Your donation makes it possible for us to provide the items they need and deserve.”
Centers for Youth and Families
P.O. Box 251970
Little Rock, AR 72225
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Habitat for Humanity is a respected global organization dedicated to the fundamental premise that every person should have a durable place to live in dignity and safety. Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas lives this mission by working to eliminate substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes. It also serves as an advocate for fair and just housing policies and provides training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
“When people donate to Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas, 100 percent of their donations go directly to building homes for hardworking families right here in Central Arkansas,” said Bill Plunkett, chief executive officer. “That’s because the Habitat ReStores fund the affiliate’s overhead. Our homeowners are grateful for Habitat donations and ReStore donations or purchases.”
Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas
6700 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72209
Lucie’s Place provides LGBTQ young adults experiencing homelessness in Central Arkansas with safe living environments, job training and counseling services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success. The organization runs a drop-in center in downtown Little Rock, where LGBTQ young adults receive assistance in a safe and supportive environment. Lucie’s Place also has a home for LGBTQ young adults experiencing homelessness. Residents live in this home free of charge and work on developing the skills necessary for future independence.
“Your support will ensure that Lucie’s Place members have access to the support, services and items they need to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient members of our community,” said Penelope Poppers, executive director. “This includes counseling, housing, bus passes, toiletries, clothing, HIV testing, glasses, cell phones, et cetera.”
300 S. Spring St., Ste. 715,
Little Rock, AR 72201
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Providing children with strong, enduring one-no-one relationships is the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. The organization recruits volunteer mentors, known as ‘Bigs,” who spend two to three hours several times per month with their mentee in the community, or an hour a week in a school setting. In both scenarios, mentor-mentee relationships are one-on-one and give children a positive role model that they may otherwise be lacking.
“Our program is a service to the community, implemented through recruitment efforts as well as extensive interviewing and assessment of all potential Big Brothers and Big Sisters,’ said Chrissy Chatham, CEO. ‘Your donation will cover the expense of multi-layered background checks of potential mentors, thus ensuring child safety and providing the groundwork to match the right caring adult with a child in our community.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas
312 W. Pershing Blvd.
North Little Rock, AR 72114