Thanksgiving has always been known as the holiday where we should give thanks for what we have. But what if we shifted the focus to the other half of the word for a change? What if we focused on the GIVING just as much as the thanks? Barbara Bush once said, “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” We are beyond blessed to be surrounded by great organizations that are doing everything in their power to help those in need whether financially, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Below are a few of the organizations that the Godshall staff are participating in to help build up the community of Greenville.
The Meyer Center of Greenville – Carol Tribby
“I give and volunteer at The Meyer Center in Greenville. Their vision is to help children living with disabilities reach their maximum potential. For over sixty years, the Meyer Center has provided a one-of-a-kind environment that immerses their students in a world of learning. While my volunteer work there is year around, I am especially involved during their school year. We had a Family Fun Night this year, which was a lot of fun for the families of the children who attend The Meyer Center. I can’t go there without seeing the smiling, happy faces of the kids we serve, and our community is blessed by the work that is done there.”
Brookwood Church – Feed the Homeless or Less Fortunate – Richard Heard
I am fortunate to lead a men’s bible study group at Brookwood Church every Monday night. Our group sponsors/leads a “feed the homeless or less fortunate” meal on the first Saturday of every month at 3:00pm off Hammett Rd just off Poinsett Hwy. It’s an outdoor event and we bring chairs, tables, and tents and feed between 85-200 people every meal. (Brookwood has this feeding on the other Saturday’s of each month as well.) We supplement the other group feedings as needed and likewise, they assist us as well. It’s a great way to show that we care, to spread God’s word/love, and bring some happiness to those less fortunate. In addition, we provide community service projects such as home repairs on an ongoing basis.
The Family Effect – Hannah Spellmeyer
When I first moved to Greenville, I joined the Junior League to meet other women. The impact we’ve had as an organization and its subsequent impact on me over the last four years has been enormous. In addition to providing thousands of volunteer hours and countless grants to deserving organizations, the Junior League of Greenville stays true to its mission of developing the potential of women through our volunteer efforts. From parliamentary procedures to managing significant budgets to making fundraising asks to handling difficult conversations with poise, The Junior League is an organization that gives back to its community and its members. Although I had known about the Family Effect for some time, my first exposure to volunteering there was through the Junior League. I’m honored to have joined their Board of Directors this year. The Family Effect’s mission is to reduce addiction as a leading cause of family collapse through evidence-based programs. Their programs include a home for young men who are coping with addiction as well as an inpatient rehab facility for mothers where their young children can stay with them and receive early treatment for emotional and behavioral issues related to an addicted parent. At the Family Effect, we believe our community is stronger when families can heal together.
The Salvation Army – Shawn Kinard
I was recently introduced to the Salvation Army and the amazing work they have been doing for people for over a hundred years. I used to think all the Salvation Army did was ring bells around Christmas time, but I quickly learned they do so much more! The campus here in Greenville has men and women’s shelters, adult rehabilitation programs, ministry programs, and so much more! I got to serve in their dining hall a couple of weeks ago and met some of the participants in their rehab and housing programs. The men and women there were so appreciative of all that The Salvation Army is doing for them and said they don’t know where they would be without it. I’m excited to get more involved and would encourage anyone looking for an organization to check out The Salvation Army!
Read Up Greenville – Katherine Ericson
I was the Logistics Co-Chair for the inaugural year in 2016. LOVE this charity – it is so important that Lee Yarborough brought this event to Greenville, SC. It is a Young Adult Literature Festival that was held in August at the Peace Center. Close to 30 authors came to talk to avid readers – ages 10 and up through adults. These authors are like rock stars to young readers. The passion and encouragement they gave for the youth of the Upstate to read and write was just amazing. We had over 200 attendees in the first year from all over the southeast and plan to grow it even larger in October 2017. Reading is so important to me. When I was a child and my mom would say lights out, I would take a flashlight and continue reading under the covers! I have seen children want more out of life because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to travel the world because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to invent and challenge themselves in their careers because of the books they have read; and most importantly, I have seen children become comfortable with their individuality because of the books they have read.
Sponsor a Child – Cathy Boggs
Since baseball does not count as a charity, I have to give more money than time. We sponsor an 8-year-old child named Diego in El Salvador and give monthly to help his family provide education, birthday presents, holiday gifts, etc. We keep an ongoing “pen pal” relationship and will continue to sponsor him until he graduates. I want my kids to appreciate all they have and realize we can make a difference in another part of the world. We will eventually do a mission trip as a family to finally meet him in person and see first-hand the difference we made in a family’s life.
United Way – Rebecca Faulk
Greenville is blessed to have many diverse and strong charitable organizations, so for me, it is hard to pick just one. I love giving to and being involved with the United Way of Greenville’s efforts in the Upstate. They have a strong team, a great support system, and fully vet the organizations they disburse funds to. It makes me feel confident that, since I do not have one organization I specifically donate to, my money and efforts are being spread to several organizations in need of assistance.
Loaves and Fishes – Ana Davis
I have been a volunteer board member for the last 7 years and this has been an eye opening experience for me and my family. I came from Colombia, South America almost 20 years ago and never thought that there were hunger issues in Greenville County or in this country. I was completely wrong! I have seen so many cases through my involvement with Loaves & Fishes. Childhood hunger is a real issue in Greenville County. 49.5% of our children are eligible for free or reduced lunches. I have been so blessed to be able to serve on this board and I highly encourage you to get involved in any capacity–as a volunteer rescuing food, coordinating a can food drive within your church, your community or your business, or just being aware of what we do. When you see a situation of anyone ready to throw away food or anyone experiencing hunger, you can just give us a phone call and we will take care of it or refer you to the right organization. What Loaves & Fishes does is a beautiful thing. They not only feed the hungry, but they rescue food and put those two pieces together making a huge impact in this community. There are only 5 people on staff and what they do every day is incredible and a blessing to all of us!
Do you have any charities or organizations you like to give to or serve with?