Jerry Swon has a longstanding interest in volunteering and community involvement.

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Js Organizations Helping Military Veterans

Organizations Helping Military Veterans

Choosing a charity can be challenging. There are numerous organizations and nonprofits, all with different causes. So how do you choose a charity to donate your time or money to? The first step is choosing what type of cause you’d like to become involved in. Many people would like to find ways to support the troops. Whether you’ve served yourself or have a veteran in your family, helping military veterans is a wonderful cause to align yourself with.  If you’d like to make a difference in a service member’s or a veteran’s life then the next step is finding nonprofit.


The best charity organizations are those that focus on serving people in need. To do so, a nonprofit should be transparent with its finances and practices. If you’re looking for organizations to help military veterans there are a broad range of programs. Some groups focus on providing assistance such as utilities, rent, or medical expenses while others focus on boosting troops’ morale.


Here are a few highly-rated American organizations that are helping military veterans.


Freedom Service Dogs of America


This organization is special. The program adopts shelter dogs and then trains them to become service dogs. The majority of the dogs are then rehomed to military veterans and personnel who are injured or need assistance. The Freedom Service Dogs of America provides lifetime support to all of the veterans and their dogs and is 100 percent donor-funded. There is no charge for veteran clients.


The Gary Sinise Foundation


Actor, Gary Sinise has advocated for American military members for years. His foundation supports not only active duty service members and veterans but also first responders. The program’s mission to show gratitude towards those who serve this country through a number of programs. They host celebrations to boost morale, build homes for wounded veterans, and provide meals to families.


Operation Second Chance


This organization assists servicemen and women as they transition back into civilian life or back into active duty. Operation Second Chance has programs that pay and help to accommodate disabled veterans whether through remodeling housing or helping family members manage affairs. The charity does wonderful work in supporting soldiers in their rehabilitation and recovery.


There are many other ways to become involved with charities that don’t involve monetary donations. You can volunteer at a veterans hospital, provide calling cards, bake homemade treats, or write letters in support of our troops. Consider taking the time and finding a way to show appreciation for those who serve the country.

Js The Benefits Of Community Gardening

The Benefits of Community Gardening

Have you ever heard of a community garden? Urban agriculture, sometimes in the form of community gardening is a fantastic way to improve the health of community members, as well as benefit the environment. If you’re someone who is often involved with civic engagement then consider bringing the idea of a community garden to your next virtual neighborhood meeting.


While the year 2020 has posed a number of challenges to support the ability of a community to garden, there are still many ways to see that it’s made possible. Interested parties can discuss things online and set up times for everyone to go in person and get a bit of hands-on experience while remaining seperate and socially distanced. Community members should take their own tools, such as shovels and watering cans. It’s also important that everyone wears a mask and gloves while working in the common areas of the garden.


Community gardens can help to make nutritious foods more accessible in low-income areas Often times obesity and poor nutrition are issues that face these communities. A beautiful garden can help increase the number of fruits and vegetables that people have available to them. Furthermore, by composting the amount of neighborhood waste and be reduced. Not only will the animal life and biodiversity in the area begin to thrive, but the air and soil qualities will also rise.


Growing a garden and building stronger community ties go hand in hand. There are even correlations made between the safety of a neighborhood and whether or not there are shared things such as gardens.


Not only is urban gardening a wonderful way to impact the health of people in a positive way, but it’s also a great way to turn a vacant lot into something useful for everyone. In fact, there have been reports made that show neighborhoods with vacant lots are much more likely to see high crime rates, disease, and mental health disorders. An empty plot of land even decreases surrounding property values and can often become an illegal dumping site. Community gardening can truly empower people in the community.


Finally, urban agriculture or community gardening teaches residents, particularly young people, all sorts of useful skills. These skills include planning, food production, and responsibility. Once the garden is created volunteers can even begin selling any extra produce at local farmers’ markets. Community gardening can be one small way to make a difference in your area, both socially and economically.


Lending a Hand While Learning a Lesson

Life is not limited to what we gain, but what we give. More often than not, we get wrapped up in ourselves. We become self-centered, and sometimes we even think the world revolves around us. Lending a hand to your community gives you a jolt of reality. It helps you realize that you are not the only person that matters. When volunteering you not only are helping someone else out but are learning valuable lessons.

Volunteering Broadens Your Perspective

As mentioned before, we can often get wrapped up in ourselves. Our problems, our disappointments, they may seem like the absolute worse at the time. Sometimes it may even feel like the end of the world.

But, when you take a moment to reflect on the lives of others who are living with more significant problems, like homelessness or poverty, your perspective changes. It becomes easier to see your own life in a different light, and you have a lot more to be thankful for. Suddenly, those “big” problems, don’t seem to be that big anymore.

Even Small Changes Can Have an Impact

You don’t have to take on a big project like building a house, every single time that you volunteer. Like big projects, small projects can also offer an impact. Donating clothes, pulling weeds, or even walking an elderly neighbors dog may not seem like they would produce much of an effect, but even these little actions make all the difference.

Donating your old clothes can help someone keep warm. Pulling weeds improves the appearance of the community. Walking an elderly neighbors dog helps give “Fido” the proper exercise that he needs that his owner may not be able to provide. All of these actions produce meaningful reactions. The list of community service projects you can do is endless, and no matter the size they all create an impact.

We all have our own Narrative.

We all come from different backgrounds, with all different stories that describe who and why we are the person we are. As you volunteer, you will meet people from all walks of life. Your volunteer experience can be more fulfilling, by understanding the narratives of others. Not only that, but you become more compassionate and empathetic.

The stories of others help us to understand that all of us, no matter race, size, class, can experience hardships. We all need a little help sometimes that is why it is so important to create a community that is continually supporting each other.

These are only three lessons that volunteering in your community can help you learn. No matter how you volunteer, the experience will shape you immensely, and you will gain the satisfaction knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life.

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