Pulling a cart along with its piled tarps and layers of possessions, a couple and their dog walk down Turner McCall Boulevard almost daily.
It’s not uncommon, just driving to and from work, to see people who are in need of a helping hand. Their circumstances could be self-inflicted, they could be suffering from past decisions from which they still haven’t recovered, they could be the victims of a disaster beyond their control or they could be lacking the family support network many of us enjoy.
It’s easy to look around and be discouraged.
One person can’t help everyone, but a community can make a difference. We are that community.
There are so many inspiring stories out there and even if they’re not the most read ones — especially online — we’ll continue publishing them in the hopes they’ll inspire even more.
Recently, drug court volunteers wanted to extend the opportunity at redemption they’d been given. They extended that help by spending a Saturday helping to get a new women’s shelter ready for residents.
That’s a small example, but one that speaks volumes.
In that one instance — that group of people who’ve had their own difficulties — are giving back to the Davies Shelter, which in turn is putting together another shelter specifically for women and families.
The shelter, and soon to be shelters, don’t receive any local government, state or federal funds for their services and programs. They’re completely dependent on volunteer financial support and volunteer labor.
This past week the Community Foundation for Greater Rome handed out grants to several local non-profits. Through those grants the Free Clinic of Rome hopes to expand dental treatment for patients and Living Proof Recovery received funding for a re-entry housing program for women in recovery.
Those are additional examples of how our community is taking care of our community — and there are so many other stories just like those.
Another generous act was announced at the same time. Members of the now dissolved First Christian Church chose to donate the proceeds from the sale of their church to non-profits including the Community Kitchen, the Star House, the Open Door Home and Habitat for Humanity.
Let’s not forget the work teachers do every day. In addition to being a place for education, schools have become a source of well-being for many kids.
Both school systems work to ensure students are fed. There’s a lot of money that goes out into the community from the schools in the way of sustenance for our children.
Pepperell Middle and High donated around $10,000 combined worth of goods to the Salvation Army earlier this month and students at East Central Elementary opened the We Care Service Center to offer school supplies, food, clothes and media center resources for those in need. Just this past week Coosa High School hosted a pop up market, giving away 10,000 pounds of food to those who needed it.
There are lots of local organizations that could use your resources, talents or time. DIGS provides resources and activities for adults with developmental disorders and Angel Express Inc. provides toys and essentials for local needy families.
You can also volunteer or donate to the Boys and Girls Club. There are many animal welfare organizations to consider as well including ARF, Helping Pawz and Floyd Felines, and there are volunteer opportunities at the PAWS shelter.
Another means to help is finding a way to give your time or money to things you are already passionate about. TRED works toward securing, creating and maintaining our local trails for running and biking. CRBI monitors and promotes not only the use of, but also the wellbeing of our rivers.
When we give back to the community in which we live, it only increases the quality of life for our own families and for others.
Take the considerable work from volunteers at the Exchange Club in gathering funds, toys and outreach for the Toys For Tots program, the Georgia State Patrol for gathering funds and toys for that same program as well. Just trying to think of everyone and everything who works in this community to try and make living life here better is an exhausting task.
It’s inevitable that the good deeds of a single person or single group is left out of this thank you to our community — but it’s not unseen or unappreciated.
In fact, it’s making us better every day.