As you browse through the profiles of Hour Media’s annual Give Detroit Nonprofit Directory, you’ll read about amazing people, organizations, and foundations that do this every day, without the need of compensation or even acknowledgement. They’re heroes in every sense of the word.
These people and groups represent everything that’s still good in the world. While headlines and social media like to highlight and focus on the negative and evil in people and society, those types of people comprise a small fraction compared to those who make a difference in our neighborhoods and communities. It’s the good people and groups that protect the vulnerable, care for the sick and injured, provide necessities for children and their families, support those who need a helping hand, help guide the vulnerable, cheer for the crestfallen, comfort the desolate, and remember and empower those whom society has forgotten.
Just take a look at a group such as Forgotten Harvest — an organization that has been on the front lines in our community for three decades delivering not just food, but hope. They’ve created a blueprint where one problem (waste) is a solution to another problem (hunger). Their food helps bridge the income gap for tens of thousands of people, allowing them to secure some basic life necessities for themselves and their families.
While Forgotten Harvest has been helping feed our neighbors, the Coalition on Temporary Shelter has been providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, and comprehensive support services for individuals in our community who are experiencing homelessness. COTS assists families in reaching their housing, economic, health, education, and career goals as they overcome homelessness and break the cycle of poverty for themselves, the next generation, and beyond.
Life Directions is another organization that offers important programs for at-risk young adults (ages 13-35). In 1973, one young adult was dying every 12 hours in Detroit. The founders of Life Directions intuitively knew that it was necessary to “get to the cause of the violence.” With its mission of “Peers Inspiring Peers,” Life Directions offers transformational programs and mentorship opportunities that encourage youth and young adults to seek a purposeful life direction. It’s not only about the present, but creating a better future today, for tomorrow.
These are just a few examples in this year’s GIVE section of organizations that save lives on a daily basis and give our neighbors a fighting chance to live, survive, and thrive. Take the time to read — and even help support — these people and groups that are providing the ultimate gift.