Six Ways Organizations Are Helping Children Overcome Obstacles
Children all over the United States witness violence every day in different ways. Many times, they are the victims of it. Witnessing violence can cause post-traumatic stress disorder, impact their ability to learn, and cause them to be more aggressive and violent themselves. It can impact their curiosity and natural desire to explore the world.
The best way to combat this negative impact is for children to have other caregivers and providers that offer support and facilitate healthy, safe relationships. There are some incredible organizations that are able to provide consistent and safe places for kids. Organizations that are able to follow through on commitments and promises to the kids they serve and provide stability. Calm, stable environments with people they can count on are the best for their development. It’s even better when they are able to participate in activities they love and find some role models outside of their homes.
We are highlighting just a few of these remarkable nonprofit organizations that work with kids in all situations and provide a safe place for them to grow. From artistic expression to sports to animals, you’ll see a little of the variety of programs available.
This organization recruits and trains volunteers to work with at-risk youth. They focus on youth in group homes, shelters, orphanages, and detention centers. By working to meet emotional and spiritual needs of the children, they are hoping to overcome drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, and teen pregnancy. With a religious background, this organization uses different kinds of ministry to connect with youth, including mission trips and prayer groups. It’s clear that the founder, Jan Tennyson, has had a huge impact on so many people in Dallas.
Here is one note from a father who saw this organization inspire his daughter:
It is one thing to dream, but it takes courage, determination, hard work, faith, and the willingness to go where many will not go to make a difference in the lives of others. The Dare to Dream Foundation does not only dare you to dream bigger than your wildest imagination, you are given the support, encouragement, and guidance that is needed to dream big and achieve it. I have known the director of this foundation for more than a decade and her steadfastness, tenacity, and message of hope have not changed. My 10-year-old daughter released her book this summer and the director took time out of her extremely busy schedule to come and encourage this budding young author to dare to dream. Her presence meant a lot to us and we are thankful for the work the Dare to Dream Foundation is doing. If you want an organization that will maximize your investment, Dare to Dream is the place to invest.
The mission of this nonprofit is to provide violence, alcohol, drug, and bullying prevention to kids and their families. They provide education that primarily allows the teens to work together in groups and learn from one another. There are also training opportunities for parents to get involved and be engaged with their children.
Read this note from someone who has experienced their work:
I am a teen who has been a part of many of the programs Omni Youth Programs has to offer. I think it is so important for teens today to have all the facts before they make important decisions in life. Especially on the decision on whether or not to drink or use drugs. There is a lot of pressure out there and a lot of bad information. I appreciate the voice and the support that Omni has given me.
This organization works with girls all over Florida to provide them an opportunity for a better future. They work with girls on their education and create individual plans to help them reach their maximum potential. With counseling, parental involvement, and career development, they are able to really help them excel. The plans created by the girls and their mentors helps each one hold herself accountable and stay on track.
Check out this review from a donor and volunteer:
PACE is an unbelievable opportunity for young women to have a second chance at life. This center is for girls whose lives had been traveling down a very destructive path, for a variety of reasons. PACE assists the girls in understanding what has transpired in their lives to get to such a tragic state, and allows them a safe environment to work through these emotional challenges, and to rebuild their esteem and confidence. It assists them in making different choices for their future. It has them interact with community leaders and supporters to show them that many successful and happy folks had similar bumps in the road. And it keeps these young ladies out of jail, giving them the chance to become our future leaders through the academic and emotional growth facilitated by the amazing staff and teachers. I feel blessed and honored to serve this program!
Baseball is known as the “nation’s pastime” and this organization uses baseball as a way to connect children in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. By creating baseball teams, they can reach a bigger number of young people and engage them in a fun and healthy activity. Baseball teaches kids to embrace teamwork and the importance of always giving your best. Each year, they are able to work with around 400 kids.
Here is a great note from a parent who had kids who were part of the program:
I was introduced to the Bonnie Youth Club some 25 years ago when my sons joined the club to learn to play baseball. They not only learned the game, they also learned teamwork, volunteerism, sportsmanship, and how to be student athletes, and they made lifelong friends. As a parent I not only bonded with other adults, but also ended up becoming a mentor and volunteer myself. The club helps inner city youth travel, balance school and books, and hone their skills on the ballfield. There are so many young people who are touched by the work being done by the Bonnie Youth Club that now there are generations of ballplayers who can call the Bonnies home. The club’s longevity is a testament to the good work they do for our kids.
Using poetry and hip-hop, AWOL works with young people to develop their creativity in a positive way. It’s a great outlet for teenagers to be able to write and perform at open mic nights and with groups of their friends. The founder, Tony Jordan, is an emcee and probation officer. He uses his talents to bring youth together and help them develop skills. They have an IT training program that helps teach kids how to refurbish computers, a theater arts program, and different music production programs.
Here is a great review from a volunteer explaining the importance of this organization to the youth in Savannah:
I have been involved with AWOL on and off since its inception and the work they have done with the kids in our community has been nothing short of stellar. Their presence in the Savannah area has been a blessing within itself. Their innovative as well as cultural approach has drawn in youth from all over the city who maybe could have easily succumbed to the many pitfalls that the city has to offer. They have also been instrumental in family involvement and giving back to the community as well, as evidenced by their Goon Squad program in which they teach city youth how to rebuild computers to donate back into the community. All in all, AWOL is the most progressive organization that this city will ever see and to see a program like this die out will be a travesty to the community as a whole.
Boiling Springs, S.C.
This incredible organization provides opportunities for troubled and at-risk children by offering education about horses. They have day camps, after-school sessions, and other special events. There is some incredible evidence that working with horses in therapy can work faster than traditional therapy for kids who have experienced trauma in their life. It allows children to do some self-discovery and work through emotions in a healthy way.
The volunteers seem to get as much out of their experience as the children themselves. Here is just one note from a volunteer:
Being a volunteer at Hope Remains Youth Ranch has been the most incredible experience. I thought at first I was there to be a blessing to others when in fact it has been the other way around! I think being a part of the HRYR family has been more of a blessing to me than I could ever be a blessing to the ranch. I never knew how much I would grow and mature as a person (and spiritually!) by being a part of the team there. Not only has my life been impacted, but everyday teens’ and kids’ lives are being impacted whether they realize it right now or not. There is nowhere else I would rather be.
We want to send a special thank you to all the organizations that are helping children around the country. This important work could not be done without the help of volunteers and donations. Please consider giving to one of these wonderful organizations in the future.