Are you looking for ideas to teach your child to have a heart for service? Does your teen need community hours for a project? The best way to teach your child strong core values is to demonstrate these values in action. It doesn’t have to be official. Your family can do yard work and errands for a housebound neighbor. Or you can host a garage sale and donate all the proceeds to benefit a local shelter. There are many creative ways to volunteer based on your community needs and your child’s interests. We hope this directory will inspire your family to make a difference in the Chattahoochee Valley area.
United Way’s Volunteer Center
If you are looking for volunteer opportunities in the Chattahoochee Valley, we suggest you register with the Volunteer Center of the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.
United Way is a fantastic resource for identifying non-profit organizations in our area. You can even search for half- or full-day, on-going or one-day volunteer opportunities, in addition to requests for in-kind donations.
The goal of the Volunteer Center is to successfully connect volunteers to nonprofit agencies throughout the Chattahoochee Valley. Opportunities include helping the homeless, assisting low income families, motivating children to discover and learn, and assisting with health-related special events.
Youth Volunteer Opportunities: You must be 13 years old to register as a volunteer. Several of UWCV’s volunteer opportunities will allow youth aged 10-14, accompanied by an adult, to participate.
For more information: Please check with the Project Coordinator of the specific volunteer opportunity or contact the volunteer center 706-327-3255 ext 212 for more specific information.
List of local organizations you can contact directly:
- Brookside Glen Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s Care ~ http://brooksideglenAL.com
- Columbus Public Library ~ http://cvlga.org/support/volunteer
- Columbus Area Habitat ~ http://columbusareahabitat.com/volunteer.html
- Ronald McDonald House ~ http://rmhc.com/how-you-can-help/volunteer/
- The Medical Center ~ http://columbusregional.com/ColumbusContentPage.aspx?nd=1671
- Valley Rescue Mission ~ http://valleyrescuemission.org/get-involved/volunteer/
- Columbus Parks and Recreation- volunteer ~ http://columbusga.org/parks/volunteer.htm
- Columbus State University ~ http://career.columbusstate.edu/volunteer_list.php
- National Infantry Museum ~ http://nationalinfantrymuseum.org/volunteer/
- Feeding the Valley Food Bank ~ http://feedingthevalley.org/volunteer.aspx
- Callaway Gardens ~ http://callawaygardens.com/support-the-gardens/volunteer
Local Charitable Organizations
The following organizations have been featured on Satantenka as part of our annual Gratitude and Giving Back theme in November.
Begin Again Farms
Begin Again Farms, located in Ellerslie, Georgia, is a nonprofit organization devoted to the care and rehabilitation of abused and needy horses. They rescue imperiled, retired or abandoned hoofed animals. By providing a safe refuge, Begin Again Farms promotes rehabilitation so animals can return to full physical ability and be adopted.
How can you give back? Volunteers are always welcome and needed to work with horses, cleaning, and helping with special events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melissa Heaney at [email protected]. Monetary donations can be made online from Begin Again Farms’ website. Click here for a list of in-kind donations.
Begin Again Farms is located on Harris Road, Ellerslie, GA 31807.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Our partnerships help each child achieve improved school attendance, more confidence when completing schoolwork, higher levels of trust in their parent, less likely to initiate drug and alcohol use.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to help mentor a child. Volunteers need to be 18 years or older and pass a background check. The volunteer will mentor a child age 6-17 years old. We ask that the Big Brother or Big Sister also known as a “Big” spend at least 8 hours per month with his or her Little Sister or Little Brother also known as a “Little”. We encourage the Bigs to incorporate the Little’s hobbies as well as their own into fun, inexpensive activities to do with their Little. To become a volunteer or for more information about other volunteer opportunities, please contact the Program Director, Erica Lee at [email protected] or 706-327-3760. It’s time to Start Something Big!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley’s mailing address is 1350 15th Avenue, Columbus, GA 31902. Please visit our website at thefamilyctr.org.
Brown Bag of Columbus Food Ministry
Started in July 1987, Brown Bag of Columbus is a nonprofit agency which provides groceries to low-income, elderly individuals in Columbus and Phenix City. It began after a survey, done in conjunction with the Area Agency on Aging, showed many individuals were falling through the cracks and unable to get needed assistance from federal or local programs.
How can you give back? Brown Bag needs individuals to help at the site, help with home deliveries, sewing shopping bags and clerical assistance. This agency is always in need of food so individuals can also sponsor non-perishable food drives at their church, school, business, etc. Volunteer opportunities are also available for special events, such as their Christmas Get-Together for the recipients of the program.
Financial donations can be made online at http://brownbagofcolumbus.com/giving. In kind donations of supermarket gift cards, food, paper products such as toilet paper and facial tissue, and full-sized toiletries are also needed.
Brown Bag of Columbus’s mailing address is PO Box 4828, Columbus, GA 31914.
Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry
The Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry (CVJM) is an organization that is dedicated to turning around the lives of those who are currently in prison while offering support to people who are integrating back into the community. Their message is, “You don’t have to repeat old behaviors. You can find hope.” Through various programs, CVJM, starts with support and education within the prison system and follows up with a number of programs to help newly released prisoners cope with changing behaviors, finding a residence, increasing literacy, and completing their GED.
How can you give back? There are several areas within the CVJM were volunteers are needed – bible teachers, visitation, mentoring, literacy coaches, GED tutors, and more. Click here to access a list of volunteer opportunities. Financial donations are also appreciated and can be made online.
The Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry’s mailing address is 1007 7th Ave., Columbus, GA 31901.
Circles in Columbus
Circles in Columbus, a community program offered by Open Door Community House agency, is a part of a national movement to end poverty. The National Circles Campaign is a high-impact community strategy to end poverty one family at a time through intentional relationships built across economic class lines. A Circle is an individual or family working to get out of poverty and two to four Allies in middle/wealthy economic class. Allies build a relationship with an individual or family working to become economically self-sufficient. Allies receive training to support the desire to find a path out of poverty. Individuals/families that have been accepted into this program create an 18 month plan to rise above poverty. They need help implementing the plan and that’s where the Allies come in to the picture.
Weekly community meetings are on Thursday evenings at Open Door Community House. Allies and Circle Leaders come together to provide support and network with one another.
How can you give back? There are so many ways you can get involved such as becoming an Ally, volunteering with children and teens during weekly meetings, or serving as a guest speaker for workshops. Visit the Circles in Columbus website for a full list of volunteer opportunities. Monetary donations are also needed. You can sponsor a meal, sponsor training of a Circle Leader, or just give in general to the program.
Open Door Community Home’s mailing address is 2405 2nd Avenue, Columbus, GA 31901.
Columbus Hospice & Columbus Hospice of East Alabama
Columbus Hospice & Columbus Hospice of East Alabama was founded in 1979 as a community based, not-for-profit health care program. They serve ten counties in Georgia and five counties in Alabama. While the main focus of the hospice program is to provide care to enable patients to spend their final days at home, sometimes needs cannot be met they may be admitted into the Columbus Hospice House.
How can you give back? Financial and in-kind donations are needed at Columbus Hospice & Columbus Hospice of East Alabama. In addition to supporting Hospice financially, people are needed to invest their time, talent and expertise as Hospice volunteers. Hospice offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, from patient/family care to office work and sporting events. Their Volunteer Coordinator will help you find the volunteer role that’s right for you. Click here to make a donation online or contact Hospice at (706) 569-7992.
Columbus Hospice & Columbus Hospice of East Alabama’s mailing address is 7020 Mood Road, Columbus, GA 31909.
The Columbus Museum is central to life in the Chattahoochee Valley as a hub of community learning and enjoyment. Through an educational approach the Museum strives to ignite creativity, inspire critical thinking, and spark conversation.
How can you give back? Columbus Museum volunteers are vital to the Museum experience for our visitors throughout the year. We are always in need of energetic and creative individuals with a passion for art and history! Volunteers can work in various departments within the Museum to provide support for daily operations and special projects throughout the year, such as the Education Department, Development Department, Design Department, Curatorial Department, or our gift shop! Volunteers are required to be 15+ years old and need to fill out a volunteer application, which is located on the Museum’s website at http://columbusmuseum.com/volunteer-opportunities/
1251 Wynnton Rd. Columbus, GA 31906, contact Kirsten Dunn, the Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected]
Crisis Center of Russell County
Since 1992, the Crisis Center of Russell County has been helping victims rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault. This agency helps victims navigate the daunting process of reporting and coping with assaults by creating a safety plan for victims’ families, obtaining short or long term housing, and supplying families with food, clothing and basic necessities. The Crisis Center’s domestic violence and sexual assault programs focus on supporting victims after the crime and their prevention program aims to prevent violence.
How can you give back? For more information about volunteer opportunities, please call 334-297-4484. Donations can be made to the Crisis Center of Russell at CB&T of East Alabama located at 1000 13th Street, Phenix City, AL 36867.
Easter Seals of West Georgia
The mission of Easter Seals West Georgia, Inc. is to provide quality services which enable individuals with disabilities or special needs and their families to achieve their maximum potential.
How can you give back? You can make a difference and help people with disabilities and special needs achieve their goals. Volunteer your time to share your talents, whether performing office work, volunteering at events and camps, or another way you can help. Volunteer opportunities at Easter Seals West Georgia include:
- Classroom Assistants – actual hands-on experience working with children
- Office Assistants – assisting with clerical duties and fund-raisers
- “Honey-Do” Assistants – helping out wherever there is a need
- Special Events / Fundraisers – assist in various fundraisers throughout the year
Contact Easter Seals of West Georgia to learn more about Easter Seals West Georgia volunteer opportunities. Financial donations make it possible for Easter Seals to offer services that help children and adults with disabilities achieve their goals and live more independent, satisfying lives. You can make donations online by clicking here.
Easter Seals of West Georgia’s mailing address is 2515 Double Churches Road, Columbus, GA 31909.
Family Theatre is a non-profit theatre company that was founded in 1997 and is located in Columbus, GA. Their mission is to present quality productions, promote Godly values and prepare people for excellence in theatre and in life. The Family Theatre provides a place for local actors, directors, musicians, choreographers and technicians to hone their skills and gain valuable practical experience both on and off stage. They want every interested person in the community to have an opportunity to be involved in theatre, regardless of experience level.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to keep/organize the history of Family Theatre by archiving the programs, posters and news articles for each production. There are also opportunities to help with scenery construction and painting, ushering, publicity and promotion, costuming and sewing, housekeeping and theater clean-up, stage management, vocal coaching, and so much more. Visit the Family Theatre’s website for a complete list of opportunities. To become a volunteer, contact the Theatre at 706-366-7196 or send an email to [email protected].
Donations are also needed and appreciated. Visit the Family Theatre’s website and click on the “Needs” tab for a current list of items that are needed. Financial donations can be made online by clicking on the “Patrons” tab of the Theatre’s website or call 706-315-6202 for more information.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park
At 9,049 acres located in Pine Mountain, FDR State Park is Georgia’s largest state park and a hiker’s and backpacker’s haven. More than 40 miles of trails wind through hardwood and pines, over creeks and past small waterfalls. FDR State Park is also home to Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site. Visitors have the ability to go camping, fishing, horseback riding, stargazing, bird watching, hiking and more. The Park offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year for children, teens and adults.
How can you give back? Georgia’s parks and historic sites offer varied opportunities from conservation to campground maintenance. An annual membership of $15 is required to be listed as a volunteer with Georgia Parks. This membership covers the cost of processing your application, the excess liability insurance and a criminal background check. To see the Volunteer Packet and Guidelines for Georgia State Parks, click here. For more information on volunteering contact Nylete Wallace at [email protected] or at 770-389-7278.
Feeding the Valley
Feeding The Valley is one of seven regional food banks in the state of Georgia. It serves as a center for the reception and distribution of donated food and grocery products. Donations are received from national and local retailers, as well as from area businesses, individuals, civic groups, schools and churches. This organization serves 13 counties in West Georgia and Russell County, Alabama. On average, the food bank distributes more than 500,000 pounds of food on a monthly basis.
Feeding the Valley offers several programs to feed children in need nutritious meals on weekdays throughout the school year and summer months. They also offer a Buddy Pack Program for children who are likely to experience hunger during the weekend when free breakfasts and lunches are not available.
Feeding The Valley also distributes food to more than 220 member agencies, such as soup kitchens and food pantries, within the area. Their Mobile Pantry program provides direct distribution to more than 6000 needy families each month in locations that have limited access to emergency food pantries.
How can you give back? $1 can provide 6 meals for a needy family and about $3 per week can sponsor a back pack for one child as part of Feeding The Valley’s Buddy Pack Program. Donations can be made online or sent by mail. Volunteers are needed to sort and pack food, keep the warehouse clean, and perform clerical/office duties. Shifts typically run from 7 am – 5 pm, Monday-Thursday. Interested volunteers should contact Kathi Murphy at 706-561-4755 or [email protected].
Feeding The Valley’s mailing address is 5928 Coca Cola Blvd., Columbus, GA 31909-5531.
FOCUS (Fellowship Of Christians United in Service) is a faith based non-profit organization dedicated to helping the less fortunate and those in need in Harris County, Georgia. Their ministries include a thrift shop, food bank, providing financial assistance for medical bills and medication, helping with utility payments, assisting with home repairs and promoting child abuse prevention. In 2012 FOCUS gave out 5625 bags of food to 1161 families and made home repairs for 18 home owners with the help from several other Harris County agencies.
How can you give back? Volunteers can their time to working in the thrift shop, providing home repairs, working in the food bank, or becoming a program mentor. Click here for a list of FOCUS volunteer opportunities. Monetary donations can be made online or sent by mail. They also welcome food donations to their food bank as well as items to their thrift shop. Contact FOCUS at [email protected] or (706) 628-9955 for more information.
FOCUS’s mailing address is PO Box 524, 232 Hamilton Square Street, Hamilton, GA 31811.
Hope Harbour provides emergency shelter, security, crisis intervention and advocacy for women and children who are victims of domestic violence in Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Marion, Taylor and Talbot counties. For 34 years, this agency has offered a variety of services to include counseling, parenting skills training, legal advocacy, and housing assistance. Victims are able to heal from the trauma of abuse while recovering in a location that is undisclosed by court mandate and under 24 hour surveillance.
How can you give back? Hope Harbour relies on volunteers to help on various levels, to include planning children’s activities, helping with donation organization, and providing advocacy for victims such as answering crisis line calls. Volunteers must attend an orientation to explore their areas if involvement. To volunteer, visit their website at hopeharbour.org or contact the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or at 706-256-0237, ext 114.
Hope Harbour’s efforts are only possible because of the generous support received from individuals and organizations who believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. Visit their website to make a donation online or mail checks to Hope Harbour, P.O. Box 4182, Columbus, GA 31914-0182.
Homeless Resource Network
The mission of the Homeless Resource Network is to actively partner with the community to seek solutions to homelessness through advocacy, services and collaboration. HRN has established working relationships with each of the social service agencies involved in homeless issues in an effort to coordinate services for people experiencing homelessness.
How can you give back? There are several ways to get involved with Homeless Resource Network. HRN can use your help whether you are a hands-on person and want to volunteer, are a donor wanting to support a good cause, or are an advocate willing to write letters to your senators or legislators. Visit HRN’s “Get Involved” page on their website.
House of Heroes
House of Heroes (HOH) is a nonprofit organization serving our nation’s military and public safety veterans (and their spouses) who are disabled, living on a fixed income, or facing other physical/financial challenges. Volunteers perform minor repairs and make improvements to the homes of veterans and their spouses – at no cost to the veteran – through the generosity of individuals, civic organizations, and corporations. Volunteers do not have to possess any home repair or construction skills. HOH project leaders will teach you everything you need to know.
How can you give back? Contact the House of Heroes office at 706-562-1032 or [email protected] for upcoming volunteer opportunities. Home repair projects are usually 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday and some Saturdays and Sundays. HOH volunteers should be age 18 and older, however, they do accept ages 14-17 with adult supervision. Donations are always welcome and can be made online by visiting the House of Heroes website. A $10 donation will help purchase a box of nails, a $50 donation will help provide a new toilet, and $150 donation can provide a new door to our veterans and their spouses.
House of T.I.M.E.
The House of T.I.M.E. established in 1994, is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality, long-term, residential treatment services in a structured, community based environment to homeless women who are at least 18 years old and who are substance-addicted. All of the residents are homeless and many have experienced sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, lack of education, and poor health care. The House of T.I.M.E. offers each resident the opportunity to address these issues, as well as others, while teaching the women life skills needed for independent living.
How can you give back? Volunteers are vital to the House of T.I.M.E. and are needed to teach classes, GED tutoring, organizing and photographing events, instructing residents in a craft or hobby, and distributing information within the community about our program are just a few examples. Visit the House of T.I.M.E. website to learn more about how you can get involved. This agency is also in need of .
House of T.I.M.E.’s mailing address is 1200 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31906.
Humane Society of Harris County
Originally founded as Morning Star Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Harris County has served the Harris County community since 1991. The Humane Society of Harris County is a licensed, non-profit organization dedicated to the general welfare, shelter and placement of homeless animals.
How can you give back? The Humane Society of Harris County is an organization, which is financially dependent on donations and relies on volunteers to help provide services to the community. With a wide range of tasks, the HSHC accommodates a variety of volunteer interests and talents that help fulfill the needs of animals and operation responsibilities. Please visit their website for a list of volunteer needs.
Financial and in-kind donations are also needed. Financial donations can be made at any local CB&T or 1st Peoples Bank. A list of items that are needed for the HSHC can also be found on their website. Please visit humanesocietyofharriscounty.org for more information or call 706-987-9363 to find out how you can help.
Infusion is a servant leadership-based program, sponsored by the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, in which students from diverse backgrounds engage community by study, reflection, and direct interaction around issues of social justice. Students who participate in this program will encounter people of different social, cultural and economic settings and will reflect on the spiritual and personal aspects of social change. Students also learn about themselves by exploring how each person’s personality, faith and life experience can make a difference.
Students will meet people from all walks of life – different faiths, cultures, races, and social and economic backgrounds. By working as a team, Infusion students will look for ways to bring people and communities together as they work to empower others and bring about positive changes.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to:
- Assist with planning and executing projects & events
- Serve as mentors for high school students and help encourage dialogue regarding development as servant leaders
To get involved, volunteers should contact Meg Olive at 706-718-5540 or at [email protected].
Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission
Created in December 1986, the mission of the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission (KCBC) is to engage and educate individuals to take greater responsibility for enhancing beautification, protecting the environment, and eliminating litter and blight. The Commission became a Certified Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. in January 1988. The Commission’s programs and projects support advanced waste management techniques and enhanced community aesthetics.
Some of their more well-known programs/projects include: Help The Hooch, Christmas Tree Recycling, GA I-185 Scenic Byways, etc. Visit KCBC’s website for a full list of programs.
How can you give back? Interested volunteers can contact the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission at 706-653-4008 and mention a specific program of interest.
Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission’s mailing address is PO Box 428, Columbus, GA 31902.
Your Local Library
Whether you live in Columbus, Ft. Benning, Phenix City or Harris County, you have a local library at your doorstep. Your local library is not just a place to go and enjoy traditional library services such as borrowing books and films, reviewing periodicals, or using the computers. Libraries also host a number of programs, classes and events for adults, teens and children.
How can you give back? Many volunteer opportunities for both teens and adults at local libraries in the region. Recurring or one-time volunteers are needed to help out with many of their weekly programs or special events. Contact your local library to learn how you can put your talents to work.
Literacy Alliance facilitates the growth of literacy levels of residents in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding area through community partnerships. Literacy Alliance promotes awareness of how low literacy levels impact the community as well as affect a person’s self-esteem and the ability to provide for themselves.
Literacy Alliance has several programs to increase literacy levels in children – Kindergarten Readiness, Dictionary Project, Heroes Read, Livin’ The Dream and Book Parades. To find out more about each program please visit the Literacy Alliance website at http://theliteracyalliance.org/index.html.
Adults looking to increase literacy levels are referred to several other programs within the community such as at Tillinghurst Learning Center and several other organizations within the community.
How can you give back? Volunteers interested in on-going or one-time volunteer opportunities can email Literacy Alliance at [email protected] to receive additional information. Monetary and/or book donations are always welcome. To make a donation contact Literacy Alliance at 706-563-7555 or at [email protected].
Literacy Alliance’s mailing address is PO Box 2123, Columbus, GA 31902-2123.
Magnolia Manor is a ministry of the United Methodist Church that serves older adults of all faiths in several locations throughout South Georgia, including Columbus. Magnolia Manor provides a loving Christian environment and a caring staff to ensure the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of residents and their families. Services include a wide array of independent retirement living options, assisted living, skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapy and specialized dementia care. Currently, 1,100 employees provide care for nearly 1,300 older adults on eight Magnolia Manor campuses across the State.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to help with activities such as Bingo and Ceramics, deliver goodies from the Cheer Cart, read to residents and write letters for residents. Call 706-324-0387 to learn about volunteer opportunities at Magnolia Manor.
Donations are also needed and welcomed. Visit their website to make a donation online.
Military Service Walk Project
Today is Veterans Day and there’s no better way than to honor our nation’s veterans than by supporting the students of Columbus State University’s Servant Leadership Master’s Program as they work on their newest project – the Military Service Walk. The Military Service Walk (MSW) will be erected on Woodruff Riverfront Park, behind CSU’s Corn Center for Visual Arts in uptown Columbus. The purpose of this multi-phase project is to demonstrate the sacrifices made by military men and women, and their families. The Walk will feature displays of correspondence to and from members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Visit the MSW’s Facebook Page to learn more and for updates on this project.
How can you give back? Please submit any correspondence (to or from military service members) including: Letters, Emails, Telegrams, Facebook Messages, Tweets, etc. You may submit the entire letter or an excerpt. Correspondence that has a connection to Columbus, Georgia or to Fort Benning is especially requested. Correspondence can be to or from members of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces; from any era of conflict, war, or deployment from the Revolutionary War to present day. Correspondence can be submitted at any local CB&T Branch or at [email protected]. All correspondence must be turned in by December 31, 2013.
Funding for the first phase of The Military Service Walk has been secured. If you would like to make a financial donation towards the next phase please contact Dr. Stuart Rayfield, CSU’s Director of Servant Leadership, at [email protected] or call 706-507-8773.
Our House: Carpenter’s Way Ranch & Arabella Home for Girls
Our House provides residential care to children ages 7-17 that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. They focus on teaching independent living skills to prepare residents to thrive and become productive members of society. Our House maintains two campuses, both located in Harris County, Georgia. The Carpenter’s Way Ranch Campus has over 40 acres and three residential homes for boys. The Arabella Home for Girls is located in Waverly Hall and boasts a pecan grove and two ponds.
How can you give back? Our House thrives on community support and loves volunteers. Mentoring, tutoring, and campus work projects are just a few options. Visit their website to learn more about the opportunities available.
Financial and in-kind donations are always needed and appreciated. Visit Our House’s website to make a financial donation online or contact Dr. Derek W. McAleer, Vice President for Development & Church Relations of The Methodist Home, at 478-751-2829. A list of current needs for in-kind donations can also be found on their website under the “Get Involved” Tab. In-kind donations can be delivered to the Carpenter’s Way Campus at 1645 Hunter Road, Cataula, GA 31804 or you can schedule a pick-up by calling 706-322-5406.
Russell County Child Advocacy Center (RCCAC)
The Russell County Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit agency that was organized in 1997 to provide a neutral, child-friendly facility for abused children to meet with professionals who are responsible for and dedicated to investigating and easing the trauma of abuse. This facility coordinates forensic interviews of child abuse victims and provides quality counseling, advocacy, referral and support services to child abuse victims, adult survivors, as well as the victim’s families at no cost.
How can you give back? The RCCAC has volunteer opportunities for teens and adults. Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising events such as the annual golf tournament and father-daughter dance. Help is also needed with special projects such as painting, landscaping, cleaning, organizing toys and wrapping gifts. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lynn Hammock at (334) 297-4962 or [email protected] for more information.
Monetary donations are always welcomed. Visit their website to make a donation online.
The Russell County Child Advocacy Center’s mailing address is 67 Downing Drive, Phenix City, AL 36869.
Safe Kids Columbus
Injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the U.S., and while the statistics are hard, the solutions are easy with simple precautions. The mission of Safe Kids Columbus is to prevent traumatic accidental injuries and deaths in children under the age of 14 in the Columbus area through community partnerships, distribution of safety equipment and education on its proper use, public awareness and advocacy.
How can you give back? Safe Kids Columbus is a community-based agency and functions as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers and community partners who want to donate their time, expertise, and funds to promote safe living throughout the year. Click here to visit their website for more information on volunteer opportunities.
Donations of $5 can provide one bike helmet, $15 can provide one life jacket, $50 can provide one car seat and $150 can provide pedestrian safety reflectors for every student in one elementary school. To make a donation, contact Safe Kids Columbus at [email protected].
Safe Kids Columbus is located at The Columbus Health Department, 2100 Comer Avenue, Columbus, GA 31904.
Santa’s Castle was established in 1986 to provide toys to children of Ft. Benning Soldiers who are facing financial hardship at Christmas. This organization is completely run by volunteers. In 2012, Santa’s Castle was able to assist 250 families and over 750 children in and around Ft. Benning. By receiving donations of brand new toys, qualified service members are provided an appointment to “shop” for gifts for their children.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to help with Santa’s Castle’s annual Elf Run 5K, assist on their Board of Directors, clean/organize the warehouse, and to assist shoppers during the shopping season. Santa’s Castle accepts monetary and toy donations year round. Monetary donations can be made or mailed directly to the organization. If you are interested in donating toys or volunteering please contact Santa’s Castle at 706-685-4422 or at [email protected].
Santa’s Castle mailing address is PO Box 51951, Ft. Benning, GA 31995.
Sara Spano Clothing Bank
Children enrolled in the Muscogee County School District (MCSD) may be referred to the Sara Spano Clothing Bank by parental request or a teacher’s observation of need. Children may visit the Clothing Bank twice a year, once in the Fall/Winter and once in the Spring/Summer. During each visit, children receive new socks, new undergarments, new athletic shoes, and an assortment of gently used items, including a winter coat. The mission of the Sara Spano Clothing Bank is to enhance self-esteem and promote a positive self-image of disadvantaged children in MCSD by providing them with a school wardrobe consisting of new and gently worn items.
How can you give back? Volunteers are asked to help sort clothing donations, fold/hang and put away clothing, as well as assist children with sizing. Prospective volunteers should call
706-748-2414 for information on volunteer opportunities.
Donations are always needed to stock the Sara Spano Clothing Bank. The Clothing Bank is open Tuesdays and Thursdays (depending on the MCSD calendar) from 9:30 am – 12 noon.
In 2000 a group of concerned citizens came together over the imminent loss of 150 mature trees in Lakebottom Park. Due to the actions of these citizens, the majestic trees still remain today and the organization, Trees Columbus was founded. Trees Columbus is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting, preserving, and protecting tree canopy. Their programs include tree planting, educating the community on tree maintenance/care and the environment, and advocating for “tree friendly” policies.
Currently, Trees Columbus has about 2,100 members and supporters. Members enjoy tree plantings, field trips, tree climbs, and other unique opportunities to enjoy trees.
How can you give back? Those who are interested in becoming a Trees Columbus member and volunteering at an upcoming event should contact the Trees Columbus office at 706-571-0436 or at [email protected]. Donations can be made online or mailed directly to Trees Columbus, Inc.
Trees Columbus, Inc.’s mailing address is PO Box 1531, Columbus, GA 31902.
National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center
The National Infantry Museum emphasizes the values that define the Infantryman, as well as the nation he protects: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. It preserves and displays one of the greatest collections of military artifacts in the world and its mission is to honor the brave Infantrymen who have dedicated their lives to our defense.
How can you give back? Volunteers are needed to greet guests at the door, explain gallery artifacts, give tours of exhibits and help with special events. If you would like to donate your time and talents to the National Infantry Museum’s volunteer corps, please visit their website to complete a volunteer form. If you have any questions, please contact Lora Davis Warren at 706.685.5810 or [email protected].
There are many ways you can offer financial support for the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. to find out more or to make a donation online.
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center’s mailing address is 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, GA 31903.
Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is dedicated to learning about the natural history of the Chattahoochee River valley, with an emphasis on water and the natural history of the Columbus, Phenix City, and Fort Benning area. It is operated as a collaborative effort by Columbus State University, Columbus Water Works, and the City of Columbus. Oxbow Meadows aims to be the leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability through dynamic educational programming and applied research.
How can you give back? Whether you are interested in gardens, animals, teaching children or working behind the scenes, Oxbow Meadows has opportunities available for teens and adults. Work consistently with one of their education programs and give you time to one, or several, special events. Click here for more information on volunteer opportunities.
Oxbow Meadows relies on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue to serve the Chattahoochee Valley. As an individual you can become a Friend of Oxbow or exhibit sponsor and support the center in its activities to educate and entertain families and individuals. for more information on making a financial donation to Oxbow Meadows.
Oxbow Meadow’s mailing address is 3535 South Lumpkin Road, Columbus, GA 31903.
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