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How Local Charities Changed My Life

photo cred: Nathan Walker

When I was a young child, my family fell on tough times. Through a serious of unfortunate events, my sister, brother and I along with our parents found ourselves living in a family shelter for a short period. Our family shared one private room in a victorian house, made up of family style bedrooms for families in transitions. It was down this little dirt road, surrounded by orange groves. It was private and peaceful. It happened to be during the holiday seasons and I can remember the staff hiring a Santa Clause to come in and cheer up the families. I was at an age where I still believed in the magic that is Christmas and I remember thinking how special I felt that Santa had come to visit us. They cooked a wonderful meal and gave us gifts. In my 8 year old mind it was a special time, filled with joy. As the festivities were drawing to a close, I went out back to play with the other children. Within moments we looked up and saw a shooting star and we were all convinced it was Santa. We ran inside and buzzed about with overwhelming joy. Looking back I can see that this night was as much as a gift for our parents as it was for us.

It’s abundantly clear that others are not as lucky as my family was. There are not always options that give families their privacy and dignity while they maneuver a difficult and often painful situation. Had it not been for this husband and wife team that had a vision to open a small nonprofit that served families in their own community, my memories and how those memories affected the rest of my adolescence could have been much different. My life is filled with stories like these. Small moments in time where our family or those close to me faced hardships and somehow they received the help they needed to get through to the next day. It demonstrated to me at a very young age that a strong community with resources that can directly impact peoples lives are what makes success possible for vulnerable populations.

SixDegrees.Org is a platform that does it’s very best to connect people with those grassroots and local nonprofits that are helping people in their communities every day. Whether they are providing the essential items for survival and success or are creating spaces for people to gather and learn something new, we want to be able to amplify those good works to create more lasting impact.

I give for various reasons. Mainly because it is something that energizes me but also because I benefited at the hands of charitable and giving people throughout my life. I know that without those things, I may not be leading the life I am so grateful to have today. That community of support was everything to me.

I am a strong believer that every person has something to offer. We can contribute that gift by donating a few dollars to that donation page our friend shared on Facebook or by donating our time to walk dogs at the local humane shelter. Maybe we help a food pantry by consulting on the revamp of their website or we just share a post or two online when we really are encouraged by an event or story. We all have something to give and each action, however small it may appear, can carry a life changing ripple affect. I encourage you to take our pledge and not to overlook those opportunities we get to make a difference each and every day.

Stacy, A girl who is eternally grateful.