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We all want to give back to our community, but the sheer number of charitable organizations out there can be overwhelming. To help our Riverstone residents connect with a charity that speaks to them, we began spotlighting local charitable organizations in our monthly newsletter. Here are the first six we highlighted. Take a look and see if you can give them a hand.
Abigail’s Place is on a mission to empower displaced single mothers and their children by providing transitional housing, resources and advocacy. The organization operates three housing units allowing them to serve up to 12 families each year. Units are fully furnished, and each has its own laundry facility, as well as a private, fenced backyard. The average stay is three to four months. More than 100 families reach out to Abigail’s Place each year for assistance.
Abigail’s Place depends on the support of the community and capital to purchase or build new homes. It costs approximately $500 per month to house one family in a unit. Donations are always needed and appreciated. Abigail’s Place also uses volunteers to collect donations and prepare and maintain the units for new clients.
Parks Youth Ranch is the only non-profit emergency youth shelter in Fort Bend County. The 8-acre ranch provides emergency shelter, counseling and life-changing services to abused and neglected youth ages 7 to 17 for 90 days. Youth are provided with a bed, clothing, food, educational support and services via the Fred and Mable R. Parks Emergency Shelter, the George Counseling Center and the Fort Bend Junior Service League Recreation Center.
While living at Parks Youth Ranch, residents attend school, are provided transportation to medical and dental providers and are referred to other agencies as appropriate. Arrangements are made to provide them with outside service providers for tutoring, life skills, psychological testing, substance abuse and behavior modification as needed.
The non-profit is always in need of donations and volunteers.
GiGi’s Playhouse is a national non-profit organization formed to change the way the world views Down syndrome. It is the only network of Down syndrome achievement centers in the nation. Extensive therapeutic programs are designed to provide vital gross motor, fine motor, developmental, fitness and speech and language programs. Different programs address the needs of different age groups, but all are designed to address the challenges of individuals with Down syndrome.
To keep programs free and accessible to all families, GiGi’s Playhouse relies heavily on volunteers. All programs except for speech therapy are run by volunteers. No experience is necessary. Donations are always welcome.
For more than 30 years, Child Advocates of Fort Bend (CAFB) has been helping child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect primarily through two nationally affiliated programs — Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). The Children’s Advocacy Center provides direct services to child victims. They coordinate the investigation, assessment, prosecution and treatment of sexual and serious physical abuse. CASA provides a voice for children in the courts for children in the foster care system.
Volunteers power CAFB. They work directly with the children, as well as doing administrative tasks and helping with fundraising events. CASA volunteers are always needed. No legal experience is necessary. Volunteers receive 30-hour “pre-service” training followed by 12 hours of continuing education per year.
Founded in 1980, the Fort Bend Women’s Center serves survivors and children who are or have been victimized by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The priority of the center is the safety of its clients. They provide a 24-hour crisis hotline and emergency shelter for survivors and children. Clients receive food and clothing as well as weekly case management, access to a wellness room and a Learning Resource Center, a Life Skills Program and help from a housing specialist. An on-site clinic provides basic medical services.
To provide these vital services, the center relies on donations and volunteers. An easy way to help is donating to or purchasing items from the center’s PennyWise Resale Store. Another way to help is by hosting a donation drive in your neighborhood or making a monetary contribution.
Founded in 1968 as a chapter of the national organization, The Arc of Fort Bend County is dedicated to offering services and advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The non-profit advocates for people with IDD, refers parents to the resources, helps parents plan for their children’s transition to adulthood, offers employment assistance to adults with IDD, purchases homes to lease to qualified providers who operate them as group homes and more.
The Arc provides a range of services and programs designed to meet the needs of families no matter the age of the child. They field the largest adult Special Olympics delegation in the area offering 10 sports year-round. A Social Recreation Club offers two to three activities each month. Youth enjoy disability-friendly activities from all around the greater Fort Bend County area. The Arc of Fort Bend is always in need of volunteers who can help with Special Olympics, youth programs and fundraising. Donations are always needed and appreciated.