Selfish Giving: A Reason to Help Others
By Judith Ashley
I've worked in the social service field for about forty years. During this time I've seen miracles happen because someone genuinely cared about another person. One of my beliefs is If I want the world different, I need to step up and do something. The population I believe that will make the most positive impact on the world of the future is young. So this month I'm reminding you about the needs of "at-risk-young people". For my world to be a safe place I enjoy, some of them have to have some help here and now. I’m highlighting three local non-profit programs that work to help young people with challenging backgrounds make a difference now so they will continue making my world a better place. I know there are similar programs where you live. Check around – help the youth in your community have the foundation they need to grow into the leaders of our future.
Free Arts Northwest provides arts experiences which empower under-served youth to find their creativity, passion and voice. Through arts education, collaborative projects and ongoing mentorship, Free Arts NW cultivates individual artistic exploration while strengthening youth participants’ connection to their community. Free Arts NW is more than a creation of art. The art serves as a catalyst for youth to feel pride in their work, receive public recognition and get involved in their community.
June 11th is the Premiere for the films created during the annual Spring Break Film Camp. KBOO radio http://kboo.fm/content/summerfestivalsandfreeartsnw featured the program in a recent broadcast. Free Arts NW touches the lives of youth. One of them, Sierra, tells how Free Arts NW has touched her life: http://vimeo.com/62140796
Project POOCH is a dog rescue organization with a twist........unlikely to be adopted dogs are taken from local shelters to the kennel at MacLaren, Oregon State's Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn. Youth in the program there work under the guidance of knowledgeable mentors to train and rehabilitate the dogs. In the process, the young men are rehabilitated, learning many valuable skills and lessons, not least of which is the power of positive change. In the twenty years POOCH has been in existence, not one of the youth involved in the program has re-offended. Project POOCH is a win for the individual and his family, a win for the dog, a win for the family who adopts the dog, and a huge win for society!
To participate in this program the young men must meet certain criteria. They are taught to work with the dogs in socialization (being around other dogs and people) and obedience training. For the time they are together, each are lavished with unconditional love – for both the dog and the teen, this may be their first experience. Project POOCH can be found online at POOCH.org. Thank you for your support! You can get involved either through a financial donation or check out their website to see if you qualify to adopt a dog.
Kinship House supports special needs foster and adoptive children in becoming part of healthy, loving growing up homes. Our outpatient child and family therapy helps children with mental health challenges and their loving parents learn the skills they need to be there for each other for a lifetime. We provide a unique blend of essential mental health services to children and families during all stages of foster care, placement, and adoption. Therapists at Kinship House are experienced and effective in helping children and families create stable growing up homes. Learning to trust adults can be a difficult task for children who have built a thick wall of distrust as a way of protecting themselves from abusive adults. A warm and welcoming place, Kinship House is located in a neighborhood. For more information and to donate www.KinshipHouse.org
Copyright 2014 Judith Ashley - www.judithashleyromance.com