4 Traits of Effective Non-Profits

To-date, our family has visited, toured, and/or volunteered with over 40 non-profits. We plan to continue to serve in similar capacities in the coming 5 months, but...at a slower pace. These four things seem to be characteristic of the more impressive organizations we visited. 1) Effective organizations hire the right people. Nearly every CEO and executive director that we interviewed was … [Read more...]

Day #144: Give with The Clinic in Phoenixville, PA

Today, the four of us visited a medical facility that provides "quality health care to the uninsured." It looked just like any other doctor's office, but one thing was different - it is free! The Clinic was founded in 2002 with a goal to provide necessary medical treatment to people that do not have health insurance. Patients are asked to pay "what they can afford." Sometime that means they pay … [Read more...]

Phase II: Expanding into the For-Profit World

Up until now, we have only volunteered with, toured, and interviewed non-profit organizations. We have learned from people who are serving children, the elderly, the hungry, and even prisoners. We have asked questions about funding and management. We have evaluated the impact of each organization and what it takes to serve their cliental. Beginning on day #151, we will be expanding our … [Read more...]

Day #137: Give with Philhaven in Lebanon, PA

This afternoon, I went on a tour at a non-profit behavioral healthcare organization that offers a wide range of services for children 3-years-old through senior adults. It was founded in 1952 by a group of Mennonite men who chose public service instead of joining the battlefields of WWII. They discovered how horrible living conditions were for people in psychiatric institutions and they birthed … [Read more...]

Day #133: Give with Jubilee Ministries in Lebanon, PA

Today, we met with the executive director of Jubilee Ministries in Lebanon and toured their massive 3-story 70,000 sqft used clothing store. I felt like we were visiting a JCPenny's instead of a thrift store. Jubilee re-sells clothing and household items (including large furniture) to support chaplains in prisons in their surrounding county and transitional housing programs for men and women … [Read more...]

Day #132: Give Free Advertising

Over the last few months, we have met with numerous executive directors and CEOs, plus volunteered and toured over 50 different non-profit organizations. We waned to honor three organizations today that are doing an amazing job caring for others. Each organization will receive 2 months free advertising on both GiveEveryDay.com and MetropolitanMama.net. Give Kids The World Morgan's … [Read more...]

Day #125: Give with the Center for Christian Understanding of Islam in Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA Today, we toured a 2000 sqft facility filled with information about the Muslim world. Each room was impressively arranged like a museum with authentic clothing, photography, and artifacts. The Center for Christian Understanding of Islam is a place where "Christians can learn about Islam and grow in their own faith." They are a resource rich with firsthand experience … [Read more...]

Day #124: Give with Positive Vibe Cafe in Richmond, VA

There is a cafe in Richmond called Positive Vibe that trains and employes people with disabilities. They are a non-profit restaurant and food services program. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also has a beer and wine menu. On a tour today, we met former students that now work at the Vibe.  The goal of the 4-week program is to prepare disabled men and women (16-years … [Read more...]

Day #123: Give with Boaz and Ruth in Richmond, VA

Boaz & Ruth is a year long re-entry program for men and women released from incarceration, helping them transition from blight to beauty and hope. Today, we met three of the graduates from the program. They told stories about how they once used drugs, committed crimes to feed addictions, and lived very hopeless lives. Through the re-entry program, they were able to learn job skills and … [Read more...]

Day #119: Give to U.S. Tornado Victims

Just a few miles away from our campground in Gloucester, VA there is a public school that was demolished by a tornado a few weeks ago. The storm was so severe that the school had to permanently close. We've driven by the ruins a handful of times while we have been here. Each time, we are reminded how much devastation a tornado can do to a community and that we need to be praying for the … [Read more...]

Day #118: Give with CBN in Virginia Beach, VA

This morning we sat in on a live 700 club broadcast at the Christian Broadcasting Network. It was interesting to watch the interviews and reports from the show take place just feet away from our seats. After the broadcast ended, we toured the CBN headquarters building. The staff there were extremely friendly and it was neat to learn some of the history behind the network. CBN is know for … [Read more...]

Day #116: Give with HOPE in Hayes, VA

Today, the four of us interviewed the executive director at HOPE (Helping Other People's Enrichment). The girls colored at the table while Stephanie and I asked questions and listened. There are roughly 6,000 children in the State of Virginia in the foster care system. HOPE is one of the private non-profits that helps match those children with foster parents. They work specifically … [Read more...]

Day #112: Give with Community Services Center in Williamsburg, VA

The Historical Triangle Community Services Center is a non-profit that rents out building space at a low cost to nine local non-profits. The center acts as a destination for people in need of social services. People can obtain counseling, food and clothing assistance, parenting education, programs for their small children, and transportation - all under one roof. The 9 agencies in the … [Read more...]

Day #111: Give with Colonial CASA in Williamsburg, VA

This afternoon, while Stephanie and the girls read books at the Williamsburg Library, I gave my time to the staff at Colonial CASA. They had asked ahead of time if I would help with social media so it made more sense for the girls to stay behind on this one. Colonial CASA (court appointed special advocates) works to ensure the best interest of abused and neglected children during legal … [Read more...]

Day #110: Give through Hope International

Yesterday, I helped a friend get a website up and running after he told me how he gives a portion of his income to Hope International to be used for microlending. Today, Stephanie and I made a small donation to Hope International. The organization focuses on alleviating physical and spiritual poverty through microenterprise development. HOPE works with people from dozens of countries and … [Read more...]