100 Voices Who Care: Speaking up for the locals.
If you’ve followed my blog, you may remember back in March I attended VO Atlanta and I mentioned a non-profit organization called 100 Voices Who Care. This organization was started by a fellow voice actor and generally just fantastic human, Claire Dinsdale. Basically, 100 Voices Who Care is a group of voice actors who, upon signing up, agree to attend/fund four meetings over the course of the year. Prior to each meeting any member who desires can submit a local non-profit organization they would like to represent. The organization must be a 501 (c) 3. It can not be a national or global non-profit.
Then, at each meeting, anyone who submitted gets their name put in a hat. Three are selected at random to present their organization and answer any questions fellow members may have. Then, after three have presented, everyone present votes for the organization they would like this quarter’s funds to go to. The meetings generally last around 30 minutes and the votes are all anonymous. It’s a well-structured set up and a fantastic way to donate to and learn about non-profits you may not have otherwise heard of. I attended my first of these meetings last week and was motivated by how thorough the information given was, the thoughtfulness of the questions asked, and the knowledge that I was donating to a small non-profit that typically wouldn’t get such a large chuck of funding at once. But I thought, why stop there? So, every quarter I will be sharing the non-profits presented at these meetings via my blog. I think it’s a great way to educate folks on organizations and needs around the country and the world. I strongly encourage my fellow voice actors to join 100 Voices Who Care, but you definitely do not need to join or even be a voice actor to donate to these causes. So, without further ado, here are the cliff note’s of the organizations presented at last week’s meeting in the order presented. Click on the links to learn more.
The Julie Valentine Center is located in Greenville South Carolina. Their mission is to stop sexual violence and child abuse and the impact of these crimes through prevention, investigation, collaboration, treatment, and advocacy. They provide services through both a Rape Crisis Program and Child Advocacy Center. Licensed and trained therapists provide individual and group therapy services for adults who have been sexually assaulted and children who have been sexually and/or physically abused or neglected. The Child Therapists are trained to take child statements so they only have to tell their story once. The therapists also initiate the healing process through best practice techniques for young people who have developed emotional or behavioral problems following exposure to traumatic events, such as child abuse. They also provide medical services for sexual abuse and rape survivors, all the way from being there for them in the ER when a rape kit is requested to follow up medical needs and therapy. In addition to that, the Julie Valentine Center provides services to the often overlooked parents, co-victims, and witnesses of assault and abuse. The therapists are also qualified to serve as expert witnesses in sexual abuse/assault trials. In favor of prevention, The Julie Valentine Center assists with local programs for all ages to spread awareness regarding sexual abuse (for example good touch bad touch programs for younger children and safety, awareness, and services for high school and college students).
Everything from the medical services, public awareness programs, parenting, and therapy is 100% free. They do not bill insurance or Medicaid. While the therapists work to reduce need for therapy, many clients receive services for years and would likely not be able to if they had to pay.
The WPSL Christmas Kids is one of the longest-running private charity groups on the Treasure Coast of Florida, helping to address the unmet needs of children. They do this by working closely with the local St Lucie County Community Services Department, who often help provide the list of families in need of help and what kind of help would have the most impact.
The Christmas Kids are mostly known for providing toys to low-income children around the holidays. The county provides the list of qualifying children and the organization makes sure every child is able to receive a handful of gifts. The gifts are given to the parents unwrapped. This is important because it not only lets them see exactly what toys their children are getting, but the parents can then be active participants in the process and wrap and label the presents themselves.
WPSL Christmas Kids has also expanded and do more than just provide toys around the holidays. Every year in September, they hold a golf outing, and the money raised from that pays for swimming lessons. According to the CDC, drowning is the top cause of death for Florida children between the ages of 1-4, so it’s vital that young children get survival training at an early age.
Beyond the toys and swimming, they provide much needed clothes too.
The Luke Messick Futbol Charities, Inc. is based out of Hampton Virignia. Their mission is to share the joy of youth soccer in Ghana and America. They provide food and supplies to youth in Ghana as well as four college scholarships annually, and summer soccer training to at risk children in Hampton Roads, Virginia, though they are working to expand this to neighboring areas. They are currently the only provider of scholarships to the Boys and Girls Club/Lionsbridge Summer Soccer Camps.
There are lots of ways to share and give to help your local community and the community at large. And these acts of kindness and generosity are not only good for the recipients, but they’re also good for the giver. It’s okay to do good things, not altruistically, but because it feels good! The point is to do good things.
Do you have a favorite way to donate time or money to help a cause? Please feel free to share it in the comments below! Thank you as always for reading and have a spectacular day!