Rachel is proud to be a regular supporter of the following organizations.
GLOBAL GIVING – VIA VOLUNTEERS
Who They Are: Via Volunteers was established to support non-profit community, conservation & wildlife projects in South Africa through the provision of affordable, rewarding volunteer placements for international volunteers. They offer a variety of great opportunities for volunteers of ages 18 to 98 to serve in areas that interest them AND create a true impact on the people and places where they work.
How I’m Connected to Them: I spent the summer of 2011 in South Africa volunteering in an orphanage in a township outside of Cape Town. While there, I traveled a bit and got to know as many people as I could, including Ed Scott, at the time a key member of the organization who brought me to Cape Town and coordinated my volunteer efforts and now co-owner with his wife Heather Scott of Via Volunteers. They are selective about the programs they support, provide an amazing experience for their volunteers, and are totally ethical in ensuring appropriate volunteer funds are donated to the programs. Far from being a business that will make them rich anytime soon, Via Volunteers is a work of the heart. Ed and Heather spend much of their own money and time teaching the orphans at Fikelela Children’s Home and taking them on much-needed outings for education and exposure to the world beyond the walls of the orphanage.
Why I Support Them: It’s not for the tax deduction. Via Volunteers is NOT a non-profit, but all the programs they support ARE; unfortunately, Fikelela Children’s Home does not have a US-based non-profit status. My money goes directly to Ed and Heather who use the money for a few specific things I’m passionate about: nutritious and diverse fruits and vegetables, educational and creative activities, and outings for the children, some of whom may not have the blessing of being reunified with their families or taken in by new families.
How You Can Help: The US dollar goes far in South Africa! One dollar is about 15 rand, and for $100, you can send 4 children on an all-day outing (including auto fuel, meals, activities, and everything). But even $10 will stretch for great things for these kids. Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for contact information or make a donation now to help purchase a minibus for the outings. Read the amazing stuff written by a volunteer on this worthy cause here: https://www.gofundme.com/minibusforkids
LOCAL GIVING – WTLC
Who They Are: WTLC is the oldest domestic violence program in Orange County, California and the third oldest in the nation. With a vision of ending the cycle of violence and exploitation, their mission is to help individuals and families escape the depths of domestic violence and exploitation. To do so, WTLC provides the tools and resources to build self-esteem and empower people for independent living.
How I’m Connected To Them: Fate seemed to bring us together. As a college student, I participated in a service project where we did some serious work on the grounds, and while I remember feeling sensitive to the plight of those served, I didn’t even know the name of the organization I was helping. More than 25 years later, I found myself standing next to the executive director of WTLC and realized I had given to them in a small way decades earlier. I was totally taken with the importance of what they do and how they do it and I decided almost immediately that I wanted to support them.
Why I Support Them: I love their focus on forward momentum for their residents. They help them at every level to get out, get on their feet, and be self-sufficient. They give away fish, but they teach the skill of fishing, so to speak, which is so important in breaking the cycle of abuse and exploitation and creating a wider community of educated, empowered adults and children.
How You Can Help: Visit their website to make a donation. They appreciate donations of goods, but the truth is they have ways to spend money to make it stretch a bit farther than we can shopping retail. Donations of money and goods are tax deductible. Visit www.wtlc.org for more information.