It’s an exciting time of year for students. School is back in session, and that means new classes, new challenges and new opportunities. I still remember the look of pristine, unopened notebooks — and the smell of new crayons. It just felt like exciting new things were right around the corner.
Unfortunately, for many youth in our community, the return to school is not exciting or positive. It can be nearly impossible to focus on learning when you are worried about where your next meal will come from or how you will get the school supplies you need.
The good news is, every effort made to support a child’s education makes a direct impact in their future. Read on for some wonderful ways to get involved, and be sure to check out justserve.org; new opportunities are added weekly.
- SimpleNeeds GA works hard to fill in the cracks and provide specific goods families might not receive elsewhere. It has two fabulous programs for students: Uniforms for Excellence and Shoe Them Love. General school supplies are welcome as well.
- Family Kickstart Georgia supports the family of each student by providing resources and mentoring for youth wellness, job readiness and English as a second language instruction for parents. You can become a mentor or tutor and be an important part of students’ lives.
- Georgia HOPE is a community-based provider of mental health, substance abuse and family preservation services. Supplies are needed for foster teens, housed temporarily in hotels until more permanent arrangements can be made. Donate items to help keep them in school and keep their lives as stable as possible.
Be sure to check out these great projects and more on the JustServe website. Or, for additional ideas, join the JustServe North Georgia public Facebook group. You truly can make an impact with simple acts of service!
Justserve.org is a free, nationwide website and app that works to match volunteers with nonprofit organizations and service opportunities. If you run a nonprofit or are looking for ways to make service a regular part of your life, check out justserve.org. You can sign up for regular updates and learn more about organizations nearby, too. JustServe makes it easy to just go out and serve!
– Susannah MacKay is a local JustServe specialist. She grew up in Marietta and loves helping strengthen her community through service! Follow her on Facebook @JustServeGeorgia.