Forty days of giving Toomuchtodo.org showcases different organizations committed to helping communities in the United States overcome the issues that they face every day.
3 million homeless, 1.2 million youth leave school every year, 49.7 million with disabilities, 49 million are hungry, THE LIST GOES ON...
Need help There is too much to do in our lives. What is $10? $10 is a grande cafe’ mocha and muffin. $10 is a cab ride or 3 gallons of gasoline. $10 is lunch. But to many organizations here in the United States, $10 is 19 pounds of food at a food bank, $10 provides vitamins to 40 children, or provides a box of nails to build specially adapted homes for injured war veterans. $10 can make a difference and so can you. Join in giving $10 to the organizations profiled each day and help them with their quest to do something for those individuals and communities in need.
Think about it. If 10,000 people gave a dollar a day for 50 days, we would provide $500,000 to charity by the end of the year. If 10,000 people gave $5.00 a day we would provide $2.5 million to charity by the end of the year! What a difference we could make. Please join me and www.toomuchtodo.org and give what you can.
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75.1% of students in Detroit drop out of high school.

Fewer than 25% of freshmen in Detroit go on to graduate.  That means 3 out of every 4 kids do not receive their diploma and will have a much harder time finding employment. 

Covenant House Michigan is a nonprofit organization that provides hope to Detroit area homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 13-22. They provide shelter, educational and vocational programs, as well as other support services, to help overcome hurdles such as homelessness, unemployment, inadequate education, violence, drugs and gangs and to redirect them onto a path toward meaningful and successful adulthood.  CHM’s Outreach Team patrols the streets of Metro Detroit daily and provides these youth with prevention services, information about CHM’s residential, education and job programs, counseling, food and clean clothes.  Individual plans are created for each young adult, connecting them with the services they need through the Job Club, Education Program and Community Service Centers, as well as providing counseling.  CHM offers a safe environment to continue to pursue their education and find a job while learning independent living skills such as time and money management and decision making. Every resident is assigned a counselor and mentor and receives individual and group counseling and medical care.  CHM has developed a program to manage permanent housing opportunities for their youth through apartment living and are provided with services to assist in their move from Covenant House Michigan into their apartment. There is also After Care services help them settle in their new home and assist them in maintaining an appropriate living environment.  CHM’s Career Advancement Program Services (CAPS) offers residents job-seeking skills, placement and counseling. Our kids receive needed services including resume writing, mock interviews, filling out job applications and job retention. Participants are connected with job training programs and local employers who work with the youth after they complete our job skills program on campus.

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15% of Oklahoma lives in poverty.

Tulsa Cornerstone Assistance Network is a collaborative effort to transform lives in the Tulsa area from poverty to purpose. They help families with medical care, car repair, mental health care, furniture, and job training. Without reliable transportation, hundreds of struggling families in Tulsa are stranded at home and cannot maintain jobs, take their kids to daycare, or go to the grocery store. Cornerstone Assistance Network helps to maintain car care clinics to address this need. Workers without health benefits pay emergency room prices when they are sick. Cornerstone equips local community centers to activate their doctors, nurses, and willing volunteers to run regular medical clinics which provide medical and health education services.  Cornerstone’s new Work Opportunity Center partners provides work opportunities to the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, ex-offenders, those leaving welfare, and others needing employment help.  Their goal is to help participants leave poverty and find and fulfill their purpose in life.  Participants spend part of their time gaining valuable work experience, and part of their time in the classroom, taking classes such as job readiness skills, social skills, interviewing skills, self-image, dressing for success, hygiene, literacy, and GED preparations, as well as career skills.

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500,000 more children live in poverty now than a year ago.

44% of American children grow up in families that face serious struggles to make ends meet. Parental employment, parental education, family structure and other variables each play an important role in predicting the likelihood that a child will endure economic hardship.

Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in nearly 700 cities and towns across the country.  Marine Toys for Tots Foundation makes it their mission to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.   This year, nationally, cash donations are down significantly, about $1.5 million below where they were this time last year, which means a lot of children that will return to school unable enter into conversation about what they got for Christmas.  Your donation can provide a new toy to a child, which in turn can help build a child’s self esteem and self confidence.

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The number of people living in poverty in the Detroit area has grown by 21% in the last five years.

The nation’s highest unemployment rate and continued foreclosure crisis are taking their toll on Metro Detroit, as first-time homeless citizens are flocking to near-capacity shelters.  In Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties, advocates say people who are homeless for the first-time make up 20% to 40% of those seeking services.  There are now 533,354 people (13%) in the tri-county area living below the poverty level.  More than 204,000 children younger than 18 in the tri-county area live in poverty.  One of every five children in the tri-county area, and nearly half of all children in the City of Detroit, lives in poverty and is thus at high risk of hunger and under-nutrition.

Forgotten Harvest works to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community by rescuing prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers.  Forgotten Harvest currently rescues 12.5 million pounds of food per year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from a variety of sources such as grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors, and other Health Department-approved sources.  This donated food—that would otherwise go to waste—is delivered free of charge to emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area.

One donation of $1 provides 5 meals!

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Families comprise 80% of the homeless shelter population in New York City.

In September 2009, there were more than 39,000 homeless people, including more than 10,000 homeless families with more than 16,500 homeless children. During the past year, an all-time record 120,381 different homeless men, women, and children slept in the New York City municipal shelter system. This includes an all-time record 43,826 different homeless New York City children.  The primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing.  Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; and hazardous housing conditions. 

Women In Need serves over 9,500 adults and children who are homeless and disadvantaged. They strive to restore dignity, promote independence and provide stable housing to vulnerable families who face major obstacles that threaten to destroy their lives.  WIN provides the structures and support systems necessary for families to build better lives. The typical length of stay in a WIN shelter is six months and during that time housing specialists work to find permanent housing for all families. Women in Need teaches the life skills women need to care for their families and flourish independently. Programs include domestic violence services and referrals; HIV/AIDS prevention education; and employment training and job placement, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment.    WIN also offers childcare to all clients, not only those living in our shelters. Programs include after school and homework help; therapeutic daycare; parenting workshops; and Camp WIN which serves about 750 children each summer.

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5% increase in graduation rate could save California over $10 billion in crime-related spending.

Were California to increase the graduation rate by only 5%, the state could see combined savings and revenue of almost $1.1 billion each year. If the nearly 162,000 high school dropouts from the Class of 2008 had earned their diplomas instead of dropping out, California’s economy would have seen an additional $42.1 billion in wages over these students’ lifetimes and if the graduation rates of Hispanic, African-American, and Native-American students were to raise to the levels of white students by 2020, the potential increase in personal income in the state would add more than $101 billion to that states’ economy. 

A Place Called Home is a non-profit youth center located in South Central Los Angeles that provides educational programs, counseling, mentoring, music, dance and art classes to provide at-risk youth with a secure, positive family environment where they can regain hope and belief, earn trust and self-respect and learn skills to lead to a productive lifestyle free of the gangs, drugs and poverty that surround them. APCH strives to help youth achieve a better sense of themselves and works to increase the likelihood that youth will stay in school and go on to higher education and viable jobs.  One on one attention is the heart of all of the free programs that are offered at APCH.  Tutoring in math and science are available as well as drop out recovery programs, health, nutritional and well-being programs, and community and volunteer initiatives.  Your donation can help APCH assists more at risk youth and in turn stop the state of California from spending over $688 million each year to provide community college remediation education for recent high school graduates who did not acquire the basic skills necessary to succeed in college or at work.

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65% of uninsured adults in the United States are employed.

The top reasons that workers don’t have health insurance are that their employer does not offer it, they are not eligible for the insurance their employer does offer, or they can’t afford to participate in their employer’s coverage plan. Without access to employer coverage, workers who do not qualify for public programs are left to purchase coverage on the individual market—where 89% of individuals give up because they can’t find coverage that meets their needs or that they can afford. 

The National Association of Free Clinics is focused on the needs of free clinics and the populations they serve. The free clinics are volunteer-based, safety-net health care organizations that provide a range of high quality medical, dental, pharmacy, and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals who are predominately uninsured.  The NAFC is an advocate for the issues and concerns of free clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, and the patients served by free clinics in communities throughout the nation.  They work to educate the general public, state and federal government leaders and health care industry leaders about free clinics and the value they contribute to the health care system and also network with and assist state and regional free clinic associations with legislative and regulatory issues that affect their ability to provide services.

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Only 10% of blind children are taught Braille.

Of the 57,696 children who are legally blind 34% (19,793) are non-readers.  Braille is the only medium for true literacy for people with vision loss yet but the lack of resources to support Braille is a growing concern in American schools.

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children.  Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. New titles are added every year as highly skilled volunteer braille transcribers translate print books into braille and prepare them for production. Once the original translation is complete, additional books can be printed as needed. Exposure to popular, high quality braille literature throughout childhood increases the likelihood of children developing into able braille readers.  $10 creates one book!

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Every major circus featuring animals has been cited for violations under the Animal Welfare Act.

The very nature of traveling circuses means that beyond cruel, highly abusive training and fear-induced performances, the animals must also endure countless hours and days confined in boxcars and trailers.  Some fur trims and clothes labeled are actually made from dog and cat.  Most pet store puppies (and 80% of the American Kennel Club’s business) come from puppy mills, mass-breeding operations in which ill, suffering dogs are kept in deplorable conditions.

Human Society of the United States works to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals.  They investigate cruelty and work to enforce existing laws and create stronger ones.  They provide direct care for thousands of animals at sanctuaries and rescue facilities, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics and advocate for local humane societies by providing shelter standards and evaluations, and training programs.  The Humane Society works to confront national and global cruelties through major campaigns targeting the barbaric practices of dogfighting and cockfighting; abusive puppy mills where dogs are treated not like family but like production machines; the worst cruelties of factory farming in modern agribusiness such as confinement of animals in crates and cages; inhumane and unsporting hunting practices such as “canned hunts” of captive exotic animals; the slaughter of American horses for export to foreign countries where horsemeat is considered a delicacy; and the clubbing of baby seals and other animals for the commercial fur trade.

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Nearly half of America’s adults are poor readers, or “functionally illiterate.”

These can’t carry out simple tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job.  New York has the second highest of adult illiteracy (22% of their population).

Literacy Partners NY teaches thousands of the 3.7 million adults who are functionally illiterate in New York to learn to read.  Through participation in our programs, adults become capable, committed, and able to enter the mainstream of society. Literacy Partners NY offers adult basic Education and Pre-General Education Development which instructs students in reading, writing, math, social studies, science, financial and health literacy, and employment preparation.  They also offer English for Speakers of Other Languages, as well as Family Literacy which helps adults with the acquisition of the English language, parenting concerns, and skills necessary for daily living.  To complement the core reading skills, Literacy Partners also provides Financial Literacy, education on economic principles ranging from the basics of writing number words and counting money, to more complex exercises, such as creating a budget and balancing a checking account, Health Literacy, that teaches adults to read labels, to take medications safely, to be aware of potentially hazardous household items, and to help understand relevant health issues and the health care system and most importantly, Employment Preparation, which focuses on employment and job readiness skills, such as introducing computer training, job search strategies, interviewing proficiency, dressing for success, and job retention and skill development.

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