For years, I have consistently told my husband that I’m just a girl, trying to make a difference. The community impact that non-profit organizations have, especially those that are locally based, truly work for the people in our area.
There are a plethora of incredible charitable organizations that are nationally and internationally based. Whose causes are worthy and often prolific, but if you have a cause that you are passionate about, I promise that turning local is worth it. For 15 years, I worked with a local non-profit organization. It has imprinted on me in countless ways that continually enhance my daily life.
I have learned more compassion, understanding, patience, non-judgment, and love than I ever could have without my experience. We are fortunate that there are DOZENS upon DOZENS of incredible non-profit organizations in our area. My advice would be to find a cause that you are passionate about, contact the organization, and see how you can make a difference.
I present to you here, a very abbreviated list of some swoon-worthy local non-profit organizations that have a tremendous community impact:
The Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation, also known as RAVE, provides respite care, or a break, to families caring for young and adult children with special healthcare needs. Any parent will tell you that raising a child is no easy walk in the park. Raising a child with a special healthcare need is a whole new challenge that most people aren’t prepared for when they become a parent.
Parents of children with special needs are some of the most badass people that I have ever been fortunate enough to know.
They educate themselves on the diagnosis of their child enough to be deemed an expert. These parents manage to keep their heads and schedules straight. With the endless array of appointments for therapists, doctors, specialists, home visits, IEP/Child Find meetings, and somehow don’t explode with the overabundance of information.
They advocate for their child THEIR ENTIRE LIFE. Fighting with blood, sweat, and tears to make sure that their child has all of the resources that they need. They tirelessly work to spare their child from the cruel looks of the uneducated and do everything they can to make sure their child is included among the world.
Respite allows the parents or caregivers the opportunity to take a deep breath, recharge, and maybe even enjoy themselves for a few hours, without having to stress about leaving their child in capable hands.
Additionally, RAVE trains local high-school volunteers to care for the children and their specific needs while they are at the RAVE Family Center. The volunteers are under the supervision of paid staff, who are also trained in caring for children with special needs.
So RAVE: a) Provides respite for families caring for children with special needs. b) Trains local high school students and makes it fun for TEENAGERS TO VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME. and c) Their services are free of charge.
MIC DROP. If you have decided that families and adorable children are a cause that you would like to be passionate about, this will be your jam (and their major fundraising event is coming up on April 27th and tickets will sell out, so getchu some).
Calling all environmentalists! This local non-profit organization makes a community impact by, you guessed it, keeping our Truckee Meadows beautiful! KTMB organizes entire community clean-ups throughout the year and is the host of the largest Christmas Tree Recycling Program in our area.
In addition, they currently offer their Adopt-A-Spot program completely free to businesses and individuals. You can choose a spot that is meaningful for your family or company, adopt it, and schedule your own clean-ups once a quarter to do your part in keeping the area clean and free of gross garbage.
My family adopted a park in our neighborhood with our small business and I have absolutely made my children wander around with me and pick up garbage, and you know what? They LOVED IT! They are so much more aware of litter and trash and legitimately look forward to taking care of our park.
We love where we live and this is our small way of taking care of our area. And each time we’ve done it we have friends pleading with us to let them know when we’re doing it again so that they can help. It’s pretty rad.
WE LOVE THE LIBRARY! If you haven’t been to the library in a while, you are totally missing out. Besides being an institution that literally promotes literacy for all ages, the library has a multitude of resources available to the public.
I have taken my babes to Story Time at our local library for 5 years now, and they still look forward to it every week…like, even if we are on vacation they get a little bummed that we’re missing Story Time. For real. The library has internet access, summer reading programs, and digital books that you can get on your own device with your library card plus kids with a library card get NO LATE FEES! #winning
Animal Lovers-Multiple Non-profits!
Because we have so many avid animal lovers in our family, they would probably give me a big ol’ frowny face if I didn’t include information about how to help the four-legged members of our community. The SPCA of Northern Nevada and the Nevada Humane Society are two of the more well-known organizations in our community.
The SPCA is a no-kill shelter, and the Nevada Humane Society has a 95% life-saving rate. Because they are the largest, they are also the most well-known, which typically means they receive the most funding.
Boxers and Buddies and Chihuahua Rescue Truckee Meadows are both smaller non-profit organizations, still working to carry out the mission of helping animals on the path towards adoption. Boxers and Buddies even help reptiles (100000% not my thing, but fun for those who love scaly creatures)!
Chihuahua Rescue Truckee Meadows informs on their website that chihuahuas are now the NUMBER ONE breed euthanized in the western United States shelters. They work to rehabilitate dogs that have been abandoned or THROWN AWAY, fosters them, and then helps the little pups find FURever homes.
Ok, so this one is kind of scary for me, but let me explain. I have three daughters. Three vibrant, beautiful, thriving young girls. The idea of them ever being taken from me, or their innocence plucked before it has even had a chance to blossom, is nothing short of terrifying. Awaken is a local organization that provides victims of commercial sexual exploitation the resources required to transition out of that industry.
They provide services such as housing and counseling to girls and women and work to prevent young girls from entering the industry at all through their outreach program. As a mother and as a woman, I can’t imagine the trauma experienced by these victims. The Sex Trade in Nevada is larger than any other state (insert terror emoji here)! It exists in our area and remains a very serious issue that we can address by helping out.
More Organizations Worth Checking Out
Here are some additional organizations that make a community impact and are definitely worth checking out:
This list is not comprehensive. There are SO many more organizations that I could go on and on for days and days highlighting the difference that they make in our community and how rad their mission is.
Be a Part of Something
My message is this: choose ONE. Support their efforts. Spread their message. Be a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself, and allow your children to be a part of that. These local organizations are making a community impact, how will you? I’ll betcha a dollar you’ll be glad you did. Do you have other organizations that you love and would like to share? Let us know!
Jenelle Stathes married her high-school sweetheart and they share their love with their three darling and fierce daughters. She works as the CEO of their small family business and as a group fitness instructor for a local gym. Jenelle was born and raised right here in Reno, Nevada, and is doing her best at living a non-judgy and tribe-loving mom life. She has experience with infertility, weight loss, body positivity, fitness, and most recently, a tummy tuck. You can follow Jenelle to laugh either with her or at her as she traverses through the daily adventures of motherhood.