The Volunteer Spirit

Every Saturday morning in Augusta there is fresh market near the

riverwalk that offers organic produce from local gardens. Further,
the market allows local service providers the opportunity to raise
awareness regarding community events. Last weekend, I had the pleasure
of meeting volunteers of a very important service designed to support
women experiencing cancer treatment in the CSRA.

The Lydia Project is the first of its, not only in the CSRA, but
nationally. The agency provides rent, utility, and prescription
assistance to women who are unable to afford these basic expenses.

The organization was founded on the principles of a Christian
biblical character named Lydia (Acts 16:14-15), who traded purple
cloth to support others in need. The volunteers of the Lydia continue
this tradition in the form of gifts (tote-bags, luminaries, etc.),
which are sold to support patients, caregivers and family members.

At the heart of the organization are volunteers who are dedicated to
the cause. The give selflessly of their time to ensure that everyone
they encounter have a heartfelt experience.

The people who I meet this weekend truly represent the Volunteer
Spirit; which includes the intangibles that many of us overlook when
we think about supporting a charitable cause. At the heart of the
Lydia Project, you will find individuals who show visitors that they
care by offering their time, compassion, and companionship I meet
people like Franky, who has been volunteering with the project since
he was in the seventh grade. Now a sophomore in college, he still
dedicates his time to support this noble cause.

The program has been so successful that they are opening the Daksha
Chudgar House next month. This facility will combining lodging and
operational space for support group meetings, counseling, and
educational services.

As always, I challenge you in the CSRA to support the Lydia
Project……..will you be there?

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is a month when caring people conduct events across the nation to raise awareness of Domestic Violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence each year. When you consider that most of the violence is not reported, the statistics for violent crimes within the home are staggering.
Although there exist countless private and government organizations who report statistical data with the objective ot raising awareness, there are few groups who provide actual support to survivors and their families. Nowhere is the need to provide support is greater than right in our own backyard!! In 2011, there were almost 3,000 reported domestic violence cases in Richmond County.  At the beginning of 2012, Georgia was ranked among the top ten states for reported domestic violence.
Fortunately, there are organizations like Safe Homes of Augusta that reach out to domestic violence survivors to provide much needed assistance. They provide confidential services for survivors, so the cycle of violence can be broken.
I have family members who are survivors of domestic violence and are blessed to still be around to tell their stories. That’s why I have made a commitment to help by any means at my disposal. We all need to do what’s necessary to educate our community, as well as, lend a helping hand with donations.
Don’t pretend you can’t help!!
Contact Safe Homes NOW!!
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