Clark: Nonprofits make big difference in local lives

Apr. 01, 2013 @ 07:18 PM

Imagine, for a moment, what would be missing from a world without nonprofits.

Houses built for low-income residents, with the hands and funds of volunteers and donors. A place for a family to stay while their seriously child undergoes treatment at a hospital far from home. Materials and tutors to assist teens and adults with learning to read!  Necessary services for seniors, clean watersheds, funds to help research ways to fight now-fatal illnesses, safe places for animals who have not yet found their people, shelter and resources for families who have fallen on hard times and find themselves without a home, and refuges for victims of abuse would all be missing without nonprofits. And the list goes on and on! 

If you pause a moment to think about the myriad threads of service that run through our community that lead back to nonprofits, it’s astonishing. Our community would be a far different place without the efforts of the staff, volunteers and financial backers of these organizations.

Chances are many of you have benefited from a local nonprofit without even realizing. Enjoy a concert at Durham Central Park? It’s a nonprofit. Adopt an animal from the Animal Protection Society? It’s a nonprofit. Enjoy a show put on by the Durham Chorale or Manbites Dog Theater Company? You guessed it – nonprofits.

So how can you give back to these groups that give us so much? Take part in the Volunteer Center of Durham’s Great Human Race on April 6 at Northgate Mall. You can learn more about nonprofits in our area and the services they provide. You can run or walk the 5K course to help raise much-needed funds for your favorite nonprofit. And you can enjoy live entertainment and activities. You can make an online donation by going to thevolunteercenter.givebig.org/c/TBR and choose one of our many participating organizations that appeals to you the most.

The race, which will make its way through the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood and back to Northgate, begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration opens at 7 a.m. We hope to see you there.

As Marian Wright Edelman said: “If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it! You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.” The Great Human Race provides an opportunity to make a change! Please join us.

 

Adrienne Clark, special programs coordinator for the Volunteer Center of Durham, is the Great Human Race coordinator. You can reach her at adrienne@thevolunteercenter.org or 919-684-9690.