These are the Difference Makers™
Nearly 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year. Regardless of race, age, religion or economic status, mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children across the United States.
NAMI Kentucky, which stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a non-profit organization that strives to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer from mental illness. The organization is dedicated to the affective and timely treatments by providing easy to understand information on diagnosis, treatment and recovery for illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, etc. There is a network of local affiliates that provide support services such as family discussion groups, peer to peer meetings and training for education professionals.
NAMI Kentucky is a part of the nationwide network devoted to decreasing the prevailing stigma associated with mental illness. Education and support will help decrease the chance of children and adults suicides, as well as homelessness and incarceration that sometime result from a life of untreated mental illnesses.
To learn how to recognize the symptoms or to help those who are suffering in silence, please log on to their website
Since 1987 Mother's Refuge of Independence, MO has been a safe haven for over 1300 young mothers and their babies. The organization provides housing, food, and shelter. Each year around 4,000 bed nights are provided, as well as approximately 10,000 meals and snacks. Last year over 12,000 diapers were used!
For many of the residents, it is the first time they have lived in a home free from physical, verbal or sexual abuse, drugs and violence. Most of the mothers are from the greater Kansas City area. They are allowed to live at the home until their child is one year old.
The young mother's must continue their education to be allowed to stay at the shelter. They can either attend high school, get their GED or take classes at the community college. The homes are alcohol, drug and smoke free.
Residents learn household responsibilities and take turns planning, preparing and cooking meals, and cleaning. On Sundays, they must attend a religious service but the faith and church choice is up to the individual. Mentors from the community volunteer their time to partner with a young mother to help them find the right path in life.
In the fall of 2012, the home burned down and was a complete loss. The center and programs have continued with alternative housing provided by a nearby church conference center. Additional funds are needed to continue to provide the program which not only serves the immediate needs of the young pregnant mothers, but helps provide a stable and loving support system that teaches these women coping skills for a better life.
To learn more about this life changing organization, please visit their website
Equine Partners Unlimited is a non-profit organization that focuses on Equine Assisted Therapy and horse rescue. They offers workshops and programs to help people develop life skills such as communication, respect for themselves and others, as well as teamwork lessons. Their work in rescue and rehoming of at risk horses not only saves the animal's life, but also provides a loving home and family for the pet, as well as meaningful connections within the hearts of the clients and volunteers who interact with them.
Equine Assisted Therapy is a technique that uses activities with horses to help clients better understand themselves. Horses are sensitive and responsive. They reflect what we really feel and not what we want to convey. As a result, they are excellent mirrors of our inner selves.
Equine Therapy is used to help children identify problems within themselves such as harmful thoughts and behavior patterns that may be creating conflict in their lives. Treatment plans are individualized to help address anxiety, poor communication, depression, eating disorders, anger, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and life transitions.
Other programs provided include a Horses & Youth program for at risk children, a Family CARES workshop to help families connect, Women's and Couples retreats as well as individual counseling.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to this amazing organization, please view their website
Father to Father Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping fathers overcome the barriers to being a responsible and involved Dad. Services are designed to help men heal broken spirits and family relationships, practice healthy parenting and gain productive and stable employment.
Working under the umbrella of six fatherhood programs within the state to help fathers reconnect with their children, the Father to Father project offers education and services for men trying to rebuild their lives. Over 1200 men receive services each year.
Fathers are encouraged to attend weekly peer support group meetings, one on one sessions with a job counselor, attend educational sessions and develop supportive networks. Course are offered on topics such as effective communication, job readiness and employment, financial management, healthy relationships and domestic violence. Assistance is provided to help these men navigate the child support system, mediate with their child's mother or families, local access to healthcare and transportation, as well as job opportunities and housing.
Fatherhood programs change lives and help men become the fathers they have always wanted to be. These programs stop the cycle and change lives!
To learn more, please see their website
Team MARCO and Difference Makers™ may be able to help you in your effort to help others. Each week a $500 credit to use towards a promotional products order (including any set up fees and shipping) will be given free to a 501 (c) (3) organization. Difference Makers™ are welcome to apply.
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