Sunday, 25 February 2024

Steele: End of year giving

Holiday festivities throughout our communities abound. Santa’s in town, friends are gathering at parties for cheer and goodwill, city streets are dressed in pretty wreaths and lights, dazzling parades throughout the County delight onlookers and shoppers are boosting our rural economy!

The spirit of the season is on display — as the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Gift giving is a central feature of the holidays. For many, giving extends beyond home and family. The generosity of others is a truly wonderful aspect of the season and end of year giving is essential to the many nonprofit organizations who help, during the holidays and year-round, to make sure those less fortunate are supported — in ways perhaps not broadly realized.

In Lake County, where poverty rates are high, end of year giving brings holiday cheer. As a member of several nonprofit organizations, I can attest to that. End of year giving is a highly encouraged, appreciated, and meaningful gesture.

Recently a dear friend and neighbor, Jackie Riche, asked me to recommend some giving options — she was making her end of year giving decisions and wanted to give where the impact was lasting and meaningful.

I suggested the Live Your Dream Program sponsored by the Clear Lake Soroptimists. Through grants, this unique program supports women and girls working to change their life trajectory.

Participants in the program have overcome untold hardship – poverty, homelessness, abuse or worse. Most are working moms who exist on limited incomes yet somehow make time to continue their schooling. They are all enrolled in an academic or vocational curriculum and grants from the Live Your Dream program are helping them turn their goals and dreams into realities.

End of year giving can help break the cycle of poverty and is a good way to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those choosing education as an important self-improvement step on the path to economic sustainability.

My friend Jackie sent an end of year gift to the Live Your Dream Program. “Perhaps others will as well,” she said.

For information about how to support women and girls through the Live Your Dream Program, visit the Soroptimist of Clear Lake’s Facebook page or text a message to 916-849-8170.

Donations can be mailed to Soroptimist International of Clear Lake, P.O. Box 966, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423.

Olga Martin Steele lives in Clearlake Oaks, California.

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