The holidays seem to begin in November, leading up to Thanksgiving and of course, Hanukah, Christmas and Kwanza. It becomes a frenzy on “Black Friday,” when hordes of shoppers line up at midnight or in the wee hours in an attempt to get the best deals and the early bird.
Many of us already have the things we really want or need, so we’ve turned to a different kind of shopping: we seek out places and organizations that would benefit from charitable contributions, a donation “in lieu of…” random gifts. Because we also like to see these supporting gifts in action, we keep most of our charitable giving “local.”
With that in mind, Clarksville Online is launching this holiday season with a list of organizations whose work we admire and support; it is an eclectic list of organizations that in one way or another has direct impact on the people of our community.
- Clarksville-Montgomery County Chapter of the American Red Cross. This virtually all-volunteer local chapter trains continually, has been known to work around the clock for days-on-end (ten fires in one week last winter; everyone got sick and kept on working), and has deployed to help in other disasters. They serve Montgomery, Stewart and Houston Counties and Fort Campbell. The chapter depends on donations to sustain many of its local efforts. Make checks payable to: Clarksville-Montgomery County American Red Cross, 585 S. Riverside Drive, Suite L, Clarksville TN 37040.
- Loaves and Fishes serves hot meals to approximately 150 people a day, six days a week, working with volunteer teams of dedicated volunteers who arrive early to slice, dice, bake, roast and stew up a variety of foods to feed the city’s hungry. Make donations payable to: Loaves and Fishes, 215 Foster Street, Clarksville TN 37040.
- Roxy Regional Theater. This theater has provided an array of arts and entertainment to the city for 25 years and offers young people special opportunities to train for the performing arts. With more than a dozen shows staged annually, they are the premier performance center in the city and a resource for the arts in our community. There are many ways to support the Roxy Regional Theater; for more information on ways to support the Roxy, call 931-645-7699.
- Urban Ministries/Grace Assistance Program. Working from a small group of offices on Third Street, the volunteers at Urban Ministries offer kind, courteous and confidential assistance to people in need throughout Clarksville. Assistance with utility bills, prescription medications, food services, myriad other needs and referrals are handled by their staff. Make checks payable to: Urban Ministries, 217 South Third Street, Clarksville TN 37040.
- Fisher House at Fort Campbell offers a comfortable home for families of wounded servicemen undergoing prolonged recovery and rehabilitation in a VA hospital and provides families with a supportive atmosphere during a very stressful time. Make checks payable to: Fort Campbell Fisher House, 652 Joel Drive, Fort Campbell KY 42223. Mark envelope: Attn: Vivian Wilson
- Clarksville Public Library. The library in Clarksville can be considered “state of the art” with its meeting rooms, computer labs, extensive children’s department, exhibition space, and collections of books, music and video. Give the gift of a “Friend of the Library” membership (available at the library) or make a donation to support library programs and services. Its librarians have stood their ground in protecting your right to free and unfettered access to all kinds of literature and other resources. Make your check payable to: Clarksville Public Library, 350 Pageant Lane, Clarksville TN 37040.
- U.S.O. provides programs and services to boost morale of soldiers at home and overseas. The receive no federal funding and operate solely on donations from ordinary people who wish to support our troops. Make checks payable to the: USO, Department WS, P.O. Box 96860, Washington D.C., 20090-6860
- H.O.P.E., the Hispanic Organization for Education and Progress, offers a variety of services including youth programs, a holiday food program that will deliver Thanksgiving meals to at least local families, and a range of school based informational programs. Make checks payable to: H.O.P.E., 120 Legion Street, Clarksville Tn 37040.
- Dunbar Cave. Clarksville’s extraordinary natural resource, the Caves are a prime site to visit with a unique and much older history of use than anyone suspected. Its natural history and conservation are prime commodities to be nurtured and sustained for the benefit of the community at large. Gift the gift of membership to the Friends of Dunbar Cave or make a donation to: Dunbar Cave, Dunbar Cave Road, Clarksville TN 37043.
- Salvation Army. Thrifts stores. Homeless services. Assistance for a variety of needs including prescription medications and utilities. The Salvation is part of a network of community-based organizations working with people whose needs are very real. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is a staple across the country during the holiday season, but rather than dropping in your nickles and dimes and quarters, considering making a larger donation. Make your check payable to: Salvation Army, 838 Greenwood Avenue, Clarksville TN 37042.
- Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County is a non-profit ministry dedicated to the creation of affordable family housing. Make checks payable to: Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, P.O.Box 331, Clarksville TN 37041.
- Hospice provides psychological, social, physical and spiritual care with an emphasis on providing pain relief and emotional support during the last days of life. Their support extends beyond the patient to encompass and support the entire family. Donationsmade in memory of a loved one can be so designated on the check. Make your check payable to: Gateway HOSPICE, 1760 Madison Street, Clarksville TN 37043.