I have such admiration for people who devote their careers to serving others. Few of us are blind to the problems faced by so many in our country and here in North Carolina. But the problems often seem so vast and the causes so complex, most people sigh with resignation and wish there were something they could do to help. But nonprofit leaders see a problem and say, “Well, let’s fix that.”
Nonprofits are an essential part of our culture in North Carolina – and our economy, with an impact of nearly $39 billion and employing 10% of our state’s work force. More importantly, nonprofits provide many of the needed services that private enterprise and government often do not: feeding hungry North Carolinians, improving public health through advocacy and education, providing shelter for the homeless, helping parents meet the daily needs of their families, even promoting the arts.
Whether we realize it or not, everyone living in our state has benefited from the services of nonprofits. Simply put, they make our lives better. Nonprofit agencies exist because we need them – and they need our support. Employees of nonprofits aren’t working for praise or glory or huge salaries; they are called to serve.
And just as helping others is the right thing to do, it is also appropriate to thank those whose selfless contributions to our communities so often go unrecognized. Well, let’s fix that!
Each November, here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we shine a light on some of our nonprofit partners who are doing such great work to make life better in our state. During this year’s Month of Thanks, we will single out a nonprofit each week for recognition, which includes a donation of $5,000 to further the positive impact these organizations have on the lives of those they serve.
The Diaper Bank of North Carolina fulfills a basic human need for families living in poverty: an adequate supply of diapers. The Diaper Bank originally hoped to provide 50,000 diapers in the first year – and two years later, the Diaper Bank is delivering 50,000 diapers each month. So far, they’ve distributed nearly half a million diapers in the Triad, Triangle and Lower Cape Fear areas.
Care Ring expands access to medical and dental care to Mecklenberg County’s uninsured and underinsured, providing a safety net for those who fall through the cracks in our health care system. Care Ring aims to help its clients to take greater responsibility for their own health through educational programs and outreach from providers. Care Ring also operates a low-cost health clinic that charges modest fees.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh advocates for our state’s diverse population of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their friends and supporters. They promote a welcoming environment for all North Carolinians through social and educational activities that incubate supportive services and groups.
KidzNotes uses orchestral training to help children in East Durham and Southeast Raleigh develop social skills that are critical in schooling and for interactions in adult life. KidzNotes provides 10 hours of music instruction each week free of charge to participants during the critical brain development years from kindergarten through seventh grade.
Watch our blog for more detailed stories of our honorees during our Month of Thanks in November.