In these days of natural disasters and family hardships, charities stretch out their hands even wider.
While we're all familiar with relief charities, such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army, we sometimes forget local organizations that also need our help but aren't necessarily disaster-oriented.
I've researched Chattanooga agencies so readers can see what's in their own backyard.
Don't forget volunteering your time is sometimes as important as a financial handout. Read on about these groups in no particular order of importance.
* Orange Grove Center (www.orangegrovecenter.org) is a private, nonprofit organization serving adults and children with developmental disabilities. (My husband periodically deals with this group and is incredibly impressed.)
Established in the early 1950s in Hamilton County by families of children with intellectual disabilities who desperately needed educational services.
Orange Grove provides a wide array of community services and, in fact, is a Four-Star award recipient -- one of a very few -- from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for outstanding services to people with developmental disabilities.
The Orange Grove Center is one of only a few organizations to have earned this rating. Either go online or call to volunteer or contribute: 423-629-1451.
* The National Craniofacial Association or FACES (www.faces-cranio.org) is dedicated to assisting children and adults who have craniofacial disorders resulting from disease, accident, or birth. Among other types of aid, the group assists folks who need medical help away from home. FACES' primary message to those suffering from the disorders and their families is "You are not alone." Volunteer or contribute either online or call 800-332-2373.
* Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga (www.bbbs.org) helps children reach their potential through supported one-to-one relationships between children and professionals. Once matched, Big Brothers and Big Sisters develop friendships with their Little Brothers and Little Sisters -- children who need an adult mentor. Obviously this organization is all about volunteering, but they like contributions, too. Call 423-698-8016 or go to its website.
* Bachman Academy (www.bachmanacademy.org) is a boarding and day school. The school serves youngsters, grades sixth through 12th who have learning-based language disorders: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disorder, and students with attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The programs include career-education in mechanics, equine science, woodworking, and horticulture/agriculture. Check the group out online or call 423-479-4523.
To be continued.
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears every Saturday. Email her at consumer watch@timesfree press.com.