Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Remember Nonprofits during Holidays

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Remember Nonprofits during Holidays

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Thomas

Last April, Yoga 4 Change, a local nonprofit founded in 2014, achieved resounding success at the Third Annual OneSpark Crowdfunding Festival.

The funding we at Yoga 4 Change earned from OneSpark sustained our operations for seven months, allowing us to expand our reach from 6,000 students to more than 7,500 students at 65 facilities in the Jacksonville area.

And we were not alone. Hundreds of other nonprofits, charitable organizations and entrepreneurs of all stripes benefited from direct access to a community that rumbled with enthusiasm for the ideas and initiatives they saw on display at OneSpark.

Jacksonville demonstrated a genuine giving spirit that week, backing 555 creators in their endeavors to better their neighborhoods, their cities and their state.

Yoga 4 Change is one of a constellation of over 1,000 nonprofits serving Jacksonville and Northeast Florida every day of the year.

These nonprofits serve the neediest among us, the population which is often invisible, that struggles each day to meet even basic needs.

Nonprofits provide food, housing and mental health services to the indigent, support and rehabilitation to local veterans, counseling and safe haven for children and teenagers in turmoil, and religious services and vocational training to incarcerated community members.

Employees of these organizations do not devote their time and energies for economic rewards; they serve their community because they feel called to do so, oftentimes at significant cost to themselves and their families.

The working poor, homeless and mentally ill among us are not the only beneficiaries of these efforts; we all benefit from the tireless work our nonprofit community provides to Jacksonville.

Even if you are fortunate enough to never receive a meal from a soup kitchen, attend a yoga class in a correctional or substance abuse facility, or stay the night in a homeless shelter, you indirectly benefit from the work of these dedicated men and women. …

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