Local Nonprofits Making a Difference in Your Area

DEFINITION: a Nonprofit organization is a business that has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS because it furthers a social cause and provides a public benefit.

Baton Rouge is a hub of activity and awareness, and this great city is full of organizations helping find cures, feeding the hungry, and lifting up people from all walks of life. Donating to a cause that has meaning to you or your family may not just be heartwarming, or a tax write off, it can also help fund a project that is important to you.

I am going to highlight a few 501C3 organizations below. I have chosen 5 very different nonprofits that are focused here in Baton Rouge and range from rehabilitation to helping local farmers. Each organization is important and can help us have a better community and a healthier place to live.

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.”  – Charles Dickens

1.) The O’Brien House: O’Brien House was established in 1971 to serve adult-recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The center was named for Paul S. “Pat” O’Brien, who spent 53 years of his life working with alcoholics and educating the public about the disease of alcoholism. Through the years, O’Brien House has drawn the appreciation and support of the Baton Rouge community.

Over the past 40 years, the services of O’Brien House have evolved into a more comprehensive continuum of care that includes treatment, prevention, and community development initiatives.

Services include the following: 60 Residential Treatment Beds and 10 Inpatient Treatment Beds, Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs, Adult Substance Education Program (ASEP), a component of District Attorney’s DWI Diversion Program, Parenting Classes, Grief Counseling, Spiritual Support, Recreational Therapy, HIV/STD Testing, Prevention Classes and Educational Services

2.) Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation: The Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation (LPCF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that supports families in Louisiana whose children suffer from congenital heart defects and/or heart disease and require life-saving surgery. In addition, LPCF provides FREE heart screens for high school athletes in an effort to detect athletes at risk of sudden death from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.”
Did you know:
a.)Baton Rouge, Louisiana does not have a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, so all children requiring life-saving heart surgeries must travel to receive proper treatment.
b.)Each year, more than 3,000 American children and teenagers die while playing sports from an undiagnosed heart condition.

3.)Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless: “Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (CAAH) holds the fundamental belief that everyone, no matter how deprived in circumstances of housing and necessities is valued, entitled to dignity, respect, and is deserving of community assistance and the opportunity to achieve a life of self-sufficiency.”

CAAH members provide Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless individuals, persons with a range of disabilities, and families experiencing homelessness for the first time.  In addition to housing, our members offer a range of services that include outreach to the homeless, behavioral health referrals, substance abuse treatment, veterans services, life skills training, job training/placement, youth shelters, and literacy/GED classes.

4.) BREADA also known as the “Red Stick Farmers Market: “The mission of BREADA is to build a healthy & strong local food system; to increase the sustainability of independent local farmers, fishers & food producers; and to foster stewardship of land and community through public markets.”

Programs run by BREADA: Red Stick Farmers Market, Red Stick Sprouts, Main Street market, Ryan Elementary Garden, Red Stick Rewards, and Red Stick Mobil Market.

5.) Kids’ Orchestra: Students in grades K-5 meet two or four times a week for music instruction. Violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and percussion lessons are offered, in addition to music foundation classes for our youngest students.
Mission – To impact children’s lives by creating a sense of community through afterschool musical training and enrichment programs.
Reach– Through strategic partnerships with schools across East Baton Rouge Parish, students and families have broad access to kids’ Orchestra programming.
Vision – To increase inter-racial and cultural harmony in Louisiana by engaging children through music.”

As 2019 comes to a close and 2020 begins I hope that I have given you some local organizations to think about. I have only mentioned 5, and there are hundreds more in your local community that may speak to your beliefs and heart. Each one does something uniquely different that is bettering our community and state. If you can not donate funds to a local charity, I would suggest donating your time; like an article, share the organization’s information and go to their fundraisers. Our community is an amazing place to live, full of wonderful people. Learn something new today and meet someone new.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Mother Theresa


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