The Network's charitable work crew is excited to announce that Abilities First has been chosen as our nonprofit partner for 2016. For more than 30 years Abilities First has worked to empower citizens and break down the barriers that those with disabilities face. Whether it means helping someone who wants to work find meaningful employment, or helping families find the resources they need for their family member struggling with a developmental disability, Abilities First is dedicated to ensuring every person has the opportunities they need.
As The Network continues to grow in both numbers and involvement in the Springfield community, the Leadership Council felt it was important to provide members with a way to contribute to local philanthropic efforts. In 2013 The Network established a charitable fund to highlight one local nonprofit organization each year and to encourage members to consider making philanthropic donations. Throughout the year The Network will engage with Abilities First in a variety of ways, including fundraising efforts at our socials, special volunteer opportunities for members, and dedicated programs that highlight the organization. With so many great nonprofits in Springfield, we've found that our resources are best spent focusing specifically on one organization per year.
We've got lots of ways for members to get plugged into our efforts with Abilities First! The first thing to consider doing is making a small donation to The Network's Charitable Fund. At the end of each year all the money in this fund is turned over to our nonprofit partner. In 2015 we raised over $2,000 for Great Circle, and all of that money was raised through small donations! If you're feeling extra generous, sign up for a recurring monthly gift and donate the equivalent of one coffee or lunch per month.
Members can also support Abilities First by keeping an eye on our calendar for volunteer opportunities. Whether you're interested in helping out with a fundraising event, assisting with an arts class at Art Inspired Academy, or want to donate your time at Inspired Boutique, Abilities First has lots of ways for young professionals to get plugged in. And with so many options there's sure to be something that fits your interest and availability.
Lastly, members can be a great help to Abilities First by helping to spread the word. One of every nonprofit's greatest hurdles is ensuring that the community knows about its services and knows how to access them. As influencers, Network members can do a lot by simply liking Abilities First on social media platforms, sharing information with friends and coworkers, and promoting the organization in the community.
Learn more about Abilities First and their programs by visiting their website. You can connect with Abilities First on Facebook via the links below.