On #GivingTuesday 2022, you could give to many local organizations that help people today and work toward lasting change for tomorrow. We have found several local organizations that align with our vision of a more inclusive city. Here are a few of the efforts that Oconee Street UMC invests in with time and money. We invite you to learn more about them and donate as you are able.
WHAT THEY DO: ARK is an Athens-based organization that pools the resources of people of faith to help local people in crisis to pay for utilities, housing or other daily needs. Since opening in 1989, the Ark has provided over $1,000,000 in financial assistance to over 35,000 individuals and families in need and continues to serve as an extension of over 30 local religious congregations representing different religious traditions.
WHAT THEY DO: Athens Area Homeless Shelter provides services to homeless families with children working toward sustainable independence. The shelter and housing programs are for families with dependent children. AAHS was established in 1986 and was formally incorporated in 1990.
WHAT THEY DO: Athens Reparations Action’s mission is to promote recognition of the financial impact of urban renewal and other racist policies on members of the Black community in Athens, and to work toward redress of the harm done through reparations. The work includes gathering public recognition of the violent impacts of urban renewal on Black homeowners in the former Linnentown community and redress through reparations to surviving homeowners and first descendants.
WHAT THEY DO: Founded in 1993, the East Athens Development Corporation serves Athens’ most impoverished areas, census tracts 301 and 302, both of which have a poverty rate above 50%. Through economic development activities, EADC works to build financial security for the citizens of the community.
WHAT THEY DO: The Athens branch was founded in 2004, uniting diverse faith organizations, volunteers, and social services to provide shelter and food to homeless families in crisis, and stay with them until they became self-sufficient again. Family Promise of Athens (formerly called the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens) is part of more than 200 affiliates in 43 states, and has served over a half million guests since its inception in the 1980s.
Our Daily Bread Community Kitchen serves meals Monday through Friday for anyone in need, offering more than 75,000 nutritious meals a year by organizing volunteers from 70 organizations to cook and serve. Founded in 1989 at Oconee Street UMC, the program is run by Downtown Ministries out of First Baptist Church of Athens.
WHAT THEY DO: U-Lead brings together tutors, mentors and financial resources to enable access to higher education for immigrant students and students from immigrant families, including un(der)documented, children of undocumented parents and other limiting documentation statuses. U-Lead was founded in 2014 in response to Georgia’s discriminatory policies that deny un(der)documented immigrants admission to UGA and other “selective” universities, and require the highest tuition rate at all other 2- and 4-year institutions.
WHAT THEY DO: A bilingual clinic staffed by BIEN, a research and service team connected to the Counseling Psychology doctoral program in the UGA College of Education, offers counseling and assessment to the Latinx population in both English and Spanish. Services are free and hosted at Oconee Street UMC.
WHAT THEY DO: A chief effort of the Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition, SIFIC works directly with immigrant families impacted by detentions and deportations. SIFIC provides “buddies” who help meet the needs of their families. SIFIC also offers emotional, community, and even financial support to families — including legal and housing fees for families who may have lost crucial income to deportations and detentions.
WHAT THEY DO: The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) advocates for racial and social justice and strives to combat discrimination through education and activism. AADM offers various workshops, programs, and resources designed to help citizens protect their civil and human rights. Founded in January 2016 to address allegations of discrimination by businesses in downtown Athens, the movement works to encourage fair treatment of people of all races, bring awareness to inequities, and advocate against systematic practices used to repress or cause harm to particular groups or individuals.