Part of an international organization that aids businesses throughout the Americas and Africa, ACCION San Diego aims to increase income and access to jobs for self-employed men and women. It provides small businesses with microloans that range from $300 to $35,000, which can fund necessities to stabilize growth and help build good credit. In 2011, ACCION presented 98 small businesses with $1.1 million in loans, and continues to focus on helping individuals who are underserved or do not have access to traditional financing. ACCION also hosts free workshops and events to teach business owners new skills in financing, social media marketing, and QuickBooks.
One of the oldest and largest LGBT community centers in the nation, The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center has been promoting LGBT health and human rights since 1973. This year alone, The Center has provided more than 55,000 service visits. Its programs cater to the many different facets of the community and include youth, family, and senior services as well as specific services for men or women, transgender counseling, and HIV testing and support. A 15-member board and 40-plus staff members work together with more than 800 community volunteers to foster The Center's mission to nurture and support the LGBT community.
Each of the horses under care at the nonprofit Laughing Pony Rescue has been saved from abandonment, sickness, or an abusive situation. Responsible for the rehabilitation of more than 300 horses, Laughing Pony Rescue educates the public, trains horses and humans, and gives these noble creatures a happy home. Visitors can share in the communal spirit through group horse hugs or the ranch?s assortment of activities, which include lessons and trail rides as well as therapeutic riding.
The Arc of San Diego empowers individuals with disabilities through supportive services that range from residential-living programs to summer camps and day trips for consumers of all ages. Highly trained staff and volunteers work together to honor the dignity of the individuals they serve by demonstrating compassion and celebrating diverse backgrounds.
The Salvation Army Family Store collects and resells donated items ranging from vintage clothing to antique furniture. Patrons can search for wardrobes, tables, and couches to fill out their home, plates and silverware to stock their empty kitchen, and VCRs to feed their pet robot. All proceeds from the Family Stores support The Salvation Army's San Diego Adult Rehabilitation Center, a 12-step work therapy and faith-based residential and transitional rehabilitation program for men and women dealing with alcohol and substance abuse. The six-month to two-year program is offered to program participants at no cost.
Though the best way to contribute to the organization's mission, especially following natural disasters such as the recent wildfires, is with monetary donations, the Salvation Army accepts donations of used goods and clothing to sell in the network of Family Stores. All sales of these donated items support the funding of the organization's programming. To donate goods, call (800) 728-7825 or visit www.SanDiego.SATruck.org; for monetary donations, call (866) 455-4357, visit www.SanDiego.SalvationArmy.org, or send to The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters, SD Fires, 2320 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.
Veterans 360 works with recent combat veterans, helping them develop professional and interpersonal skills as they reintegrate into civilian life. Structured daily activities and projects are based around four goals: engagement, healing, education, and employment. When veterans first begin the program, they receive holistic posttraumatic-stress-disorder treatments that can include mentorships and therapy. Through engaging activities, they can learn about wind turbines, help maintain children’s playgrounds, and learn how to surf. Educational programs, meanwhile, help participants prepare for a return to the classroom or provide vocational training for specific careers. Ultimately, veterans can earn certifications in trade skills and work with mentors to find jobs.