With a mission to enable deaf-blind individuals to achieve their full potential, North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates advocates for the rights and needs of its constituents through consumer advocacy and community-building events. John Washington and Sue Etheridge started the group as a consumer organization in 1983, but it expanded to offer annual conventions and retreats to help reduce the isolation that can result from living with communication obstacles. Conferences promote new technologies and advocate for individual rights, and the Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat provides a much-needed space for deaf-blind adults to socialize, share stories, and participate in life-skills classes, sporting events and dances, and outings to local shopping centers or the lake.
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Toxic Free North Carolina provides education about pesticide hazards and aims to change the way communities view and use toxic chemicals, with the goal of reducing pesticide pollution. In addition to combating pesticide exposure among the general population, the organization focuses specifically on farm workers and their families, who are at a particularly high risk for pesticide exposure, with programming that aims to reduce their risk and address hunger in that population.
A small group founded 2PawsUp in 2007 to help transport animals from the local shelter to potential adopters. After a few months of this service, 2PawsUp expanded into an adoption agency. Today, it rescues animals from high-kill shelters, provides medical care, and helps find them loving, permanent homes. It also spays or neuters animals to limit the growth of the stray-animal population.
Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to provide hunger relief to developing countries around the world. Through its meal-packaging program, volunteers package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, school feeding programs, and orphanages around the world. Its partner organizations note increased enrollment in schools that receive these meals, ensuring that more children receive a quality education in addition to a healthful meal. Stop Hunger Now hosts meal-packaging events to prep food for recipients, during which 40–50 volunteers can typically package 10,000 meals in two hours.
The Center for Volunteer Caregiving helps Wake County seniors and adults with disabilities maintain their independence and quality of life by providing services such as transportation and home visits. Through its Caregiver Support Program, the center also provides a temporary respite for full-time caregivers who are supporting a loved one with dementia or other disabling conditions. Caregivers can take much-needed time for themselves as trained volunteers offer quality companionship to the family member in need.
Amid the hardwood-and-pine forest adjacent to Wiggins Mill Reservoir lie the 18 holes of Willow Springs Country Club, where golfers have tested their will and skill for nearly 100 years. A relatively flat and walkable stretch of 6,641 yards, the course challenges players with narrow, tree-bordered fairways rather than extreme swings in elevation or herds of ball-devouring mountain goats. When success on the par 71 layout proves elusive, players can enlist the constructive criticism of Class A PGA member Jimmy Gurkin, the club professional and owner since 1989.
Course at a Glance:
After being diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager, Brandy Barnes faced several obstacles, including feelings of isolation and a high-risk pregnancy. She was astounded by the lack of available resources for women like her. These experiences led her to form DiabetesSisters, with the hope of helping women of all ages with all types of diabetes.
DiabetesSisters aims to improve the quality of life and health of women through peer-support systems that provide encouragement, empowerment, and education. Along with support-group meetings held nationwide, the organization hosts SisterTalk blogs and forums where women can openly discuss and ask questions about diabetes without fear of judgment.