GTSF’s staff members measure kids’ feet on-site to ensure a proper fit before sending children to explore a large traveling inventory of shoes. A community volunteer leads children through the stock, which is made up of high-quality and name-brand athletic shoes to ensure students can select the same styles that their schoolmates are wearing. Children pluck their favorite pair and wear it home, and for many kids, the shoes they choose from Goodie Two Shoes are the first new shoes they have ever owned. By providing children with new shoes, the foundation aims to eliminate an identifiable sign of poverty, provide children with a sense of empowerment by letting them choose their own pair, and improve their self-esteem and performance in school.
In December 2011, a local television news show reported on the 5,000 students who were homeless in the Las Vegas Valley, and focused on the 150 teenagers attending Rancho High School who were homeless or displaced. The community responded by sending aid to many of the teens’ families. Moved by their plight, a team of concerned individuals founded Project 150 to help garner support for the 17 families who had not yet received aid as the holiday season approached. The founding effort of Project 150 successfully raised three truckloads of supplies for these families.
Today, Project 150 provides material support for more than 850 homeless and displaced students at 15 area high schools. It distributes a range of necessities including underwear, food items, and school supplies to homeless youth throughout the region.
The ECDC African Community Center (ACC), which is the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s refugee-resettlement branch in Las Vegas, provides those who have recently arrived in the United States with cross-cultural training, educational development, and support services, as well as increasing public awareness about refugee and immigrant issues.
The ECDC’s clients arrive in Las Vegas from refugee camps across the globe, and have lived in camps for an average of five–seven years. As part of its supportive services for families who have recently arrived, the ACC supplies them with meals while they adjust to their new surroundings. This year's caseload may include as many as 400 families, which range from a single-parent family with one child to families of nine.
Founded in 1950, Variety has worked for more than half a century to improve the lives of children in Nevada and around the world, with a focus on kids with special needs. Programs such as Kids on the Go! and Kids at Play! aim to improve children's access to community resources, providing adaptive medical equipment and funding playgrounds with padded fencing and wheelchair swings. Events throughout the year allow the organization to fund new programs and makes guests' hearts swell like a crowd around a talking beagle.
Radiance Med Spa's name says it all. The beautifying hotspot pampers its clients with a slew of services that bring out their skin's natural radiance. Facial treatments such as microdermabrasions and chemical peels slough away dead skin cells to smooth faces, boost collagen production, and reveal a youthful glow. Additionally, photofacials use intense pulsed light to target sun damage, rosacea, and broken capillaries from fist fighting with a fly.
New Vista supports individuals with intellectual disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. The organization tailors its techniques, therapies, and methods to each individual, with the goal of helping them reach a higher level of independence. Its group homes offer a welcoming and residential-like setting with staff members onsite 24 hours a day, and it also runs a youth program that supports children with intellectual disabilities and educates their families. New Vista offers skills training, ranging from cooking and cleaning to job development, to assist individuals in becoming self-aware community members. To help fund its programs, the organization also operates a thrift store that is open to the wider community and helps to fund its programs.
With the mantra of "leveling the playing field," The Ogden Foundation works directly with schools and area nonprofit organizations to provide academic and athletic programs for students from low-income households. Its literacy and afterschool enrichment program, known as CAAMP Ogden Club, provides classes with books to dissect through daily readings and a book report. Once a week, participating students also take part in afterschool activities such as book discussions, antibullying workshops, and boxing classes.
At the end of CAAMP Ogden Club’s weekly programs, students receive a healthy snack and drink, which program manager Stacy Smith hopes will encourage them to make better, healthier choices when they’re at home. And the students and teachers who participate in CAAMP Ogden seem to love it. As fifth-grade student Bianca G. said, "I love CAAMP Ogden. … I like how we go inside and talk about the book, eat a snack, and relax after all that exercise. I simply cannot wait to go to CAAMP Ogden."
"Seeing what we are doing is making a difference," Smith said. "It’s my hope to help set a student on a path to reach for more in life, to learn as much as they possibly can while having fun doing so, and to become an all-around healthy, happy, productive member of society."
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