4 ways to give back to your community this holiday season

give back to your community
Help us stock the pantry at St. Augustine Hunger Center on Nov. 23!

During the holidays, many of us reflect on the things we are grateful for, and how we can use our resources, time or skills to help those who are less fortunate. Whether you’re looking for a way to celebrate Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29, or want to give back to your community more often, below are just a few of the ways you can make a difference.

4 ways to give back to your community during the holidays

1. Food

According to Feeding America, nearly 2 million Ohio residents were food insecure in 2014, including more than 600,000 children. Each dollar donated to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank can provide four nutritious meals to someone struggling with hunger through over 800 different programs in six Northeast Ohio counties. Contact your regional food bank or local food pantry for information about making a donation or volunteering at a facility.

2. Clothing

Many agencies generate funds for programming and operational expenses by selling donated clothing items in thrift shops at prices accessible to low-income community members. This method of donating is helpful in the long-run, but there are a variety of options for donors who wish to make a more direct contribution.

According to Cleveland’s Community West Foundation, socks are “the item that’s most requested by anyone living outside.” Donate money or new socks to the Foundation’s SocksPLUS program, or contact a local shelter to find out which types of donations are accepted.

Operation Warm provides new winter coats to 300,000 children across the country each year, and Coats for Kids collects new and gently used coats of all sizes at these locations in the Greater Cleveland area.

Career Gear and Dress for Success help impoverished men and women achieve economic independence by distributing gently used professional attire for job interviews and empowering them during their transitions into the workforce.

3. Funding

No organization would turn down a qualifying material donation, but in many cases monetary donations are much more helpful. These types of gifts give agencies more flexibility and the option to direct the funds to the programming areas where they are most needed. The donation process is also more convenient for donors, who can simply mail a check, submit a donation online or set up recurring gifts.

Before donating to a cause, do your research and familiarize yourself with the organization to ensure your dollars will reach those you are trying to help. Many nonprofits post financial statements and annual reports on their websites. These documents often disclose information about the percentage of funds directed to programming. Learn more about reliable charity evaluation systems and how to detect charity scams.

4. Time

You don’t need money or material items to make a difference in your community. Many charities and nonprofits rely primarily on the work of volunteers to accomplish their missions.

Contact local organizations for information about current volunteer opportunities, or use sites like Volunteer Match and All for Good to find opportunities related to your interests.

Catchafire and Taproot+ allow community members to contribute at an organizational level through skill-based volunteering and pro bono work. Projects range from one-hour consulting calls to multi-month projects, and can involve marketing, web design, legal and financial expertise, and a variety of other professional skills.

Some of our firm’s favorite causes include Cleveland Clinic Children’s, The Gathering Place and St. Augustine Food Pantry.

How do you make a difference in your community? Tell us about your favorite charities and nonprofits in the comments!

Death of social media celebrity raises concerns about chiropractic neck manipulation

By William J. Price

On Feb. 4, 2016, model and social media celebrity Katie May died at the age of 34 after suffering a stroke. Last month, a new Los Angeles Coroner’s Office report suggested her death was potentially caused by chiropractic neck manipulation to relieve a pinched nerve.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, this type of injury only occurs in one out of 5.85 million upper neck manipulations. These incidents are extremely rare, and it cannot be said with certainty that neck manipulation causes strokes, but the American Heart Association has outlined how a cervical arterial dissection, a type of arterial tear which can lead to stroke, could result from chiropractic neck manipulation.

Victims of rear-end collisions are often treated by chiropractors, who use cervical manipulation to help relieve pain caused by whiplash injuries. Follow these precautionary steps to find a qualified chiropractor who can safely perform this type of treatment and further reduce your risk of suffering a related stroke:

6 Steps for Choosing a Chiropractor:

  1. Ask your primary care physician or surgeon for their recommendations of board-certified chiropractors.
  1. Research the recommended chiropractors and their qualifications.
  1. Visit your state’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners website to investigate any disciplinary actions that may have been filed against the chiropractors.
  1. Interview the chiropractors you are considering to determine which type of therapy they would use to treat your injuries, and perform extensive research on those types of therapy.
  1. After selecting a chiropractor and beginning treatment, ask yourself if any of your pain has been relieved and if you feel the treatment has been effective. Different chiropractic colleges teach different techniques for relieving pain, and the method used by your doctor may not always be the best fit for you.
  1. Be cautious if your chiropractor pushes you to pursue a long-term treatment program. If chiropractic treatment does not relieve your pain within a few weeks, you may need to seek a more specialized course of treatment from an orthopedic or neurological surgeon.

Chiropractic treatment is a viable and worthwhile treatment for many accident victims, and is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies. Taking a proactive approach when selecting a chiropractor will help reduce the risk of any injuries related to treatment.

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, negligence in construction sites and trucking and auto accidents. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.