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WorkerAnts
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21st Century Phil'ant'hropy
21st Century Phil'ant'hropy

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Arts Education for Everyone  

The College of Adaptive Arts (CAA) is a revolutionary idea.  A not-for-profit organization of higher learning that focuses on offering education opportunities for adults with disabilities.  Painting, music, dance – anything you would expect to find at a performing arts college you can find at CAA – but they teach it in a way that allows people with differing abilities to comprehend, achieve and grow to their full potential. 

Join us in celebrating the work that the College of Adaptive Arts is doing by reading about them here and maybe signing up for classes or offering other support! http://workerants.com/colony/neighborhood-gazette 
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The Bahamas Crisis Centre

For over 30 years The Bahamas Crisis Centre has provided a safe haven for survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, including incest, child abuse and all kinds of domestic violence issues.  They are the only Crisis Centre serving the Bahamas, and while serving all of the Bahamas may seem an overwhelming task for one centre the only word to describe founder Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson is “graceful”.  She exudes compassion and competence and the more you speak with her the more you realize how amazing her serene attitude is given the number of projects she is managing.  

From the centre’s one room beginnings in 1982 where a clinic was offered during one evening and two afternoons a week, Dr. Dean-Patterson has been the driving force behind what is now a 24/7 clinic with hotlines, counseling, victim advocacy and legal aide provided by volunteer psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, social workers and attorneys.  The centre also does community outreach, education and training programs, anti-bullying campaigns, public service programs, and legislative advocacy, in fact they are currently advocating for a constitutional amendment to address gender inequality and discrimination.

The list actually goes on, but it is sufficient to say that the Bahamas Crisis Centre is the heart of a network of people dedicated to ending violence, abuse and, as they say, “Bringing Peace to the Community”.  You can help.  They take volunteers, especially licensed therapists, lawyers/legal interns, and social workers.  Not in those professions or only a short-term visitor to the Bahamas? No worries! You can donate canned food, baby items and formula, books, old cell-phones (make sure they are unlocked and work in the Bahamas) or even bring them a color copier to help keep their brochure costs down.  Contact them next time you are in the area and find out how you can be a part of the solution.

Check out the Bahamas Crisis Centre and other great organizations on WorkerAnts.com http://bit.ly/1eGGmEQ 
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Hands for Hunger is a lean, efficient powerhouse of a charity staffed with a few people fiercely committed to ending hunger and solving food insecurity in the Bahamas.  Six years ago after they realized how much edible food was thrown away in Nassau a group of student leaders collaborated with Second Harvest, a food rescue service from Canada, to create Hands for Hunger.

Today, with only three full time staff and some volunteers, this incredible organization works with over 30 restaurants, hotels, wholesalers, bakeries, and farms that generously donate high quality food and their two refrigerated trucks collect and distribute an average of 2,500 lbs. of food a week.  They deliver the food daily to 14 agencies that provide more than 10,000 meals each week to Bahamians and they have more than seven distribution agencies on their waiting list.

Amazing, right?! Well, after I met with Sunny Dhillon, the volunteer coordinator, I realized that this was just the beginning for this organization.  Their current goals are to raise funds to buy an additional truck and hire another driver so that even more food can be rescued and the agencies on the waiting list can be serviced.  They also dream of having a mobile food truck that can take hot food on the road every day to where it is needed.  Like the United States and Canada, there is a surprising amount of working poor in the Bahamas; people who work full time, but after paying rent, utilities and bills end up with nothing in the fridge and struggling day to day with finding a meal for their families.

I love this group and there are great ways that you can help them help others.  Just don’t start envisioning running to their center and passing out food like a Bahamian Mother Teresa (was that just me?). What they need is practical - aluminum pans for the donated food, fuel for the trucks, salaries, and trucks. How sexy is that, you could have your very own food truck! Well you would know you helped buy it, not that your face would be painted on it or anything.  Have some other great ideas? Contact them and see how you can help end hunger in the Bahamas.

Check out Hands for Hunger and other great organizations on WorkerAnts.com http://bit.ly/1GBEU1u 
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Great Commission Ministries International
  
Every single local person I questioned about charities in Nassau named the Great Commission Ministries International.  Not by the formal organization name, but with a conversation that inevitably went like this: 

Me (a cheerful WorkerAnt): “So, do you know of any good local charities or do you have a favorite one on the island?”
Innocent Bahamian whom I have accosted on the street/ is driving my cab/ sat next to me on the bus: “Oh, well there is this minister who feeds the poor/runs a homeless shelter/ helps drug addicts.  He’s been doing it for years. I think his name is Hanchell, Walter Hanchell?”  

In fact this organization has made such an impact on Nassau over the past 20+ years that when I asked one man where the organization was located, he pretty much dropped what he was doing and took me there himself.  Two bus routes later, he walked me into the office and arranged for me to speak with the office manager.  

Their official website is still in development, but this organization takes their work seriously when it comes to helping others.  They have a food bank and two homeless shelters, a home for men and a home for women.  They provide more than 300 meals a day, including delivery to the sick and to shut-ins, from their feeding centers.  They provide job skills training, tutoring and after school programs, drug rehab services, a computer lab and much more.  

When they say “We Care for the Poor”, they mean it!  Volunteers and donations (including clothes for the thrift shop) are all welcomed.  Just give them a call at 242-325-5801 or 242-328-3140 to see how you can help.   

In closing, I want to give a shout out to the man who kindly took me to visit this organization.  His name is Patrick and you can usually find him at Da Fish Fry restaurant.  Swing by and say Hi, since we WorkerAnts must stick together. 

Find Great Commission Ministries International and other organizations on WorkerAnts at http://bit.ly/1IVzQGV 
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Great Ways to Give Back in Nassau – The Bahamas Humane Society

Humane Societies around the world have a long and impressive tradition of helping less fortunate animals and The Bahamas Humane Society is a proud contributor to that history.  I had the pleasure of meeting with Percy Grant, the Shelter Manager for the Bahamas Humane Society.  He is quite the storyteller and I was in stiches over some of his anecdotes.  What he does not joke about though is the need for some serious support for his beloved Bahamas Humane Society.  As Nassau’s oldest charity, it has protected, cared for and rescued thousands of animals for over 90 years.  It is still home to over 200 cats, 30 dogs, some donkeys, roosters, ducks and pigeons (uninvited, but who know a good thing when they see it).  

The Bahamas Humane Society not only provides housing and care for abandoned and abused animals, it also organizes educational programs, spay/neuter campaigns and extends affordable vet care for local Bahamians, which is often covered by the center if the pet owners cannot pay.  Sadly, a recent outbreak of Canine Distemper reduced adoptions so there are more animals to care for and with the tough economic times there also has been a decrease in donations and funding, including a drastic reduction in the income from their primary donor trust fund caused by reduced investment returns.  All this adds up to a severe shortage of funds (approximately $50,000) and the possibility of the Humane Society having to make stringent cuts in necessary services. 

The great thing about the Bahamas Humane Society is that there are many ways that you can help out.  Short-term visitors and cruise ship passengers can swing by to volunteer for an hour or so, take a tour or just stop by and check out their thrift shop.  Longer term residents can always volunteer their time and support, and no matter where you live if you are passionate about helping animals, you can always start a fundraiser for them to help them through these difficult times so that the Bahamas Humane Society can carry on its worthwhile work of helping the islands animals. 

Find them on WorkerAnts today and search for other great organizations at http://bit.ly/1cThDvN
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Bags of Love is an amazing organization that puts together bags of supplies for children that are suffering from neglect, abuse, poverty or illness. Depending upon the child's situation the bags can include a quilt, clothing, toiletries, school supplies and toys.  Read more about this great organization this week on WorkerAnts.com at http://workerants.com/colony/neighborhood-gazette/detail-view/2024.
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Freedom is for everyone; freedom to live and work, to have access to food and education, and freedom from oppression.   Go to WorkerAnts.com community to find amazing organizations and people that fight for freedom everyday.

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"It's better to die fighting for freedom than to live life in chains."
Join us now and be the part of Freedom December Celebrations!
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#RestoreHappy: Hope for the children of Syria 
The paintings of over 1,000 Syrian refugee children were displayed at the National Mall in Washington D.C. from October 23 – 27 this year.  Pictures of trees, families, SpongeBob and princesses are interspersed with paintings of broken hearts, knives, fire trucks and a building marked UNISF (UNICEF).  It is a tale of loss and hope told in pictures by children whose lives have been forever altered by war, and it was laid out for everyone to see.  

We invite you to check out an article on WorkerAnts.com to learn more about this amazing project by Beats, Rhymes and Relief that creates awareness of the needs of Syria’s children. http://workerants.com/colony/neighborhood-gazette/detail-view/2001
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