The importance of giving back to local nonprofits

We all face obstacles at different points of our lives, and the mission to overcome them ignites our levels of resilience, motivation and determination. While personal tribulations can at times cause disruptions, it’s important to remember a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge andcontroversy.”

That being said, a plethora of local nonprofit organizations exist that penetrate the world of helping others and giving back. They are measured by the lives they touch. And similar to each of our individual trials through life, they also face a multitude of challenges that many people don’t realize. They are integral parts of a bigger picture — a picture that paints the image of our local community and the scores of needs of others. That’s why, amid our own day-to-day comings and goings and personal obstacles, it’s imperative to give back to them.

Here are some local nonprofits and examples of their needs:

• Nevada Donor Network (NDN) is one of the highest performing organ procurement organizations in the nation. Its Foundation President Steven Peralta said it exports over 90 percent of all the lifesaving gifts it recovers in Nevada to other states since only one transplant center in Southern Nevada exists at UMC Hospital. Nevadans have to travel out of state to receive a lifesaving transplant, except for a kidney transplant. Donations are imperative for NDN’s work in developing a statewide Nevada Transplant Institute.

• Nathan Adelson Hospice is one of the first hospices founded in the nation and the largest and only nonprofit hospice in Southern Nevada. It is recognized as a national leader in hospice and palliative care. President and CEO Karen Rubel said that as a nonprofit hospice organization, it continually raises funds to provide care to uninsured and underinsured members of our community. In addition, support goes to fund needed programs and services such as meal delivery, complementary therapies, transportation and for families in need.

• Special Olympics Nevada (SONV) is known for its sports programs and competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), but it also has a role in increasing health care access to people with ID. People with ID are one of the largest and most medically underserved populations. SONV Executive Director Terrence Thornton said that since the pandemic, a large focus has been on mental and behavioral health and the need for more funding to support Strong Minds, an emotional health program developed by Special Olympics. SONV is launching a revamped model for the program in designated schools in the state, and with increased funding, it can launch the program into additional schools.

• Las Vegas Rescue Mission, which started more than 50 years ago, has faced numerous challenges due to homelessness being prevalent in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Rescue Mission CEO Heather Engle said programs offered are: Alcohol and drug treatment for men and women; and an overnight shelter for men and women, along with an intact family shelter, which keeps the family housed together. The Las Vegas Rescue Mission has a capital campaign underway to raise funds for the following: Build a new Shelter of Hope for its women in recovery and those in the shelter; rehabilitate some of its old, existing buildings; grow its intact family programs; and rehabilitate the men’s overnight shelter and the men’s recovery building.

• Jewish Nevada is focused on building and sustaining vibrant Jewish life in Nevada and taking care of those in need. President and CEO Stefanie Tuzman said this is a difficult time for Jews as antisemitism is on the rise. In addition to the important work done to support the Jewish agencies and institutions in the community, Jewish Nevada is putting additional dollars and resources into bolstering a statewide security program. Jewish Nevada provides funding statewide and in Israel for community organizations, events and projects in three priority areas: caring for the vulnerable; Jewish vibrancy and continuity; Israel and overseas.

For those who can help, giving back is a year-round necessity to help our local nonprofits thrive. Nevadans have a big heart, and nonprofit organizations need us. As Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” We need to step up and help our local nonprofits keep on trying while bettering the lives of our fellow Nevadans. No matter where or when, one small act from us individually makes us all stronger.

Holly Silvestri is a partner in The Ferraro Group, Public Relations & Public Affairs.

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