Looking for the best local charities to donate to this holiday season? These two organizations are poised to make a significant positive impact in Mississippi.
During this season of gifting, we want to encourage you to make the greatest possible impact in your local community – so as we all scurry to finish up our last minute shopping, we want to encourage you to do some last-minute GIVING to deserving local charities.
In particular, if you’re unsure about where to direct your generosity, we highly recommend two local charities that we know well – both poised to have tremendous positive impact on Mississippi in 2018: Extra Table and Refill Cafe. Both are passionate and efficient in accomplishing their mission of helping those in need, which makes them well deserving of your giving as you join us in celebrating the greatest gift this holiday season.
What Is Extra Table?
Extra Table was founded in 2009 by Robert St. John after he received a call from a local food pantry that was in desperate need of food for their inventory. They fed 800 families a month, and without emergency food help, they wouldn’t be able to feed those families who would be soon show up to receive food.
St. John, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, purchased his food through Sysco. After combing through over 15,000 food items in the Sysco catalogue, he put together an order and had it shipped to the pantry just in time to feed those families depending on them.
He then researched more about Mississippi’s hunger problem, discovering an issue that was even larger than he previously had thought. Mississippi had a hunger problem. A big one.
Together, with Sysco, Extra Table is now a successful charity that ships healthy food items to agencies all across Mississippi.
How You Can Help
Extra Table relies on people like you, everyday people with a heart for eliminating hunger. You can help them by becoming a monthly donor or by giving a one time gift this holiday season. 100% of your donation goes to purchase food in your area of Mississippi. The food is purchased at below wholesale prices and is delivered at no cost by Sysco (which makes this the most efficient food drive we’ve found!).
You can find out more about Extra Table here, and you can donate here.
What Is Refill Café?
Refill Café will be a non-profit workforce development café located in the community of West Jackson in the former Koinonia Coffee Shop location. Local restaurateurs Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal are leading the effort in partnership with other local leaders.
Their target is youth and young adults who have fallen out of school or are having trouble finding a job. Their mission is to empower them by providing an innovative and holistic job training and life skills program. Participants will receive on-the-job experience such as restaurant front-of-house skills as well as culinary training in the kitchen. They will also be provided with necessary life skills and community support to encourage them, even beyond the work program.
Refill Café intends to also offer social service support and educational support like pathways to GED, mental health services and resume building.
After completing the program, Refill Café intends to hire graduates of the program back when it’s a good fit or help connect them to the many culinary jobs in Mississippi’s booming hospitality industry.
How You Can Help
Refill Cafe plans to open in the fall of 2018, so your donation right now will help them offset building costs, property tax and other financial needs that their planting grant does not cover.
You can find out more information about Refill Café here and you can donate here.