10 Inspiring Projects and Organizations

This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

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Gotta Have Sole Foundation: Founded by Cranston, RI, native Nicholas Lowinger as part of a community service project, Gotta Have Sole provides new footwear to homeless kids. What started as a project connected to his bar mitzvah ceremony has grown into an organization that provides shoes in 12 states and is continuing to grow.

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Heifer International: Heifer International not only brings food to the hungry; it provides the possibility of sustainable food sources for families. The goal is self reliance gained through education, tools, and livestock. Heifer brings sustainable agriculture to families and communities around the world that have been ravaged by generational poverty and hunger.

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Youth Pride, Inc.: We all need a safe space and Youth Pride, Inc. creates one for the LGBTQA teens and young adults of Rhode Island. Located in Providence, YPI is a beacon of hope and help providing everything from counseling and a drop-in center to dinner and advocacy work through the region.

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New Urban Farmers: New Urban Farmers Rhode Island seeks to expand access to healthy food throughout the region through sustainable agricultural sources in the city. The goal is to eliminate barriers that block access to healthy food for low-income regions and to empower the residents of Central Falls and Pawtucket as they take an active role in cultivating food.

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Hardy Girls, Healthy Women: A non-profit organization, HGHW works to “create opportunities, develop programs, and provide services that empower” girls and women. Through programs like Girls Rock! Weekend and a training institute, HGHW strives to empower, educate, and strengthen the connections girls need to grow into healthy women.

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Sojourner House of Rhode Island: Since 1976, Sojourner House has been providing refuge for survivors of domestic violence. Working an advocacy and resource center, the organization has served over 50,000 people. It offers “support groups, emergency shelter, transitional housing, sexual health advocacy, emotional support, counseling, referrals to over 50 other community partners providing additional assistance, and more.”

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Active Minds: Mental health concerns are on the rise for college students. Active Minds seeks to “change the conversation about mental health” across college campuses. Active Minds  “empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.  We are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation.”

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The Not All Like That Project: Inspired by the It Gets Better Project, NALT seeks to bring the message that not all Christians are anti-LGBTQA. NALT allows LGBTQA affirming Christians to post video messages of support and love countering many of the messages of hate by some faith organizations.

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Project Unbreakable: TRIGGER WARNING. It began as a photography project by Grace Brown grew into an amazing effort “ to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art.” The project features thousands of images of sexual abuse and assault survivors, both women and men, raising awareness, providing education and promoting healing.

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Love is Respect: A collaborative effort by Break the Cycle and the National Dating Helpline, loveisrespect.org is the “ultimate resource to engage, educate and empower youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships” From videos and education resources to ways to get and give help, the site comprehensive and accessible.

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Representation Project: The project’s stated mission is:  “a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change.” What that translates into is an amazing exploration of the impact of media on women in the documentary “Missrepresentation,” and an upcoming documentary on the impact of gender stereotypes on boys and men called “The Mask You Live In.”

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