Following the success of last year’s Giving Tree project, we’re very excited to introduce four more local nonprofits to our communities this holiday season. In 2020, our residents came together to donate over $2,500 worth of physical goods to four nonprofits that are doing great work in our neighborhoods.
How the project works is simple. Team SCA decorates a tree in each of our buildings, and fills it with tags that note various items that an area organization needs. Each tree is dedicated to a specific organization. Residents are encouraged to take a tag, purchase the item, wrap it, and place it under the tree. In the week before Christmas, our team collects all of these donations and delivers them to the organization.
This year, we’re looking to continue to spread that spirit of giving to the following organizations:
Organization: Muttley Crue Rescue
Tree location: Lobby, Ground floor
Founded in 2008, this foster and rescue group is dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and rehoming neglected, abused, and homeless dogs. While they focus specifically on the American pitbull and bully breeds, they do take in any breed that is in need, including deathrow and owner-surrendered dogs and puppies.
Most of the dogs rescued by Muttley Crue are underweight, neglected, or abused. The team works to appropriately vet them, and get these dogs healthy. Muttley Crue is self-funded, and adoption fees help to cover vet bills for spaying and neutering, vaccinations, microchipping the dogs, and more. These fees, as well as donations, also help the organization continue to save animals throughout the Greater Cleveland area and beyond.
Organization: Laura’s Home
Tree location: Lobby, First floor
This women’s crisis center looks to create a bridge to stability and self-sufficiency for women and children. An individualized approach is taken with every woman who comes to Laura’s Home. It starts with an assigned caseworker, who completes an assessment with each individual and makes a recommendation for a personalized program track. These recommendations are responsive to each woman’s needs and help them meet their goals. Tracks include short-term emergency stays, year-long classes, and other models that help single women and mothers with children find adequate housing and income.
In addition to providing for basic needs, Laura’s Home provides specialized, wrap-around services that are designed to empower families and individuals to live healthy lives. They provide introductory crisis support groups, and connect women with collaborative services. Children are also supported through in-house childcare, tutoring, and fun activities.
In 2020, Laura’s home welcomed in 695 women and children, served nearly 80,000 hot meals, and found housing for 79 women and families. Prior to the pandemic, they had a waiting list for more than five years. As many of the temporary measures that were put in place during COVID-19 expire, including the eviction moratorium, Laura’s Home is anticipating an even greater need for their services.
Organization: Humble Design
Tree location: Community room, First floor
Founded in 2009, Humble Design serves individuals, families, and veterans emerging from homelessness by transforming empty houses into welcoming homes using donated furniture and household goods. Their warehouses are curated by design teams that personalize homes based on people’s needs and preferences. Their overarching mission is to help these individuals start over—in a home that is safe, comfortable, and functional.
On average, 50% of previously homeless families return to homelessness within the first year of securing housing. However, of those families that Humble Design has helped over the last twelve years, less than one percent have become homeless again.
Humble Design works in five major cities across the country, including Cleveland. Since their founding, they have assisted over 7,000 individuals, transformed more than 2,100 houses, and saved seven million pounds of secondhand furniture from going into landfills.
Organization: SAGE Cleveland
Tree location: Lobby, First floor
SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBT people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to older LGBT people and their caregivers. The group now has 29 national affiliates, including a chapter in Cleveland that is managed by the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland.
For more than 40 years, SAGE has worked tirelessly on behalf of older LGBT people. Building on the momentum of the Stonewall uprising and the emerging LGBT civil rights movement, a group of activists came together to ensure that LGBT people could age with respect and dignity. On average, LGBT seniors are four times less likely to have children and twice as likely to be single and living alone when compared to their heterosexual peers—making SAGE's work all the more crucial for LGBT elders.
Locally, the group welcomes members who are 50 years of age and older, and is open to anyone in the Cleveland community. In addition to providing a space to connect and socialize, SAGE Cleveland offers chair-based, low impact exercises including tai chi and yoga, and art therapy. Their sessions often include time for coffee beforehand and lunch afterwards.
Our residents can find more information about each of these organizations with the decorated trees in the locations listed above. If you plan to participate, just be sure to return your wrapped gifts to the tree in your building no later than Friday, December 17 at 5:00 pm. You can also follow along on our Instagram, @sustainableca, where we’ll be sharing more information about our Giving Tree project!