If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the world could use more kindness. A lot more. That’s probably never been more true than in 2020, a year that came to be defined by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that cost innumerable lives, shuttered businesses, wrecked jobs and triggered ever more critical needs in our communities.
In early 2020, our Clementine bunch launched a new program that we call Be Kind Clementine – an initiative for our team to complete at least six volunteer service projects each year – as our way of lending a hand where we can in the community. We started before COVID happened, and then as the year unfolded we found that Be Kind took on even greater importance than when we began. It’s given us the opportunity to support, in whatever way we are able, some great organizations and the important work that they are doing. And in sharing our small part here through Be Kind, we hope it’s an inspiration to others who are able to lend their support, their talents or their time to help.
Our 2020 Be Kind organizations are just a few of many doing critical work in our communities. Check them out, lend a hand if you can, and be kind.
Spreading Handcrafted Cheer: Send a Smile Today & Marietta Seniors
Be Kind kicked off in February with a card-making event hosted at Marietta staple Cool Beans Coffee inviting visitors to join the Clementine team in making handmade cards of encouragement. The cards were then sent two places – to Greenwood Place Senior Living, a local home offering personal and memory care to seniors, and to Send a Smile Today which supports cancer patients with an ongoing outreach of hope, love and support. Anyone wishing to donate cards to Send a Smile Today or receive support for a patient can get more information on their website at sendasmiletoday.org.
Supporting Small Business: Locals Support Local
As the small business community attempted to adapt and survive in a COVID19-impacted marketplace, Clementine launched Locals Support Local to provide pro-bono marketing assistance for a small business in need of some help. The program was based on public nominations and ultimately the selected business was Marietta’s own Encouraging Balance Massage Therapy. Facing critical challenges in not only how to maintain but also effectively communicate safety in their service environment, Encouraging Balance asked for help in jumpstarting its social media properties with an effective communication strategy for the COVID era. The Clementine team provided two months of support including a full social media strategy, account optimization and a month’s worth of social media content materials to get things started. Want to help? Support Encouraging Balance by giving them a like on Facebook or Instagram, or book here if you need a massage. (Who doesn’t?)
Delivering Meals & Hope: Meals on Wheels Atlanta
Under the hot summer sun, Clementine’s bunch hit the pavement at Meals on Wheels Atlanta to help with organizing and packing meal sets into cars for delivery. Meals on Wheels supports Atlanta seniors struggling with poverty, food insecurity and social isolation. The group serves more than 514,000 meals each year, a number that continues to grow. It’s a monumental task that takes a steady stream of dedicated volunteers to prepare, pack and deliver meals, stock the pantry and more. See more on all the ways you can support Meals on Wheels Atlanta at mowatl.org.
Building Opportunity: Marietta Mentoring for Leadership
School certainly looked different for most students in 2020. One constant for local Marietta high schoolers is Marietta Mentoring for Leadership, a community-based organization that matches high school students that may be lacking consistent support with mentors to help provide stability, encouragement and motivation as well as help students explore the possibilities for their future. The Clementine team had the privilege of taking part in a one-hour virtual mentoring session with students potentially interested in a career in marketing or design to answer questions and talk more about different opportunities, career paths and preparations. Marietta Mentoring for Leadership depends on volunteers both to act as mentors as well as to serve in other ways like tutoring, program support, college application help and more. Get more info at mentoringforleadership.org.
Stocking the Pantry: MUST Ministries
As community needs have soared, many organizations have suffered critical shortages in food donations to keep pantries stocked and families in need fed. Marietta-based MUST Ministries has faced unprecedented need and continues to urgently seek support through food donations for the community. In November, Clementine hosted a food donation drive to benefit MUST Ministries, going door to door to businesses in and around the Square to gather food donations. Through the generosity of our friends and neighbors we were able to fill the donation barrel to overflowing to help stock the pantry. The need for food donations at MUST Ministries and other organizations like them remains critical. Learn more about how to help at mustministries.org.
Supporting Atlantans in Crisis: BCM Thriftique
Located in Buckhead, Thriftique is the clothing ministry of Buckhead Christian Ministry which has been working harder than ever to serve an unprecedented number of Atlantans and to keep them housed and stable. Thriftique provides free clothing to people in need as well as selling affordable clothing and household goods to the community, using the proceeds to fund food and shelter for families in crisis through BCM’s other programs. The Clementine team spent the morning sorting new clothing donations and organizing the store for the day’s sales. Learn more about Thriftique and the broader work at Buckhead Christian Ministries at buckheadchristianministry.org.