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Giving Back is Good for the Soul

Franklin and Williamson County are lucky enough to be home to many nonprofits, charitable groups and businesses that focus on giving back. Often when you speak to an owner, ambassador or volunteer of one of these organizations, much time is spent praising the local generosity and open arms of this community. These three local organizations rely on that community support and have really have found their niche.

Love on Wheels

What They Do
Love on Wheels came to be when founder and Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Kunkel learned that foster children are handed trash bags to collect their belongings when changing homes. Located in the back of her animal hospital, the organization provides suitcases, necessities and a note of encouragement to foster children as they relocate to a new home. Love on Wheels is in 45 of the 95 Tennessee counties with expansion expected into Indiana and New Jersey and, hopefully, the remaining counties in Tennessee.

How You Can Help
You can have your child write a note to a foster child of the same age, volunteer your time or donate needed items. Host an underwear drive to help collect much-needed diapers and undies. Creative? You can visit Love On Wheels and find directions on making a no-sew fleece throw to donate.

Retrieving Independence

What They Do
Founded in 2012, Retrieving Independence provides training to local inmates to train service dogs that provide love, dignity and change to the trainer. Inmates who are in good standing and show interest interview to be trainers. Often its a story of redemption since this may be the first time the trainer interacts with unconditional love. After two years, the dogs are placed, and the trainers get to meet the recipient of their hard work. Retrieving Independence is looking forward to moving into the women’s prison and toward using rescue dogs in the future.

How You Can Help
Do you like to play with puppies and dogs? Then you’d be a perfect volunteer! You can volunteer to be a puppy raiser 8-16 weeks of age, or you can enroll in the weekend furlough program to assist in socializing a dog that is in training. There are also support volunteer opportunities like bookkeeping and intermittent special skill needs.

A Vintage Affair

What They Do
Looking to combine your love of great wine and giving back? Look no further than A Vintage Affair, the three-night event series that culminates in the Main Event located in Liberty Hall at The Factory each April. A Vintage Affair focuses on raising awareness and resources for women and children in need.

How You Can Help
Missed your chance this April? In October, gather a team and compete and to see if you can be named the Grape Stomp Champion all while supporting A Vintage Affairs' seven beneficiaries. Looking forward to something in the spring? There’s a little something for everyone; purchase tickets to learn from a vintner, spend your evening with all things country or get gussied up at the Main Event.