Lee Chadwick

I must admit I am somewhat addicted to being useful.  Some of us gain our identity from our title, or what we own, or our ethnic or religious origins;  but some of us – like me, identify with being able to constructively influence the present, and thereby the future.   It is still enlightened self-interest I guess, but when it reaches beyond the bounds of what affects us, it brings power to others.  

I was fortunate to be born into a loving middle class home. So, I believe people who have been nurtured and taught to share, possess all of the tools needed to be philanthropic.  But, frequently people see a middle-class income as incompatible with real giving; or the ability to make a difference.

Think of this, – if 1,000 people each gave one dollar a week for a year, at the end of the year, no one has spent more than $52 but there is now $52,000 to be spent for good!   If those same thousand people chose to give these gifts when they would be multiplied by being matched…like the program at BurgerFi restaurant on Windward, where Ron Altman shares the work of the charities suggested by his customers on a big screen every month. Then he then matches their gifts to those charities to double them.   When using these great programs, $52,000 becomes $104,000.   I would call that influential!  

When we join forces, even huge problems can be humbled.  What shapes your personal perception of what possible?  What biases make you shake your head instead of joining in to make the change want to see?  We all have something to leverage on behalf of others – resources like time, money, wisdom, construction skills, even the ability to really listen.  If you can give a dollar or an hour a week, you can join your neighbors in quietly changing the world.

Civic commitment doesn’t mean having to run for public office, it means deliberately working towards betterment where you see lack.  Complaining serves to clarify what needs to be done but only a motivated, constructive, civil society can choose and promote general prosperity instead. 

Social isolation is what fragments our communities. Right now it is a natural consequence of disconnection – the automated ways we now communicate, shop, learn, and socialize.  How do you interpret your own value as a human being?  And how do you value and respect others? 

In the recent Matt Damon movie, Downsizing, Matt starts out as a marginally successful, nice person trying to capture enough trappings of wealth to satisfy his self-absorbed wife and feel truly upper class.  But, in the end, he learns that it is only in his service to others that he really feels his worth; and he becomes rich without any proof at all.  Sadly, most viewers missed the point.

70% of adult players of the avatar game, The Sims spend more than 10 hours a day online in this artificial world, connecting to other pretend people.  It is a choice they make because they know what to expect there.  It feels safe.  

Suicide rates are up, overdoses are now rampant; maybe caring that this is true is a start.   It doesn’t matter what it is you have passion for; there are other people who agree with you.  Dog rescue, disabled children, literacy, sobriety, mental health, childhood cancer, early education, safe driving, water conservation, family court, veterans, low income housing – there is a place for you to be welcomed to do that work you want to see done.

For a great list of civic and non-profit organizations listed by their specific area of focus, visit the Appen website at www.northfulton.com or the column website at www.real-altruists.com.  There you can choose where YOU want to make a difference.  Expand the radius of your understanding. Let strangers mean more to you then go lend a hand, or a dollar, or an hour…as soon as you can.





Providing clothing, infant equipment, and toys to children in the foster care system.

Foster Care Support Foundation (FCSF)

(770) 641-9591


Housing and education programs for homeless mothers and families.

The Drake House

(770) 587-4712


Supports talented students from diverse backgrounds so they can become those leaders.

POSSE Foundation


Atlanta and International

Guides homeless families toward permanent housing and lasting stability.

Home Stretch

(770) 642-9185


Providing hope to the local community through the hearts and hands of high school students.

Flood Student Missions

(770) 289-1834


Strength men and families of faith in their community.

Knights of Columbus

(ATL Locations)

(203) 752-4000

Local and International

Supporting and advancing Salla Disease treatments, research, education, and family networks.

Salla Treatment and Research (STAR)


Local and International

Empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce.

Hire Heroes USA

(844) 634-1520


Empowering women and providing tools necessary to reach their goals of self-sufficiency.

Every Woman Works

(770) 998-3392

Atlanta and International

Making our local communities better through leadership, partnership, and service.

Altrusa International

(312) 427-4410

Atlanta and International

Preventing homelessness and hunger in our community by providing programs and emergency assistance.

North Fulton Community Charities

(770) 640-0399


Helps young men develop core values of character and faith to have a positive, impactful effect on others.

Sheepdog Connection

(404) 386-3553

Local Area

Helping fund cutting-edge research and treatments…find cures to childhood cancer.

Curing Kids Cancer

(866) 933-2873

Marietta and International

Uniting leaders and amplifying their individual contributions to make our community a better place to live and work.

North Fulton Rotary Club


Alpharetta and International

Providing care and a new home for homeless pets as well as educating new owners.

Fulton County Humane Society

(404) 613-0358


Providing arts in health programs to cancer patients.

Feel Beautiful Today

(770) 757-1188


Helps homeless and low-income families achieve financials independence.

Family Promise (North Fulton)

(770) 609-5407

Dunwoody and International

Making the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, communities, and ourselves.

Optimist Club

(404) 308-0965

Atlanta and International

Providing affordable childcare and early learning programs.

North Fulton Child Development

(770) 992-4006


Networking of Men and Women who work together to answer the needs that challenge our communities.

Lions Club

(678) 886-6800

Atlanta and International

A safe place where addicted, abused, broken women and children recover through God’s love.

Abba House

(770) 402-7491

Atlanta (Several house locations)

Maintaining clean water in the Chattahoochee River.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

(404) 352-9828


Supporting people with special needs to lead fulfilled lives.

enAble of Georgia

(770) 664-4347


Providing essential care and support to our community’s population of older adults.

Senior Services of North Fulton

(770) 993-1906


Providing a safe and nurturing, after-school environment for at-risk children.

STAR House Foundation

(678) 384-4550


Transforming men’s lives through the power of discipline and faith.

Vision Warriors

(883) 894-4357


Serving young adults with physical disabilities.

Champions Community Foundation

(678) 777-3723


Provides prevention, intervention, therapy and collaboration for severe sexually and physically abused children.

Georgia Center of Child Advocacy

(678) 904-2880

Atlanta/Fulton and International

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