January 2, 2020
Leadership Winchester-Clark County had another GREAT day learning about Clark County non-profits! Judy Crowe, the day chair, filled the day with numerous non-profit leaders. Clark County is full of non-profits and clubs, a testament to how generous and tight knit our community is.
No organization better demonstrates this generosity than The Blue Grass Community Foundation. Gift Planning Officer and Deputy Counsel Halee Cunningham kicked off the day highlighting the many ways people can contribute to non profits, and how to create a charitable plan based on your interests and values. She illustrated how the Blue Grass Community Foundation, a foundation founded over 50 years ago, operates. In addition to distributing endowments to vetted non-profits, they offer non-profit and donors services that maximize impact.
Halee was able to give us initial numbers of the 2019 Good Giving Challenge. During the week long event, Clark Countians raised over $480,000 for the selected non-profits. That includes more than $190,000 from the Clark County Community Foundation, which operates under The Blue Grass Community Foundation. Good going Clark County!
After Halee's presentation, Leadership loaded onto the busses to tour Clark County Community Services, better known as C.C.'s Closet. Debbie Fatkin, Director, showed how her non-profit feeds, clothes, and houses families in crisis. With grace and patience the team and volunteers assist people facing an array of challenges. The massive food pantry distributes food and personal care boxes to elderly, families, and individuals in Clark County. They are the main coordinator for Operation Happiness, which distributes food and coats to families during the Christmas Season. CCs Closet is major part of their services. Donated items are sorted for the retail store. Those in need receive vouchers to shop for the items they need, but it's also a great place for anyone to find a bargain. In addition, Clark County Community Services helps people in need connect with other organizations whether it be for housing, gas, or mental health services.
Clark County Community Services
Debbie Fatkin, Director
- Donate and Shop at CC's Closet! It is a major source of income for their services. They accept any clean usable items except paint and box TVs
Next on the tour was the Wainscott House, run by Clark County Homeless Coalition. Terry Davidson, Director, showed Leadership around the house, which has room for up to 15 people. Individuals and families staying at Wainscott or the Coalition's other homes receive more than bed to sleep in. It is a real house: people must fix their own meals, clean up after themselves, compromise on bathroom availability, and share the TV. The Clark County Homeless Coalition also requires residents to attend classes. They cover life skills, financial literacy, health and wellness, and much more. The Coalition has seen real impact with this wholistic approach: 94% of people who stay with the program for 3 months or longer go onto find permanent housing. This success means expansion for the Clark County Homeless Coalition. In the coming year, their services will expand from county to regional. (In 2018, 57% of their clients were not from Clark County.)They are now able to build their own offices next to Wainscott Hall. There they can have a dedicated classroom, a computer lab, and confidential client consultation.
Clark County Homeless Coaltion
Terry Davidson, Director
- Attend their Annual Fundraiser, Serendipity!
- Select Clark County Homeless Coaltion while shopping on Amazon Smile
- Secure their long-term sustainability by becoming a sponsor of their new building. Naming opportunities available.
The Leadership class then headed to Christview Christian Church to report their homework. Earlier in the year, each person drew a Clark County non-profit. They were tasked with finding out if that non profit was a 501(c) or a club, what its mission/purpose was, and how an individual or group could best help the non-profit. It took just over an hour to go through everyone. Highlights include a moving testimony of Achieving Recovery Together; an introduction to Miss Nancy's 2nd Family Foundation founded this year by a 14-year-old; and, an update on the Clark County Veterans Council's endeavor to establish memorials for WWII and Korean War Veterans.
Achieving Recovery Together
- Monetary Donations
- Fight Stigma through Education
Miss Nancy's 2nd Family Foundation
- Monetary Donations
- Spread the Word About the Non-Profit
Clark County Veterans Council
- Land or Land Grants, ideally visible from US 60 or I-64
- They have already secured funds to build the the memorial, brick paver, and landscaping.
Students of Phoenix Academy initiated the lunch break when they arrived with boxed lunches. At their previous meeting, the Leadership class toured the Phoenix Academy. They saw where students developed real world skills - including the catering classroom. Participating Phoenix Academy students prepare and deliver lunches for select offices in Clark County. The Chamber of Commerce is glad to support these kids! We very much enjoyed the hot taco soup, chips, chess bars and drinks.
Youth are a major focus for Clark County, as demonstrated by the day's next agenda item: presentation of non-profits that benefit children. First up was Sharon Brush of Samaritans' Purse. She spoke of Operation Christmas Child. Congregations are asked to fill shoeboxes with toys and toiletries for children. These are sent across the globe with the ultimate goal of evangelism.
Next was Rosemary Campbell of the local chapter of Quilts for Kids. She showed examples of the high-quality quilts and stuffed animals her non-profit makes. These and other handmade items go to kids and teens at Kentucky Children's Hospital, Green House 17, and adoptees in Clark and Madison Counties.
Judy Singleton followed. She is in the process of opening Solid Rock Children's Ranch, designed to help large sibling groups in foster care stay together. The ranch, operated by Sunrise Children's Services will have two homes for up to seven children each.
Shannon Cox talked of two organizations he helps in Clark County. The local Salvation Army raises about $20,000 from bell ringing each year. That money stays in the county to further their causes, including sponsoring a Group Mission Trip to Winchester. Group Mission Trips in an interdenominational camp that brings teens and adults from across the nation together. They work together in a local community repairing homes for the disabled and elderly.
Finally, the group heard Forrest Hahn talk about the success of Upward 40391, a youth sports league. Focused on basketball and cheerleading, the organization demonstrates interdenominational fellowship while providing young people a quality sports program. Upward 40391 is one of the largest Upward programs - growing larger than even the Orange County, California division!
The day wasn't over yet! Leadership made their way to the Clark County Emergency Management Agency. There, Gary Epperson spent some time talking about his work as Emergency Management Director, but the focus was on his passion: eliminating litter. Operation Pride / Litter Abatement Program provides funds for litter-free events, offers educational programs, and even pays individuals to pick up trash along roadways. Gary also organizes the annual Kentucky River Sweep for Clark and Madison Counties. Of course, Leadership couldn't finish their day without hearing his Litter Bug Rap.
It was a full day for the Leadership class. They left with a better understanding of how generous Clark Countians are. Many leaders in our community dedicate their lives to the betterment of others. The Chamber of Commerce wants to thank those of you who took time to speak with the Leadership Class, and to thank every non-profit out there. You make this community GREAT!