Testimonies of how Grants were used
The Exchange Club/Holland J. Stephens Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
We started visiting a young 17 year-old mother just over two years ago. She had a rocky start, first dropping out of high school and then having another baby while separating from the father of her children. She battled depression and was admitted to an inpatient program for a few weeks. This was followed by a custody battle with the father of her children. We have been visiting with her and encouraging her through all of this, and she has become a responsive, empathetic mother to her two children. However, she was still having a hard time as she was separating from her boyfriend and looking for her own housing. She was also struggling to keep a job due to her not having her driver’s license or a diploma. She began to set goals with her home visitor and accept referrals, and, within the last few months, she has started making great strides! With the support of her home visitor, she was able to complete all the necessary paperwork and get into public housing. She was also trying to get her driver’s permit, but she struggled to coordinate with family and friends to arrange a babysitter for her two children and at the same time find someone else to drive her to the DMV so she could take the written test. She had to reschedule many times, but her home visitor kept encouraging her and helped her problem solve. She was finally able to get her permit. Having been walked through the process once by her home visitor, she went on to arrange for childcare and to borrow a car without her home visitor’s help, in order to take the driving portion of the test. She is continuing to set goals with her home visitor and is growing in her confidence and in her ability to advocate for her family. She is now only 4 tests away from obtaining her high school diploma. She is already working on an application for subsidized housing (with only minimal help from her home visitor) because she wants to move to a better neighborhood and find housing that would better accommodate her family’s needs. Her home visitor will continue to support her as she works on her future goals: to get a car, get her high school diploma, and to begin to look for daycare and for a job.
UCHRA CASA OF CUMBERLAND COUNTY
“CASA’s mission is to speak in the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA Volunteer Advocates help to assure each child a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.”
VIS GROUP (VISUALLY IMPAIRED SUPPORT GROUP OF CUMBERLAND COUNTY
I would like to thank the VIS and the efforts of the Lion’s Club from Fairfield Glade, TN for providing and eye exam and glasses for my son.
My son and his family moved in with us and he has been unemployed for over 6 years due to a work injury and is waiting to hear from Social Security Disability to see if he will be approved.
He hadn’t had his eyes tested or new glasses in over 6 years and I
was concerned that he needed to have an exam done.
I reached out to the Lion’s Club in Fairfield Glade, TN and was so grateful that they could arrange the exam and glasses for him at no charge.
This work that the VIS does for those with vision issues is so necessary and many people besides my son have improved living situations due to their generosity.
Thank you once again for the way you care for the less fortunate in our area.
It would of been impossible for us to provide this for my son as we are supporting his family while they try to get back on their feet and find a place of their own.
May God Bless all those who work so diligently in support of this worthy work.
With a grateful heart.
WOMEN ON WINGS CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S JOB CORPS
I was a participant in the Navigating Your Finances God’s Way program in September through December. There were five of us in the class and it was great. I did not know these other women and we were all different ages. I am 69 years old. I was $32,000 in debt and barley hanging on. My friend told me to take the class. So far I have worked a second job and already paid off one big bill. Not I have only 1 credit card. I am working on my money map. At first my husband was mad at me. He spends a lot of money too. Now we work on this together. Our 10-year-old grandson gets an allowance and we are helping him work with that better, too. I write down all I spend. Me and my husband were surprised to see how much we shell out because we didn’t think it was so much. I like that Pat who is my mentor stays in touch. She still helps me. I hope there is another time for us to catch up with the other girls too. Yes, take the class.
YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT FOUNDATION
Crab Orchard Elementary has participated in Junior Achievement program, which impacted approximately 106 students in grades 3, 5 and 8. The program goes above and beyond to ensure that students receive experience with career related education. With JA volunteers sharing their career experiences, students are able to receive encouraging advice that impacts their future. Sincerely, Crab Orchard Elementary Principal
Tennessee Poison Center
Poisoning is a major health concern for every Cumberland County resident. In fact, it is the leading cause of injury death, surpassing motor vehicle accidents. Tennessee Poison Center (TPC) provides the Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) to help any Cumberland County resident in the event of a poison emergency. When you call 1-800-222-1222, the call is answered by a nurse, pharmacist or physician who has extensive poison management experience. Calls are fast, free, and confidential.
Dr. Donna Seger, Medical Director of TPC says that, “Poisoning can occur at any time and to anyone. Tennessee Poison Center works 24/7 to help those who have been exposed to a poison or to answer the public’s questions about a potential poisoning.
Last year Tennessee Poison Center received 320 calls from Cumberland County residents. Here’s an example of a call to the Tennessee Poison Center:
“Getting ready for bed one recent evening, I absentmindedly opened the morning rather than the evening section of my pill container and took the morning pills for the second time that day. I was concerned that two doses of my diabetes and blood pressure meds might not be a good idea! My pharmacist was concerned about the blood pressure medicine, and she told me to call Tennessee Poison Center. The person who answered the phone was very helpful and reassuring, telling me that it would not be a problem. I went to bed and slept soundly, thanks to his telling me I had nothing to be concerned about.“
The United Fund provides funds to help pay for the hotline calls from Cumberland County residents. Without the United Fund, the Poison Center would not be able to provide this critical service.
Poisoning cases are a significant financial burden to taxpayers. From a recent call survey we determined that last year we saved the taxpayers of Cumberland County an estimated $61,756 in emergency room visits for residents with uncompensated care. This amount only includes cases we managed at home. Many more poisoning cases with uncompensated care are severe and costly.
What can you do to prevent poisonings?
- Keep medicines and cleaning supplies locked up and away from children. Children act fast. Unfortunately, so do poisons.
- Always use your glasses to read your prescription bottle, and only take medicine with the lights on. These simple actions can prevent accidents.
- Ask visitors to keep purses and luggage containing medicine out of reach of children at all times.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors and check batteries at least twice a year.
- Keep the 1- 800-222-1222 number accessible and programmed into your phone. Tennessee Poison Center can send you magnets and stickers with the number. Call the Poison Help number even if it’s not an emergency. When in doubt, check it out.
Tennessee Poison Center offers free literature on poison prevention. For more information, contact Tennessee Poison Center by calling toll-free at 1-800-222-1222 or visit the website at www.tnpoisoncenter.org.
Together the United Fund and Tennessee Poison Center save lives and save valuable healthcare dollars. Tennessee Poison Center is just one way that your United Fund dollars help our community. THANK YOU UNITED FUND!
Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab Alumni, Inc.
The Board of Directors of C/PR Alumni, Inc (C/PR Inc.). salutes the United Fund of Cumberland County for their good work and dedication to the citizens of Cumberland County. We are fortunate to be a partner agency of the United Fund and receive financial support for our healthy mission. C/PR Inc. provides doctor recommended heart and lung rehabilitation to those citizens who are under insured or lack the financial means for the required rehab. We depend on grants, fundraisers and local business support to fund this care. The United Fund is the glue that binds many non-profits together and makes it possible for them to provide needed services in Cumberland County. Our United Fund is a local owned and administered group with a very low overhead cost and lots of volunteers. All money raised here stays here. There is no national organizational monster that our United Fund has to feed. It is people talking care of people. Please support our local UNITED FUND OF CUMBERLAND COUNTY. Each dollar given is important and considered a treasure to be wisely used for local folks in need.
Cumberland County 4-H
Recognizing youth for their best effort is what 4-H is all about. With the mission of educating youth through the process of learning by doing, recognition is a key component to a strong youth program. When a 4-H club member achieves their goals, they want to know that their effort will be rewarded. And Cumberland County 4-H is able to recognize 4-H’ers’ efforts with special awards because of the generous donations from the people in the county who contribute to the United Fund.
During the current school year, participation in public speaking and the poster contest has been very high. Almost 920 4-H’ers received ribbons for participating in the speech contest and more than 364 participated in the poster contest. In the next few weeks, 4-H club work will wrap up with demonstrations, dairy posters and the photo contest. To add a new level of 4-H recognition, special certificates and 4-H medals will be awarded at the elementary schools end of the year awards ceremonies. This special recognition is for 4-H’ers who have met certain requirements through the year.
Cumberland County 4-H continues to be recognized statewide for its quality inschool program and has been featured at several region and state 4-H association meetings and in-services. However, without the generous support of the community through the United Fund of Cumberland County, the local 4-H program would not be able to provide the education and recognition that promote positive self-esteem, responsibility and good citizenship. For more than ten years, Cumberland County 4-H has been awarded funds to do just that. The majority of the money received from the United Fund is used to fund the inschool program by purchasing awards, teaching aids and support materials for the program year. Any remaining funds may be used as financial aid for local 4-H’ers to attend special events and camps. It is money that comes from the community and stays in the community.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is striving to not only provide food for the hungry, but at the same time, to improve the nutrition and health of East Tennesseans. The United Fund of Cumberland County helps us provide services to people in need through our Healthy Food Initiative and Food for Kids program. We will provide over 400,000 lbs this year of protein, fruits & vegetables, and multi-grain foods to your neighbors in need through local partner agencies who serve Cumberland County!
During the last year, Second Harvest provided these services to your community:
- Distributed 426,272 meals over the past year through agencies in Cumberland County, addressing
the nutritional needs of children, adults, and seniors.
- Recovered 354,392 pounds of perishable foods from local stores that would otherwise have been
discarded, and delivered that food at no cost to local food pantries.
- Provided 48,603 supplemental, nutritious weekend meals for over 850 elementary school children
through the Food for Kids and Summer Food for Kids program.
1 in 6 East Tennesseans are at risk of hunger.
1 in 5 is a senior.
1 in 4 is a child.
No one should go hungry.
Second Harvest Food Bank
Creative Compassion, Inc., was created from the notes of a preacher’s sermon in 1989. Since then, the organization’s mission has been: to improve the quality and quantity of affordable housing and home ownership opportunities for low and moderate income persons and families.
Creative Compassion’s main method of accomplishing this mission is through new construction. We are set to finish 6 brand new homes in 2016 for families who have never had the opportunity to be homeowners. Our homes are single family, detached, Energy Star rated, and range in size from 1100 – 1500 square feet. Creative Compassion builds on scattered sites in several Upper Cumberland counties.
In 2009, we recognized a second housing need in Cumberland County: the need for an emergency home repair program. More specifically, we identified that elderly and/or disabled households were most in need of this type of support. Because of this need, we started the Nehemiah Program. Following its biblical reference, the Nehemiah Program provides materials and funding for emergency repairs and utilizes resident and volunteer labor when possible. Assistance is provided in the form of “no interest” unsecured loans for the amount of the out-of-pocket costs of the repairs up to $1,000. The homeowners agree to repay the funds as they are able, typically $10 to $35 per month. All repayments go back into the fund for use in future emergencies.
The United Fund has been of absolute importance in the upkeep of this program for the last 7 years. We are blessed to be funded by contributions from United Fund and their donors each year. 100% of the funds given to the Nehemiah Program go towards helping people to stay in their homes. The United Fund also does an outstanding job of letting Cumberland County residents know we are here to help them if at all possible. For their partnership, we are thankful.
To learn more about Creative Compassion and our programs, please visit our Web site at ccihomes.org or like our Facebook page to see regular updates on what we are up to. You can also call or stop by our office at (931-)456-6654, 20 Penny Lane, Crossville, TN 38555, across from the Cumberland County Board of Education.
Crossville Housing Development Resident Council
With the help of United Fund, we are able to have a care closet once a month. We give out cleaning supplies/household supplies one month and the next month we give out healthy and beauty supplies. We serve about 150-200 people a month. Without the help of United Fund we would not be able to help as many people as we do. Most of the people we help would have to choose between buying cleaning supplies health-beauty supplies or food. With the help of the Care Closet, they do not have that worry.
The Arc of Cumberland County
Last year was a year of celebration for The Arc Cumberland County as it was exactly 40 years ago that the chapter was established.
That mutual, beneficial connection continues to this day. For without the financial backing of The United Fund and community awareness opportunities afforded its partner agencies, The Arc Cumberland County would not have been able to reach and serve the many adults and children with I/DD who live, learn, work, play and worship right here in Cumberland County who have passed our way since 1975.
The Arc CC is a family based advocacy organization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and their respective families. The Arc relies on a strong network of community volunteers and professionals to carry out an annual program of work that includes social and recreation activities and individual and systems advocacy.
Since 1978 The Arc, in cooperation with the entire community, produces the annual The Arc Special Olympics Track and Field Event that draws upward 125 participants and three times plus that number in volunteers! Since 2005 The Structured Athletics Cumberland County (SACC) team sports program has provided opportunities year round in basketball, kickball, bowling and baseball. Just imagine the big smile and tears of sheer joy expressed by a 55 year old lady who walks with a cane and who had never made a basket in her life when she was awarded a trophy because she” did her best,” at the end of the SACC basketball season.
The young and the young at heart, look forward to the annual spring Prom event produced by The Arc and Hilltoppers, Inc. More than 100 people with I/DD dressed in their finest and danced the night away at the 2015 ‘Under The Sea Adventure.’ Snacks included fish & chips, octopus, blow fish and eel!. There is never a shortage of dance partners as teens from SMHS and CCHS and area churches can be counted on to help make the night one to remember. The 2015 Prom promises to be a gala anniversary affair.
A lesser known program of The Arc is its individual assistance program for individuals with emergency medical or dental needs, home modifications, and educational expenses. In recent years, The Arc helped a family build a home wheelchair ramp for their school age daughter, paid for dental expenses, covered costs to repair a heat and air system, provided funds to purchase ankle braces for an elderly man, bought a bathing chair, had a hot water heater replaced, helped a family of two secure a clothes dryer, and another family of three with daily transportation costs to and from a medical facility. The 2014 Santa project provided food, clothing and fun gifts to 30 plus individuals. The Arc fed residents and staff alike when the February of 2015 ice storm paralyzed the community. Camp scholarships allowed 6 adults to have an overnight camping experience in August this year. Again, without the support The Arc receives from United Fund, The Arc would possibly have had turn these families away.
Families also seek assistance from The Arc to help them navigate the complex disability social service and educational systems. Dedicated volunteers, who have personal or professional experience, with these systems provide first hand guidance, mutual support, information and referral on an as needed basis.
The Arc of Cumberland County is proud to be a partner agency of The United Fund of Cumberland County. Being a partner agency of the United Fund is a win/win opportunity for all involved.
L.B.J.&C Head Start
The L.B.J.& C. Head Starts of Cumberland County would like to thank all the local businesses and individuals for their contributions to our centers and for giving to the United Fund. We would like to thank United Fund for supporting our program to help ensure that children’s medical and dental are completed, as well as helping to provide educational tools to support the children’s school readiness. We would also like to thank all of our families and the community for taking time out of their busy schedules to support and volunteer in our program.
L.B.J.& C. Head Start has been in existence since 1965. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is our source of funding with 20% matching share coming from the local community through volunteer hours of service, materials used in the program, and/or monetary donations made to the program. We also receive funding from the United Fund of Cumberland County. L.B.J.& C. Head Start’s mission is to partner with the family and community to help children and families prepare for school.
L.B.J.& C. Head Start serves 3- & 4-year old children in Cumberland County. We serve at least 10% of children with disabilities. Head Start is open 5 days a week. Our planned hours of operation per day are 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Head Start will provide reasonable assistance by extending hours to children and families with special needs or to those parents that are employed or in job training with no caregiver present in the home. The Crossville Head Start has 114 slots available for eligible children. The Home Away From Home Head Start has 151 slots available for eligible children.
L.B.J.& C. Head Start provides the following services: Nutrition, Health Screenings, Dental, Disability, Education, Parent and Family Engagement, Volunteer, Transition, and Training and Development for staff, parents, and volunteers.
School readiness is a priority for our program. Beyond the traditional and fundamental value of reading and writing, rapid advances in communications and computer technology have created profound changes in the ways we use reading and writing to share information, communicate events and ideas, and conduct business – changes that have also affected the way children learn and how we teach. We, in Head Start, have an obligation to enhance the literacy skills of all children to help prepare them to succeed in school and later in life.
Parent’s participation is not required as a condition of their child’s enrollment. Participation is voluntary. However, Head Start needs Parental Input into all aspects of the Head Start Program. L.B.J.& C. Head Start plays a key role in all communities that we are located in. Head Start depends on the community for support, guidance, resources, and advocacy. The community depends on Head Start for improving the quality of our society by giving children a foundation to succeed in life and providing needed services to families. Anyone interested in volunteering at the Crossville Head Start, contact Charlotte Potts, Center Supervisor, at (931) 484-4114. Anyone interested in volunteering at the Home Away From Home Head Start centers, contact (931) 484-3238 or (931) 787-1012.
Kids On The Rise
Kids On The Rise (KOTR) is a non-profit agency that works in partnership with Cumberland County Schools to provide adult volunteer mentors to at-risk students in Grades K-12. Students who may be performing below their potential in school because of difficult life challenges are referred to KOTR by their teacher or counselor.
Students are then matched with community volunteers to form a mentor team. This team meets weekly either at, or away from the school, or during special activities planned by Kids On The Rise.
“The special activities we provide for our mentor teams help build a positive relationship and level of trust between the adult and the child while also providing experiences for the children that help them develop intellectually, socially, and creatively,” said Donna King, KOTR Executive Director. “Without the funding support of the United Fund, it would be difficult for us to provide quality programming.”
Program activities may include trips to the Cumberland County Playhouse, Climb Nashville, Rocky Top Cinema, and to a Knoxville Ice Bears hockey game. Mentor teams have also traveled to the Oak Ridge Science Museum as well as to Tennessee Tech sporting events. KOTR also conducts after-school craft activities such as making Christmas ornaments to decorate a tree at First National Bank of Tennessee’s Parade of Trees.
KOTR also has an annual Back-to-School Family Picnic complete with a cookout, swimming, and corn hole games. This year, a dunk tank was added for extra fun. Kids On The Rise also provides a gift card for each mentor team to take their mentee back-to-school shopping for school supplies and clothes. Money for the gift cards this year was provided by the Lake Tansi Exchange Club and an anonymous donor.
“We also have a huge Christmas party each year called Rudolph’s Reindeer Ramble,” King said. “We have all sorts of reindeer games and activities, pizza for lunch, and a visit from Santa Claus.”
“The funding support of the United Fund makes it possible for our organization to provide quality program activities like these to help our mentor teams develop a strong, positive relationship,” she added.
Donating to the United Fund helps agencies like Kids On The Rise make a positive impact on the lives of the individuals they serve. For more information about Kids on the Rise call 931-459-2388 or about the United Fund call 931-484-4082.
LBJ & C FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM
“The LBJ&C Foster Grandparent program was able to keep eight Foster Grandparents active, the last two months of the year, helping with approximately fifty children on a person to person basis. In addition to those fifty children who received the one-on-one help approximately one hundred more children were affected by having the volunteers in the classrooms of the three head start centers. We could not have done this without the help of the United Fund Grant which we receive.”
This year Hilltoppers, Inc. provided services to approximately 125 adults with disabilities. Most of those adults were funded through the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). An additional 25 were funded through the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) for employment support. At least 20 of those 150 individuals received no state funding and are considered non-funded, private pay or under-funded. These folks have applied to the state for services and are considered eligible, but have not received services because the state does not have the ability to fund everyone. They are only funding the individuals who meet the definition of “crisis”.
The allocation from the United Fund assists our agency to support these non-funded and underfunded individuals to have at least partial services at our day center and for the family to have some relief. Both a family member and an individual have made a statement about the services at Hilltoppers, Inc. that the United Fund sponsors.
Statement from MS (parent) – “We are very grateful that M can attend Hilltoppers. Prior to attending Hilltoppers, she was on the waiting list for 10 years for adult services. She attended high school until she was 22 and for six years she was being cared for by her aging grandparents (both 80 +) so her father and I could work outside the home. During this time we noticed that M lost some of her self feeding skills and became more dependent. In addition, this was very demanding on her aging grandparents. In order to take some of the stress off of the family and her grandparents, her father had to retire early to care for her. She was still missing interactions with others outside the family. Since attending Hilltoppers for the past two years, we noticed that M has become more independent in her self-help skills. She looks forward to attending the program and activities. She also enjoys the interaction with the other participants and her caregivers. M needs this service for mental stimulation, socialization, and growth in her self-help and personal skills. We appreciate the support from United Fund in helping families and individuals with disabilities have an improved quality of life .Thank you “.
Statement from KM (recipient)- “The day center is a good place for me. I have friends and good friendly staff. I like to work and get a pay check. I walk and exercise and improve my skills. I also ride the van to the center.”
Statement from CV (parent)- “About a year after my son left the school system he started attending the day center at Hilltoppers, Inc. Before he started I did not have anyone to care for my son. The family members I depended upon to help have passed away. I could not work because my son needs 24 hour care. He is very happy at the center and is able to have a schedule of activities, assistance for his daily care and reliable transportation. I have been able to return to work and can do my job without constantly worrying about my son. Thanks for the assistance I have received from Hilltoppers, Inc. and the United Fund”.
CUMBERLAND ADULT READING COUNCIL
Azalea & Oakmont Gardens
The grant from United Fund greatly impacts the residents at Azalea and Oakmont Gardens because it provides many supportive services.
Those services include help with Medicare and Social Security issues. Our supportive services coordinator is there to write letters and make phone calls for those who find this very overwhelming to deal with. With the changes in our health care system we are finding more needs in this area.
Social interaction is a vital need for our aging residents. Activities are planned to help in this area of their lives they include: walking and exercise classes, entertainment, bingo, sing- along & music by local groups, crafts, socials, dinners, shopping trips, & pharmacy pick up.
Our staff provides companion visits and wellness checks on a daily basis. Every resident is offered a continental breakfast. Our Americorps volunteer works 40 hours weekly she assistance with laundry, housekeeping and meal preparation. Out-side agencies charge 25.00 – 30.00 an hour for those services. Our residents cannot afford to pay for needed services. With United Fund’s grant we offer services at no charge. This helps lifts the financial burden for our residents who are living with low incomes.
TEENS AGAINST DRUGS
Funding from the United Fund is a crucial piece of the TAD (Teens Against Drugs Center) budget. These monies are instrumental in our over all program operations as they are utilized to help fund the free, after-school, and summer programs…programs TAD would not be able to offer free of charge without the support of Cumberland County United Fund, Director Holly Neal and the extremely dedicated and hardworking board of directors. The TAD Center Staff and Board have worked diligently over the past two decades to provide not-for-charge programs so that all demographics are able to attend as we are centrally located between several city schools and public housing. The after-school and summer programs are semi-structured activity programs offered to both city and county school students in grades 2-8. The programs are peer led, include life skills training, arts, crafts, field trips, ping pong and gym based games. The past two years the summer program has been centered on educated students, not just about drugs, but the hazards of tobacco use. Students are given a free lunch and snack during the summer and a free snack during the after school program. The after school program also has a homework component. This allows one of our high school students to assist the elementary students with homework help as needed. Most importantly, the students are supervised and are allowed to grow and develop in a nurturing, safe and healthy environment.
The Youth Achievement Foundation is grateful to Cumberland County United Fund for its continued support of the Jr. Achievement programs. Thanks to United Fund, Jr. Achievement is able to expand and serve even more students in the Cumberland County Schools. Because of continued funding in the 2016-17 school year, the number of students served will continue to increase as more schools get on board.
Jr. Achievement programs include the very popular Biztown trip to Clinton, at which all 5th graders in the Cumberland County schools have an opportunity to run their own city that includes a city hall, health center, TV and radio station, fast food restaurant, newspaper and other retail stores. Students have reported that their experience at Biztown helped them four years later when choosing classes in high school.
Classroom programs are the foundation of the Jr. Achievement experience for students in some schools, and the number of schools adding Jr. Achievement is expanding. Those programs include –
3rd Grade – Our city, which creates an early understanding of what makes up the communities in which we live, and brings an early awareness of financial savvy so the student gains basic knowledge about spending and saving.
Middle School – Two programs are presently being delivered to middle school students. One deals with planning for their future, educational goals, job skills and getting and keeping a job. Also covered is the importance of reputation and positively using social media is stressed
Another middle school program covers the many aspects of budgeting, educational requirements related to career goals, and practical information to help them decide future goals.
High School – These programs continue adding to the practical knowledge to instill personal financial awareness and budgeting skills through classroom discussion and hands-on learning activities. Entrepreneurial skills are encouraged.
All Jr. Achievement classes are delivered by community volunteers using materials that are both interactive and are aligned with stated educational standards, and include activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.
Youth Achievement Foundation is a total volunteer non-profit organization in Cumberland County, and is always in need of more volunteers to help deliver the programs presently in the schools. Additional volunteers are always needed to help with the trip to Biztown in the fall. With expected growth as word spreads of its value, that need will continue. If you are interested in learning more about the Jr. Achievement programs, or volunteering please check out our website at cumberlandcountyyaf.wix.com/yaf.
CRAB ORCHARD CARE CENTER
As a volunteer and newly appointed member of the Crab Orchard Care Center Board, it is indeed a privilege for me to respond to your request to share the impact of your generous grant to our organization and more importantly to the community of Crab Orchard. With the help of your grant we have been able to consistently provide groceries for sixty to seventy families each Wednesday throughout the entire year. This represents nearly four thousand bags of groceries last year. Additionally we have been providing a back pack program for approximately two hundred children in two Cumberland County Schools. We are now providing health care services twice monthly. A local church donated a filtration system and we now provide fresh water to any Crab Orchard resident in need. Many of the families served have responded how very grateful they are that there are so many willing and caring volunteers providing loving hand and feet, not to mention the nutritious food being offered. Because of your grant and other assistance we really feel we are making a difference in this community.. All that remains to be said is, a very big thanks for your help.
CUMBERLAND COUNTY IMAGINATION LIBRARY
Cumberland County’s Imagination Library is thriving due to the United Fund’s annual contribution. Our program provides age appropriate books to close to 2,000 children on a monthly basis. Without the United Fund’s contribution we would be unable to meet our financial commitment to meet the needs of the families and kids of Cumberland County. The impact the Imagination Library program is making in the community is preparing our children to be successful in the classroom while improving their ability to succeed right from the start of their formal education. The Tennessee Board of Regents multi-year study affirmed that children who have participated in Imagination Library perform either “better than expected” or “much better than expected” than students who did not participate in the program.
CUMBERLAND GOOD SAMARITANS
The United Fund and Cumberland Good Samaritans
“A Partnership Making a Difference”
Every day offers a new chance to make a difference when working with clients in crisis at Cumberland Good Samaritans. This particular morning brought a young wife and mother into the office who was desperately seeking solutions for her circumstances. Her husband had checked himself into an in-patient treatment center anticipating being gone for several weeks, if not months, to deal with his drug addiction. While this was one answer to prayer for this family, it created a new burden of financial strain for the young woman left behind to provide for their children. She had not worked in a while for several reasons. The cost of childcare for her children, who were both under school age, had been more than she could make in wages. She had limited family support close by. The biggest burden for her at this time though, was that her vehicle was in need of repair and left her with no transportation to even seek employment.
Her list of obstacles was long, but it created an opportunity for Good Samaritans to become a part of her network to help her find hope for a successful future. With the job search assistance offered, she landed full-time employment. The next hurdle for her was the necessary vehicle repair so that she would have reliable transportation to be able to get to work. “It is easy to tell a client you need to get a job, but it takes money to go to work,” states Melanie Phillips, Assistant Director and Social Services Coordinator of Cumberland Good Samaritans.
Many years ago, the organization recognized this issue and saw it as an opportunity to make a huge difference for their clients. With the help provided by the United Fund of Cumberland County, the Barrier Fund was created along with monies from Good Samaritans. Because of this partnership, about 100 clients are assisted with an annual budget of $10,000. Clients are asked to provide proof of employment and the requirements for the job. An assessment is done and the barrier fund is then used to buy things like necessary tools, uniforms, or to take care of fuel expense until that first paycheck comes. “There may be other needs that can be met through the direct services department such as food or help with living expenses,” Phillips states. “The staff at Good Samaritans strives to see the big picture in every situation, so that we can offer as many solutions as possible. It is always rewarding to help a working family become self-sufficient. Our partnerships in the community are invaluable in helping make that happen.”
The barrier fund was used to help pay for the car repairs this young mother needed to have reliable transportation to get to work. With referrals to other partnering agencies in the community and help from a local church family, she was able to get many issues resolved. She is so excited about how it is all coming together for her family now. Anyone who has made a donation to the United Fund or shops at Cumberland Good Samaritans Thrift Store is a partner in making this a success story. Cumberland Good Samaritans is grateful for the support of the United Fund, as well as other private donations from area businesses, individuals and churches which also contribute to the Barrier Fund, providing these unique needs to residents of Cumberland County. Mickey Eldridge, Executive Director, states, “I want to thank Holly Neal and her Board of Directors at United Fund for their continued support to the non-profits in this community. Through their tireless efforts, thousands of lives are impacted in this county every year.”
Proceeds from the sale of items donated to Cumberland Good Samaritans Thrift Store are returned to the community in the form of vital services to improve circumstances and provide hope for a brighter future. If you have any questions regarding programs offered, how you can donate to the store, or would consider volunteering to help, please contact the office located at 281 Tenth St., by calling (931) 484-3225.