November Leadership Class:
The Non-Profit Sector

A big part of leadership is recognizing and addressing the community needs of Southern Oregon.  On Tuesday, November 13th, the Medford / Jackson County Leadership Class gained valuable insight about the significance of poverty in our Valley as well as the commitment of individuals and non-profit organizations, who truly make a positive difference for those they serve.  We heard from a variety of non-profit organizations who each address the needs of specific groups.  These included Dogs for Better Lives and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). We toured Hearts with a Mission and ACCESS and then participated in a poverty simulation, hosted by Goodwill Industries.  Each of these experiences provided our group with perspective and awareness of the needs of individuals we interact with every day as well as resources we might be able to refer them to.   Participants offered the following insight:  ·      The non-profits that we heard from are doing great things here locally, but it is overwhelming to see the need in our community. ·       Will Young with Hearts with a Mission is a very inspiring person and speaker. ·       Access is more than a collection place for food. They help with housing, medical equipment and have many other programs to help the community. ·       I absolutely loved meeting Will, the new Residential Director at Hearts With A Mission (HWAM). What a big heart and big personality to shepherd the resident youth! The services they provide to the Medford and Grants Pass communities are so needed and effective. ·       Before our tour, I was only remotely aware of ACCESS functions in our community, thinking of them mainly as food banks. It was inspiring to see how many services they provide, from temporary housing assistance to medical equipment loans to nutrition/cooking outreach. We’re blessed to have their networking and services. ·        The poverty simulation caused us to feel very real stress over the effort it took just to navigate systems with disjointed information and logistical challenges. It made me realize how important it is for services to be aware of each other in order to better coordinate community assistance. The Leadership Class also reviewed numerous applications from non-profits with requests to be the recipient of this year’s class project.  Each year, the Leadership Class reviews nominations and selects one organization for the class to invest time and effort into making improvements as requested. The organization and project selected was submitted by Andrea Saxon Gibson at KDP Certified Public Accountants (and class member!) and Barbara Johnson at Community Works.  The class will oversee and fund a new security fence at the Community Works Transitional Living Program’s 10thStreet Apartments for our class project and if time and funds permit there will be a laundry room added, as well.  The Community Works team is thrilled and appreciative to have been selected and the class is moving forward with fund-raising and planning. If you would like to donate to the financial side, please let us know.   Giving back to our community is important, for all of us and the Medford / Jackson County Leadership Class is thankful for this opportunity.

Kimberly Hicks, Leadership Program Director
Visiting website here.
October 16th, 2018
Article by Terri Smith
Class of 2018-2019
December: science & technology
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
101 E. 8th St.  |  Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847