Friday, January 22, 2016

No Turning Back

By Employment Service Manager, Constance Taylor

Often times our participants lack vision and a genuine desire to reach for their dreams to achieve and excel. They cannot always believe they deserve a better paying job with benefits working within a highly committed and professional team. One of my chief goals is to exercise coaching tools that propel our participants beyond what they can imagine.

After several years of verbal abuse with her current employer, Tonya was suspended for two weeks when she finally expressed her concerns of how she was being treated to higher management. While rehearsing the details of the event she realized this may be a good time to weigh her options. After five years of committed service with the existing company, the thought of pursuing another career was a little frightening.

She decided to put in some applications and see what happens. Her first application was for an office position as a receptionist. To her surprise she was contacted for an interview within three days. She was offered the position earning more money with an extensive benefit package. Community LINC’s employment services program was able to provide her with donated clothing perfect for the new job.

She is on her way to a brand new job and life. Her new employer plans to train her on other job functions which will also strengthen her ability to learn new skills and provide the tools needs to expand her new career path. What an awesome turn around at a time that seemed like things were about to crumble. No turning back now only soaring ahead at a brand new future.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Power To Give

By Children's Program Director, Josh Chittum

Christmas time at Community LINC means offices and meeting spaces are filled with shopping bags and wrapped presents and all available hands digging in to help distribute items to families. This is expected at a social service agency during the holidays. What I’m proud of most this season, however, is something we did for Christmas that might not be as expected to outside observers.

For an entire month, children and youth participated in our first ever Read-to-Give program. During this time, they raised $1 for each book or story they wrote through outside sponsorships. At the end of the program, 130 literacy activities were completed. With an extra donation on top of sponsorship, the children and youth raised $200 total.

The great part is that they were raising money for someone else - an international organization called Oxfam America that works to promote self-sufficiency in developing nations just as we work to promote self-sufficiency for families experiencing homelessness in Kansas City. Through Oxfam’s Unwrapped store, children used the funds they raised to purchase a goat and bundles of school books that will benefit children in a developing country as they too strive towards self-sufficiency.

There is power in being able to act upon the world in this manner. There is power in realizing that one does not have to identify “only” as a recipient of charity. There is power in us, those not experiencing homelessness, to view children at Community LINC as capable of giving something to the world just like any other child.

This power increases children’s resiliency, which is the primary focus of Children’s Program. It also helps children internalize the fact that they can act in the world. That realization is linked to self-sufficiency, which is central to our organizational mission. That is why this program was started and why we hope we are able to continue it in the years ahead.