The Kiwanis of Charlestown hosted what they hope to be the beginning of a new tradition for Charlestown, as a diverse group of representatives from several local non-profit organizations and the Charlestown Township Trustee gathered at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites on Thursday, April 25th to re-introduce themselves to one another.
The meeting was opened by Al Riggle, Lieutenant Governor of Scenic Hills District of Kiwanis and a member of the Scottsburg, Indiana Kiwanis. Rita Shourds, President/CEO of Align Southern Indiana also spoke to the group. A representative from each of the 12 groups gave an overview of their respective organizations, followed by a 25-minute breakout session at each of the five tables.
“The enthusiasm in the room was palpable, said John Spencer of the Kiwanis, “and it was easy to tell that there is a sincere desire to grow our ability to satisfy the needs of our communities.”
Breakout sessions included topics such as organizational challenges unique to each group, fundraising ideas, the potential for collaborative projects, and what needs in the community may be currently left unmet- as well as how these organizations may work together to fill those voids.
This was a great opportunity to meet and discuss all the various community organizations – we all learned a lot about the various resources each group provides,” said Tom Kendrick, Charlestown Township Trustee. Kendrick’s office is central to providing poor relief throughout the township, and provides services such as help with utility bills, shelter or housing costs, or basic necessities. The office has also in recent years made a proactive effort to connect citizens with potential employment via their social media page and involvement in local job fairs.
The Charlestown Lions Club is another local organization that has been serving the local community since 1936 through a variety of fundraising and civic efforts.
“It is important for our civic and community outreach services to know what services are available from which organizations – this will help our citizens in need to receive services more quickly if we know immediately who offers which service,” said Barry Early, president of the Charlestown Lions Club. “It is important to have regular meetings so that these groups can have the opportunity to update one another if new services are being offered; we are all community minded and this will enable us to serve as a unit.”
The group concluded by hearing reports from each of the tables about ways they can move forward to approach needs in the Charlestown/New Washington area collaboratively.
Though officials attempted to include every need-directed non-profit in Charlestown, they recognize that they might have inadvertently left out some groups. Please contact John Spencer by email if you are interested in participating in this collaborative effort.
The Kiwanis Club would like to thank all who attended, as well as Cobblestone Hotel General Manager Jill Compton-Miller, and Michelle Hall, for the gracious hospitality.