Charitable Words Celebrates One Year, Plans Focus Areas, Internships For 2014
It’s been a year since Charitable Words was born on a white board in a small office in an elegant but aging historic building on Main Street, Cincinnati.
The office has not changed much. The world around us has plenty.
And 18 Charitable Words Scholars assigned to “learning and lending a hand” with nonprofits have done their part to make their worlds a better place. Charitable Words has shared their reports from the field, as well as stories about trends and best practices in the world of engaged giving.
We are proud of – but won’t dwell on here – a long list of “outcomes.” They are evident in a year’s worth of previous posts and will help Charitable Words Scholars make its case to funders so we may do more.
But today, for one brief moment, let’s celebrate our birthday. Then immediately focus on tomorrow.
Going forward, there remains much to do.
The coming year will bring changes to this site and our mission as we expect to enter 2014 with federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and the increased capacity that donor funding would bring. Our goal is to double the number of Charitable Words scholarships, internships, service learning and special assignments.
Our areas of focus will be slightly streamlined based on lessons learned and potential of new partnerships. But the mission remains the same: “Charitable Words shares stories about good being done by nonprofits and common causes, including reports from the field by Charitable Words Scholars.”
The Charitable Words Scholars Board of Advisors, distinguished professionals in a variety of fields of expertise, will be expanded in the areas of gerontology and veterans medical care and services. Advisors participate in student and programs recruitment and are available to provide guidance and mentoring.
We continue to believe Charitable Words Scholars is an important program, at the right time and for good reason. Students preparing for and in college today are of a generation hungry to help. But they are of a generation in need of support to meet the rising financial strains of college debt.
The program is a win-win-win-win for:
- Students facing graduating with an average college debt of $25,000.
- Understaffed nonprofits, which represent 10 percent of jobs and the fastest growing sector of our economy.
- Those who are served by nonprofit programs provided in Charitable Words’ focus areas.
- The entire community benefits from an increased likelihood students attaining internships will find jobs, stay and contribute to the regional economy.
Here’s a look at Charitable Words’ areas of focus for 2014:
Charitable Words works with universities specializing in gerontology studies and person-centered care programs to connect students with community services. A model of such intergenerational success is our partnership with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University of Ohio.
Pictured: Miami University student Julia Cresswell with Elmo, her partner in the “Opening Minds Through Art” program, which provides art therapy to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in Southwestern Ohio.
Charitable Words thanks and supports the more than 20 million military veterans in the U.S. Too many are in low-income and in critical need of services. Areas of concentration include home repair and modifications for the disabled and post-traumatic stress disorder support and treatment for veterans of all eras and ages.
Pictured: Charitable Words Scholar Tyler Bell, a veteran of the War in Iraq, interned as photographer and media specialist for People Working Cooperatively’s “Ramp it Up for Veterans,” a home repair campaign that helped 98-year-old World War II veteran Anna Fields remain in her home.
ARTS OUTREACH AND ENRICHMENT
Partnerships focus on bringing music, arts and enrichment to schools and community centers to provide discovery opportunities to new audiences – young, old and in-between. Pictured: A scene captured by Charitable Words Scholar Neal Patrick, who provided photography and video support to the Family Nurturing Center, which brings instructional performances to schools. “New Kids on The Block” uses a puppets to open discussions about domestic abuse, violence, abuse and bullying.
Charitable Words supports education initiatives from early childhood to adult education, with special attention to literacy and reading programs. Pictured: Charitable Words Scholar Sarah Jernigan with students at the East End Adult Learning Center. Ten students Sarah worked with passed their GED tests during and shortly after her internship as a tutor.
Charitable Words Scholars are assigned to internships and service learning projects that build strong neighborhoods and communities by connecting diverse cultures, interests and talents around causes of common values. Pictured: Charitable Words Scholar Katelyn Berry harvesting honey at Gorman Heritage Farm Summer camp. The high school senior took the bus from her inner-city home each day to the suburban farm to work as a camp counselor and share learnings about green growing and healthy eating with young campers.
While the majority of Charitable Words’ projects connect students with nonprofits doing important work at home, we believe giving in your local community and in places far away are not mutually exclusive. Relatively small dollars, coupled with big hearts and collective action, can have exponential impact in the developing world. And there is great value in allowing students opportunities to explore and find solutions to global challenges. The lessons learned can only benefit them, the world and places they return to. Pictured: Guatemalan students learning to read with books provided by Cooperative for Education, which hosted Charitable Words Scholar Katy Volpenhein, a University of Cincinnati junior.
Charitable Words Scholars Alumni keep connected in a network as participants in events, service projects and mentors to new interns going forward. Pictured: Charitable Words Scholars Sarah Jernigan and Tia Garcia with advisor Elissa Yancey competed in a spelling bee to benefit The Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati.
Thank you, friends and supporters. It has been a very rewarding and uplifting first year. We look forward to the next, and many more.
Tom and Maureen Callinan
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