At our Toast to our Town Gala on Saturday evening I had the opportunity to share for the first time some exciting news about the future work of your Community Foundation in the area of community initiatives. Since 2012 our community initiative focus has been our work with our Community for All Ages Coalition. We have done a great deal of this work in partnership with the Mid-America Regional Council and we were very grateful in June to receive a Regional Leadership Award at their big event, their Regional Assembly.
We are very pleased that the Cities of Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit and Raytown have been recognized as Communities for All Ages. Independence and Lee’s Summit are both working to achieve the Gold Recognition level of this program provided by the Mid America Regional Council. Our Boomers Get Connected, volunteer engagement program continues to move forward and we are working on plans with Mid America Regional Council to take this program metro wide in 2019.
Partnering with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and the Hospitals in our area, we are working to build a new model to provide transportation for older adults to access health care and remain healthy when they are no longer able to drive.
At our September Board meeting your Board of Directors made an important decision about the focus of our future work in providing leadership for a regional initiative. This came out of our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. Our work will continue in 2019 with our Community for all Ages work, but will be wrapping up by year end, and we will begin our work in 2019 on a new community initiative.
During our strategic planning process last year the Board developed the vision that we strive to “Be Known as the organization that brings together people, organizations, ideas and opportunities to create solutions and strategies that make a measurable difference in the communities we serve and enables donors to be engaged in that work”.
Our discernment process to determine the focus of our future community initiative work included 46 one on one interviews with some of our most active donors as well as some great work of board members serving on a Task Force.
The Task Force recommendation which the board adopted is that our future work in providing regional leadership be focused on Technical and Vocational Job Skills Training being available for more people in our communities. This will not be limited to current students but will also strive to assist those now in low wage non-skilled jobs in securing additional training and skills to enable them to improve the economic status of their families.
We will be reaching out to many organizations to partner with us in this work such as the Mid-Continent Public Library, Metropolitan Community Colleges, Community Services League, and Mid-America Regional Council to name just a few. And we will be inviting our Donor Advised Fund holders and Scholarship Fund holders to be engaged in this work.
Stay tuned for updates as we move forward with this new initiative, and if you have input you would like to provide I would be pleased to hear from you.