build up, prepare the road!
Ministry in Action
Rev. Tom Walker - Director/President
Some examples of these
efforts can be seen by clicking on one of our project titles listed below.
Some examples of Projects we hope to begin.
The purpose of the Corporation is to engage in religious, charitable, educational, literary, scientific and health activities; to receive and property by way of gift, bequest or devise, to administer such funds and property on a nonprofit basis; and to donate and distribute such funds for religious, educational, literary, scientific and health purposes within the meaning of those terms as used in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Learning to Share, Living To Give is an innovative educational initiative seeking to maintain and enhance a civil society.
Learning to Share:
Each day leaders from emerging democracies come to the United States with a relatively surprising question. They want to know how they can create a third sector in their countries. They ask for guidance on teaching democratic and philanthropic principles to their children, and about systems for passing on the tradition of private citizens working for the common good. They come to the United States because they recognize that the third sector in America is fundamental to building and sustaining a secure democracy, supporting government, and to making our heterogeneous society function.
Their questions echo many of those posed by teachers and civic leaders in the United States: How do we engage children in civic life? How do we harness youthful idealism and combat growing cynicism? How do we teach caring about others, particularly those less fortunate? What is missing from our courses in government, history, economics, sociology, psychology, and philosophy that results in young adults without understanding or passion for the noble ideas of their society?
It is astonishing, but true: the United States has difficulty answering questions from emerging democratic nations because, until recently, the transmission of the philanthropic tradition from one generation to the next was informal, and so effective as to be transparent. There has never been a formal curriculum for teaching the facts or inculcating the values of the independent sector.
Teaching About the Third Sector in Schools
In this country, history is taught without serious attention to the role of volunteers in building the first black colleges or the role of private donors in funding the Salk vaccine for polio. Psychology and sociology, frequently focused on behaviors outside the healthy and normal, often do not explore the motivations and the relationships involved in setting aside self-interest for the benefit of the community.
When economics is taught, the curriculum frequently does not directly discuss the 13% of the economy represented in the activities of the nonprofit sector as it does the value of government and manufacturing. The teacher often does not address the 20 billion volunteer hours each year, which add value to the economy and promotes our common community interests. The role of the nonprofit corporation as an integral part of the civic fabric, a citizen, is not discussed.
Education in civics often does not elaborate on the nonprofit sector as the source of new ideas that lead to social policy changes, or the third sector as the place that develops the skills that are needed for public discourse and democratic compromise. The relationships between social activism, a healthy democracy, and active engagement of citizens in government are seldom discussed.
School-to-work programs often ignore the opportunities for employment in the third sector found by 12.5 million Americans, nearly one in 9.5 workers in the United States.
We have relied in the past on churches, families, friends and neighborhoods to teach children the value and significance of service and giving. We have assumed that our children know their heritage as citizens who do not need to be "empowered" by an outside agency, but who are born empowered as their inherent right of citizenship. It is sadly ironic that today, as emerging foreign democracies seek our assistance in establishing philanthropic traditions of their own, the traditional forces for teaching this ethic to children in the United States are eroding.
The very skills and community cohesion necessary to offset forces of social disintegration, especially in an increasingly diverse culture, are skills and experiences found in the nonprofit or third sector. Yet an understanding of this sector remains a mystery to many American children.
Developing Lessons and Materials about Philanthropy
We have teamed up with the Community League who with The Council of Michigan Foundations and a Steering Committee of thirteen collaborating leaders in education, volunteerism, and nonprofit leadership have successfully completed a unique effort to write, field test, implement and disseminate high quality K-12 curriculum lessons, units and materials on philanthropy.
The long-term goal of the project is to develop and replicate
curriculum lessons, units, and materials for perpetuating a civil society
through the education of children about the nonprofit or independent sector,
and to achieve their commitment to private citizen action for the common
Learning to Share
looks to successfully launch and move rapidly to fulfill its potential in
thoughtfully and systematically transmitting the philanthropic tradition to
the next generation.
Objectives and Need for Assistance
Our proposed Marriage Education and Marriage Enrichment project, submitted under for those with very pressing needs in the Deaf Community. This cultural group lacks viable, up-to-date statistical information on marriage and family life. We researched many websites, including government websites, Gallaudet University's website, and various state and local non-profit service providers' websites, but find no statistics directly speaking to Marriage and Family in the Deaf community.
Our Course Developer, who is himself deaf, is a member of the National Association of Christian Counselors. His outreach programs for the deaf during the past 13 years in Washington State have concentrated on marriage and family counseling with deaf couples, and with their children and extended families. Following are some of his observations, gleaned from working with the Deaf:
Requested approximate funding of $750,000 per year will support:
We are seeking funding to initiate a Deaf Marriage and Family counseling program and in cooperation with Crossroads Bible College (CBC) (www.crossroads.edu/) offering a Bachelor of Interpreting degree. Our requested funding will allow us to develop this new Marriage and Family program, including the following steps:
local deaf community has been part of our Multiethnic Conferences in the
past. This new emphasis will center on Marriage and Family relationships and
will involve the cooperation of the CBC staff and students.
We have identified some pressing problems in Deaf families through inputs from our Project Leader and from our Course Developer, both of whom are already working as Deaf counselors and teachers in other areas of the country.
Because we are unable at this time to provide current, accurate, and complete statistics on the instances of the identified problems in Deaf families, the task of providing specific measurable criteria to be used to evaluate results, explaining the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met, and how we will evaluate whether or not the project results and benefits are being achieved is difficult at this time.
During the development phase of our new program, we will be conducting research into the statistics specifically relating to the identified problems. We will at that time develop and be happy to provide program reviewers our measurement criteria, our methodology used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met, as well as providing project results and benefits achieved.
We do offer comments below to describe our intent to evaluate this new outreach program as we go and our desire to make it a success over the project life and our budget shows estimates by year of the costs that may be incurred in its development and implementation.
Our evaluation metric for this new program is focused on one basic goal: to be an excellent service provider that is culturally-sensitive and understanding of the values of Deaf people from all ethnic backgrounds. In order to achieve this goal, we will employ Deaf individuals as counselors, and we will partner with other faith-based organizations that reach out to people from varying cultures that now live in the United States.
From these we will be able to draw on a large number of people who speak other languages (for interpretation to spoken native languages) and who are willing to help us make a difference in Deaf Marriages and Family life. Through are partners at Crossroads Bible College we will achieve much more:
Some comments from two interviews illustrate the need for Marriage and Family counseling for the Deaf both in terms of the Deaf culture, as well as in a multi-cultural ethnic sense.
We interviewed Bobbie Lemere, Director of Behavior Corp in Indianapolis (www.behaviorcorp.com) This Company is certified by the State of Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions, is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, is a Medicaid and Medicare provider, and provides Deaf services as part of its work in the community.
She stated that more Deaf counseling is most definitely needed, and that she was unaware of any agency that offers counseling geared towards strengthening the marriage and the family core unit.
She told us that Behavior Corp deals only with mental health issues, mainly in pre-teen and teen years. They are one of only three agencies in the state that provides this service. The other two are in the East Chicago area, 130 miles northwest of Indianapolis, and in Lawrenceburg (100 miles southeast). Their clientele includes Iranian, Pakistani and Hispanic patients, as well as African-Americans and Caucasians. Given cultural and language differences, she said it is sometimes very hard to communicate with these folks, because they need an interpreter who is hearing and speaks these language to assist in the counseling sessions.
Ms. Lemere was interested in our project and asked that we keep her informed on the outcome. She went on to say that, “what services and specialists are available to the deaf community are overloaded - there are just not enough personnel, social workers, and interpreters to handle the need”.
An excerpt from an interview with a staff member at the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis best illustrates our program goal:
This sounds like a good thing that you are doing. I'll just give you a little of my perspective. I would venture most Deaf people would tell you that, even if their Marriage/Family stresses are only similar to those of any hearing person, and they are more difficult, the difference is, that, the Deaf Community tends to be vastly underserved. As you can imagine, there aren't many programs that provide counseling or these types of services to Deaf individuals in Indiana that are culturally-sensitive and understand the values of Deaf people. There are even fewer that employ Deaf individuals as counselors.
As stated above, because many of the service providers we contacted made verbal statements confirming the shortage of services to Deaf individuals in Indiana and the US as a whole, our measurement criteria is first and foremost to be one new service provider that is culturally- sensitive and understanding of the values of Deaf people. We will also be one new service provider that employs Deaf individuals as counselors.Our desired outcome, at the end of the day, is strengthening Marriages and Families in the Deaf community.
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