Since its formal roll out in February 2010 the Hands Across the County Program has been a big success. It has been serving as a means of communications between member entities whose mission is to provide help to those in need within the community. This diverse group ranges from government agencies, elected officials offices, non-profits and charities that administer government funded programs, private charities, service organizations, faith based groups, and even informal community action groups seeking to help their neighbors in need. Over seventy five organizations have come on board so far with many more to follow.
The big advantage of the Hands Across the County member web site is the ability for individual help providers to communicate simultaneously with a wide range of other help providers seeking additional assistance for someone in need that they alone cannot totally fulfill. For example, if a family is seeking assistance and they come to your agency seeking help with utilities, food, clothing, rental assistance or other needs, your organization would provide the assistance you are able to provide on your own, but then you will be able to have their others needs broadcast to other help providers in the community seeking the additional assistance needed.
This would be done through Blast Emails through the Hands Across the County program. The email blasts can be sent to all member agencies, or a select few that specialize in the type of help needed. This would eliminate numerous calls and a great deal of time currently spent by the help provider and those seeking help to try to find additional help for their problems. If after other help providers read the requests for help and can offer additional assistance, then a line of communications can be quickly established and the needs of those in crisis can be better fulfilled. We will be able to pool resources and expertise together as community team, and do so quickly.
One benefit that has developed with Hands Across the County is that with so many different organization now communicating with each other, those seeking to “double dip” can be identified. On more than one occasion someone already receiving help for certain items from one source have come to us seeking the same help over and above what they have already received to take care of the need. This will be beneficial during the holiday season when some will try to hoard more then they need.
Another feature of the Hands Across the County program is that your organization will be able to post announcements about your organization for all other members to see. These announcements can range from new programs your group is offering to changes in current programs, to open enrollments to program deadlines. Groups can also post on the Community Calendar special events they are holding such as fund raisers and award programs so that the community help providers are not planning their events on top of each other thus crowding specific dates.
In the works is our public access page “Request for Help” that will be is located on the new People for People web site where member agencies as well as other referral groups will be able to post information about people they are trying to help, but may need assistance from the general public as well. An example would be a family needing help with medical bills for a child that suddenly became ill. Few programs provide such help, but we would post the information about the need on the People for People web site that is open to the public, and the public can review this case as well as others, and be able to donate directly to the cause they choose using their credit card or PayPal. This will allow exposure for those seeking help through the World Wide Web that could help with their needs. Of course in all communications, the identities of those seeking help is protected.
Also, people for People will be expanding their efforts to offer to other non-profits, charities, and help providers, both traditional and non-traditional, the opportunity to participate in networking events with both the help provider community and the business community. People for People will also be providing workshops and educational programs on topics such as Grant Writing, Business Networking, Seeking and Training Volunteers, and other useful topics.
Our next event will be a partnership effort between People for People and Atlantic City Electric in presenting an ENERGY FORUM on July 15th 2010 starting at 8:30 AM at the Mullica Hill Library. This forum will feature representatives from LIHEAP AND NJ SHARES. For more information contact Bernadette Blackstock at 856-579-7561 or at email@example.com to register.
If you would like to comment to this article, write an article of your own about your organization on this blog, or simply offer information that you feel would be helpful to those that would read this blog, please contact me, Paul Blackstock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our website: www.pfpfoundation.org
People for People introduces new strategic growth initiative: "CAMP SALUTE" low to moderate income housing for Veterans. Click this link to read article in the Gloucester County Times http://www.nj.com/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1277626211265630.xml&coll=8