Blog & Updates
|Posted on July 16, 2016 at 4:20 PM|
The Small Business Administration's Mission Statement reads “The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.”
Despite this stated purpose of the SBA, big business still has such a stranglehold on the American economy that our biggest issues in this country revolve around the shrinking of the middle class, arguments about minimum wages and the outrageous cost of healthcare.
Jobs, despite government claims to the contrary, are also not sustainable for today's workforce. Not only did high paying jobs go by the wayside, medium paying jobs were also cut in favor of replacing them with multiple low hour jobs so that employers can reduce their healthcare costs per employee. So these minimum wage arguments do not hold water nor do the abundance of jobs the government claims were created. People cannot live on the low wage, low hours jobs. Where one job was sufficient to pay the bills, healthcare costs and set food on the table, workers are now forced to either take more than one job or cut areas that cannot really afford to be cut.
Parents are finding themselves forced to get fast food instead of making nutritious meals, thinking that they don't have the time, money or resources to do this.
For these reasons, we are attempting to raise money for an education center as the focal point of our expansion project.
This center, which will be free for participants, will offer classes on skills – such as woodworking, painting, ceramics, crafting – in order to help them bring finances into the home. Plus we will offer training on sustainable gardening and healthy eating / healthy living. We want to teach people how to make the most of their finances. And we are looking to bring in GED classes and seminars on everything from resume creation to developing good interview skills. And we are going to ask the SBA to come in and help our students learn about creating their own small businesses.
A side benefit of these classes are to give our young people something to do other than hang out on the corner or sit idly in the dark playing video games. And in doing so, offer them hope for a future that may seem bleak to them at times with all that is doing on in our world to steal it away.
From the seed of this center will grow responsible families, living within their means while being productive members of our community. Financial stability of the populace creates economic stability to the region. Increasing those interested in the arts and the development of small businesses will also create an economic stability to a region who depends on tourism dollars to survive.
We will be reaching out to school students, seniors, veterans and those with disabilities.
Along with the money needed to build this center, we will be needing funds for everything from supplies to instructors (some of these have offered to do this on a voluntary basis, but for long term projections we need to be ready to pay). We already receive donations of these types of craft supplies on an irregular basis at the thrift shop. And we will be using these. But we are realistic to know that we will need more.
Your donations are greatly needed on a one time (for capital purchase and construction / renovation) and for on-going costs (supplies, salaries, utilities, insurance).
For an expansion project that will cost at the minimum of $500,000, we have already raised over $4000 from such programs as candy sales, in store donations and art auctions.
But this is not enough for a need we have right now. To raise the funds completely using these types of donations would take us 119 years. We need your help now in reaching our goals for the educations center.
Upon completion of the education center expansion, we will be creating a congregate dining hall, a location for our local food pantry, and – eventually – a place to temporarily house those who find themselves homeless so they can gather their finances and reconcile their situations to find permanent housing (though our partnership with Hands of Hope).
As a condition of the latter goal, we want to continue our core belief that a hand out is useless without a supporting hand up, those who make use of such housing will be required to volunteer – to give back – with one of our internal outreaches or with one of our partner charities.
All funds donated prior to a location purchase and renovations will go directly to our expansion account and are not used for paying bills.
We need your help. And we are not too proud to offer any large donors ($100,000 or more) to name parts of our physical location or programs in their honor or in the the name of someone they wish to dedicate their donation to. (Obviously decorum must prevail on such naming.)