Saint Saviour’s Center focuses on unmet needs of poor

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, older adults who live in Glenwood Towers and the Carriage House Apartments near downtown Raleigh take a walk together in the neighborhood.

And every month, roughly 1,000 families that cannot afford diapers receive enough to last up to two weeks.

Leading both efforts is Saint Saviour’s Center, a nonprofit that was created by the Christ Church Outreach Ministry and other members of the congregation at Christ Church, and began operating in 2003.

“They wanted it to be an independent nonprofit and expand beyond the church and be a center for the community,” says Sharon Hayes, a former marketing manager for IBM who has served as the Center’s executive director since 2009.

Operating with an annual budget of $250,000, one full-time employee and several hundred volunteers, Saint Saviour’s Center operates two programs of its own, partners with other groups on four other programs, and is part of a network of outreach programs with direct connections to over 20 nonprofits that serve thousands of people a year.

Based in two buildings at 616 Tucker St. built by Christ Church in the 1920s, Saint Saviour’s Center has grown rapidly since 2010, when it launched a new program and partnered with two others.

One of those partners, Community Music School, offers private music lessons once a week after school and Saturdays for $1 a lesson to about 100 children a year from low-income families.

The other, Haitian Evangelical Community Church, holds Sunday services and Tuesday night prayer meetings, plus a Sunday school for children.

The new program the Center launched in late 2010 was The Diaper Train, which donated 60,000 diapers to about 12 agencies in 2011. That total grew to 240,000 diapers in 2012, when it expanded to include donations to individual families referred to it, and to 450,000 in 2013.

In its first four years, Diaper Train donated one million diapers, a total that grew to two million last year.

Saint Saviour’s Center’s other program is Healthy Living for Seniors, a wellness program for older adults who live in public housing at Glenwood Towers and Carriage House Apartments.

Launched in 2006, the program serves about 125 of the 400 residents of the two buildings. In addition to activities such as the morning walking group, which is led by Hayes, it includes classes and spiritual support at the Center.

The Center also partners with Meals on Wheels of Wake County and with Wake Relief.

Every weekday, Meals on Wheels serves lunch to 50 to 60 seniors, many of whom arrive at 9 a.m. to participate in activities at the Center.

And Wake Relief, an emergency food pantry that is a program of Christ Church, provides a week’s worth of groceries to families that may visit every 30 days if referred by Wake County Human Services. The pantry serves 7,000 to 9,000 people a year.

Saint Saviour’s Center generates about half its funds from individual donations, about 20 percent from philanthropic grants, and the remainder from fundraising events and fees for the use of its buildings.

Now, it aims to raise $90,000 to hire two part-time employees to focus on fundraising and program coordination.

“Saint Saviour’s Center needs to be set up so we can begin addressing unmet needs of the working poor,” Hayes says. “There are many services available in Wake County to families in need. But we’ve learned from The Diaper Train that there are also needs that are not being met.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 06.03.16

Reynolds Foundation suspends spring 2017 grantmaking

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem has begun a year-long effort to assess its focus, and has suspended its grantmaking for spring 2017 for which the deadline for submitting grant proposals had been Feb. 1, 2017.

As part part of the effort, which will culminate in May 2017 with a new strategic plan, the the Foundation’s new executive director, Mo Green, along with its trustees and staff, will spend several months traveling throughout the state to meet with state and local leaders and community members.

Private foundations a family affair, wealthy donors say

Wealthy donors say engaging family members in their private foundations is a key priority, a new survey says.

Forty-one percent of 203 respondents to a survey in April by Foundation Source of its 1,200 private foundation clients said establishing a “tradition of giving” was the most important family benefit of having a private foundation, while 35 percent said it was to “make an impact on an issue or in the community.”

Asked to  compare the significance of “family engagement” with “having an impact,” 62 percent of respondents said they were equally valuable.

Ninety-seven percent of respondents said that offspring, regardless of when they first become involved with the foundation, should be eligible to become board members or trustees only after their 18th birthday, while 55 percent said offspring should be age 26 to 40 before joining the board.

And 61 percent said the selection of family members to serve on the board should be “based on interest, commitment,” compared to only 13 percent that said membership should be conferred automatically once children reach a certain age.

Only 27 percent or respondents permit non-family members to serve on their foundations.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said participation in their foundations typically is limited to the founder’s spouse, while 93 percent said it is limited to children, compared to 35 percent that are limited to children’s spouses, 19 percent to step-children or adopted children, and two percent to divorced spouses.

Wake Tech highlighted in report on vocational education for veterans

Wake Technical Community College is one of three schools that are the focus of a new report on accelerated vocational instruction for veterans and members of the armed services moving to civilian life.

The report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University examines a program, funded by the Walmart Foundation, in which the Institute oversaw grants to a network of colleges and universities with workforce development initiatives focused on students veterans and carried out in partnership with local workforce development agencies, businesses and industries.

Best practices that are key to effectively delivering “vocational acceleration services” to veterans and service members moving to civilian life, the report says, are recruitment strategies that tap into both personal and institutional connections; harnessing existing resources and infrastructure to make the most of enrollment capacity and complete training in the shortest time; providing tools and knowledge to help “stakeholders” understand veterans’ needs in a learning environment; continuously gathering data and feedback to tailor training to the needs of local employers; and developing plans to deliver additional training to equip veterans with more skills that are in high demand.

Care Ring raised $145,000

Care Ring in Charlotte exceeded its challenge goal of $30,000 in gifts The Leon Levine Foundation now will match, and also received a gift of $85,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The Seventh Annual Rock Your World benefit concert on May 21 at RallyPoint Sport Grill in Cary raised $108,105 for Hope for Haiti Foundation and Fanconi Anemia Research Fund.

Carying Place raises $105,000

The Carying Place in Cary netted at least $105,000 at its 15th Annual Benefit Auction, Buffett and Dance on April 29 at Prestonwood Country Club.

Cary nonprofit aims to serve military, veterans and families

Harbor Reins, a new nonprofit in Cary, is working to provide current military and veterans, and their families, with free equine assisted psychotherapy to help combat post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders.

Community foundation affiliates add advisory board members

Beaufort-Hyde Community Foundation added four members to its advisory board, including Buffy Johnson of Pungo Machine, Tuyet Moore of Natural Balance Therapeutic; Marcy Morgan of  Pungo Christian Academy; and Bethany Pugh of Middle Creek Farms.

Bertie-Hertford Community Foundation has added two members to its advisory board, including attorney Bob Lee and community volunteer Anna Pierce.

And Lee County Community Foundation added Jasmine Lucas, an attorney at Wilson and Reives, to its advisory board.

All three foundations are affiliates of the North Carolina Community Foundation in Raleigh.