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Money at Work

This page contains just a few examples of the projects funded by the Colonels’ Good Works Program.  All current grants are detailed in the page titled “Current Grants”.

“Food For Thought”
When the news people talk about the homeless, odds are you don’t envision a bright -eyed six year old.  Maybe that’s why this note about a first grader involved in a take home weekend food program supported by the Good Works Program really got everyone’s attention at Headquarters.  The particular program is called “Food For Thought”.  It involves giving needy children food items to take home during weekends.  There are similar programs all across the country.  Schools with a high percentage of their students on the free and reduced lunch program are targeted.

The comment that got our attention came from a school Family Resource Coordinator who wrote “One of my first grade girls in the program is homeless.  I typically deliver the food bags while the students are at lunch but sometimes I have to wait until they go to recess.  When this little girl checks her backpack after lunch and doesn’t see the food bag in there she panics because without it she would go hungry over the weekend.”

Each food bag includes 2 breakfast items (example: pop-tarts), 2 lunch items (peanut butter sandwich crackers), 2 cans of pasta with meat, 2 juice boxes and 2 cartons of shelf-stable milk.  The packaging of the food is child friendly…cans with pop-top lids, etc.  The typical cost per child is about $5.

A Coat for Jody
Chrysalis House is a residential substance abuse treatment program for women and their children. The children who accompany their mothers to Chrysalis House often come with few resources until their mothers become stabilized and gain employment. Jody and her baby sister are prime examples. Jody was six years old when she reunited with her mom at Chrysalis House in October 2010. Winter was approaching and the warmest thing she had to wear was a sweatshirt. With funding from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Chrysalis House staff took Jody shopping for a new winter coat with matching gloves, scarf, and hat. She chose a warm down coat in her favorite color – purple. Jody’s new baby sister, Olivia, also benefitted from Kentucky Colonels assistance. Olivia was born drug-free at Chrysalis House in December of 2010. With Kentucky Colonels funding, Chrysalis House provided a car seat for Olivia and enough diapers and wipes until her mother could afford to provide them herself. Today, Jody and Olivia’s mom remains sober with a full-time job and is now living in her own apartment with her daughters.

New Eyes for the Needy
Earlene extends her thanks and appreciation.  The 59 year old recently was fitted for her first new pair of glasses in over 30 years.  “I was wearing glasses that people had given me… I had lost all hope (but) there are actually people who really care.  Now I can see without getting those awful headaches.” Earlene, along with several dozen other folks, received new glasses as a result of a grant from the Kentucky Colonels Good Works Program to New Eyes for the Needy, a New Jersey based organization with operations in 45 states.

A Warm Blanket
To Charlie Brown’s best friend Linus, life is unbearable without his always at hand security blanket.  Here’s a brief story on how your Good Works Program contributions are providing blanket comfort for some real people in Eastern Kentucky because of that gadget shown on the right… a blanket “warmer”.

A few days ago, a family member of one of our patients told us “You just wouldn’t believe the grin on my brother’s face every time they lay one of those warm blankets on him.  It rejuvenates him.”  She went on, “He just doesn’t have many pleasures left in this life but the warmth of those blankets is certainly one of them.” From our patients, their families and the entire staff of Hospice Care Plus, we thank the members of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels around the world for making this small, yet important act of kindness possible to their fellow Kentuckians.

The blanket warmer has a price tag of $5,611.90 (delivered).  The Good Works Program contributed $5,000 toward the purchase.  By the way, a bit of trivia; Linus’ name is actually Lionel van Pelt.

The Simple Things?

“I am very grateful for the things I was given, now my kids don’t have to fight over who gets the bed that night.”

The single mother of five was in a homeless shelter when she contacted the Center for Independent Living Options. The center assisted her in obtaining housing and provided her with dressers, and a bunk bed. She is currently working full-time in a daycare center and is on track to be promoted to a supervisory position. In addition, she will soon be completing a Childcare Certification program that will help her with continued advancement.

Your Good Works Program contributions provided the funding for the dressers and bunk bed.  We are working with Independent Living and several other organizations to get as many people as possible back on their feet and into the workplace.

Frivolous?
How the Honorable Order awards the funds you contribute to the Good Works Program is a very intense and serious process.  At first glance the request for funding from an organization called Life Adventure Center didn’t appear worth taking seriously.  The Grants Committee came close to putting the application in the reject file.  But we kept going to the comment in the section about the purpose of Life Adventure Center (LAC).  “… Build the important relationship of family and re-introduce our children to a world without electronics but still endlessly fascinating,” it said.  The next line drove the point home this way “The mall is no place to find inspiration”. The Committee assigned the request to General Kevin Doyle, a new member of the Board of Trustees, for review.  Kevin is a fun guy but when it comes to business his training as a CPA kicks in and he becomes downright practical, maybe even straight laced.  He was the right man for the job.

The report he brought back amazed us all.  The Center, he said, offers a unique experience of discovery and development where lifelong lessons such as respect, responsibility, communication, teamwork, and leadership are taught. Quotes from school counselors included this “Several of our students exhibit leadership skills and better social skills due to LAC. Their self-esteem was given a boost” Another said students were more respectful and better able to work together.

The photo accompanying this story includes a white horse named “Blue” (his eye color) and children of some of the families involved in a program LAC calls “Operation Military Kids”.  Center Director Don Fulford’s explanation:  “This program was designed to bring together families who have a parent deployed in a combat theatre.  They camp out over night, talk about similar issues, relax, make smores around the campfire and get the chance to paint one of our horses while doing a little hands-on learning.”

Yes, he said “paint one of our horses”.  The project teaches teamwork and introduces the participants to the various body parts that make a horse function.   “The colors are random depending on what the children want to do.  For instance, they may talk about putting a rainbow on the “withers” or put your favorite color on the “gaskin”.  At that point they paint away. This is also a fun way to introduce a tentative/nervous person to a horse or just have fun bonding with the animal.  The horse loves it and they always finish with a lesson on bathing and grooming to clean all the paint off for the next group.”

As you have no doubt concluded the Board decided the request wasn’t frivolous and $5,000 was allocated to LAC for the purchase of two reindeer.  Another $7,600 was raised from other sources and the Center now has a new winter program with which to excite participants.

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