ALLIED PARTNERS - January 9, 2008

Present: Mike Bodden, Fred Clark, Susan Corrado, Loree and Wynn Davies, Jenny Grether (and Abby), Linda Ketcham, Marge Lyford, Leslie McAllister, Shirley Robbins, Sue Sawyer, Alex Thornburg, Jack Tiffany.

Facilitator Linda opened the meeting with introductions; then a short reading by Susan about a "cup of compassion" for all the suffering people in the world, as well as the earth's own suffering, reflecting that love is stronger than death and disaster.

Minutes of the December meeting were approved, on motion by Alex and second by Fred.

Financial Report: (Jack) His computer has been down, so the December and Annual Reports will be presented at our next meeting.

Eviction Prevention: (Dianne, by way of Jack) December and Annual Reports presented in writing. An eloquent closing comment by Dianne noted that disbursements in 2007 soared to over $21,600, helping 123 families. She described the kinds of needs which were helped, and suggests that our E.P. work should be widely publicized, and she is willing to speak to groups about it. ALLIED PARTNERS COMMENDS DIANNE STEVENS FOR HER WORK, AND ALSO APPRECIATES RITA ADAIR'S SCREENING.

Food Pantry: (Mike) December and Year-End financial reports given out in print; Mike's Annual Report covers space, sources of food and funds, staff and volunteers, families served and rules, operating costs. A small decrease in the number of families served is due to fewer people in the neighborhood at this time, and to the greater number of new Latino families who for various reasons do not use the pantry. This will change. Since the Boys and Girls Club needs our usual room, we will be meeting in the cafeteria space, and can at times meet in the churches. Noting that Eviction Prevention needs more money, while the Food Pantry is "showered" with funds, we discussed how to raise more money for E.P. It was suggested that a new Membership Committee could deal with this problem by recruiting more churches for the Partners, and that Undesignated Funds could be increased, with a greater percentage for E.P. No activity in Special Projects.

Wellness Center: (Susan) Annual Report presented. This lists programs and projects, plus outside partners with many of them; numbers of people who have consulted the Parish Nurse, and their needs; lists sources of funds and the achievement of financial stability; emphasizes the impact of the W.C. on the Allied neighborhood and its importance to the future health and safety of the community. Drug activity and dealing with conflict are two main issues.
For details from this comprehensive report, please contact Susan Corrado or any active member of Allied Partners, for a copy of the report.
Marge gave us the exciting news that Susan has "made the first cut" for the Robert Wood Johnson Award. She was nominated by a W.C. Board member, and now they are sending out the necessary materials for the next "cut". Winning this award would mean big money. Marge also said that the Board needs a new member who is financially savvy. They meet monthly.

Membership Committee: Purpose: To expand Allied Partners membership by reaching out to churches both inside and outside our "service area" who are not now members. To increase communications and participation of churches already "in". Possible - a Newsletter?
Michelle Horton has volunteered to chair this committee. Other volunteers: Loree Davies and Sue Sawyer.
A plan was begun to host a clergy breakfast to acqaint as many clergy (and Mission Chairs?) as possible with our work and the needs of the neighborhood. Alex will organize this, to be held at Westminster Presbyterian. Mike said the Food Pantry will provide the food; Sue Sawyer will prepare the meal. This will probably take place in February.

Other Business:
---Leslie noted Neighborhood Association projects (mobile pantry, community meal) and development of an advisory committee.
---Leslie described the new redesign plan, which is still very complicated and not completely satisfactory to the community. Questions, discussion. An interesting point: though immigrants have helped stabilize the neighborhood, immigrants can not be helped under this plan.
---Susan said that she has a CAC grant for "respectful dialogues" concerning conflict over Marlborough Gardens between the "old guard" and the new Latino ways; a joint project will be the focus.
---Jenny Grether spoke of a need for volunteers with the Play and Learn program of the Early Childhood Initiative: in order to provide respite for mothers and time to talk with staff while the kids are playing in a separate space, volunteers are needed to play with the children. This will take place on Mondays from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Learning Center, with children 6 months to four years old, beginning January 28. Ongoing only while school is in session. Volunteers can rotate. Jenny's phone: 575-5560.

NEXT MEETING: AT WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, February 13, 10 a.m. We will see the Allied Partners DVD. Facilitator: Alex; Thought for the Day: Marge.

Shirley Robbins, Recorder