The NCNCHINC “Building a Better Community“
We were founded on October 20th, 2009. We had a dream of building a better community. And since our inception it has been an uphill crawl, for us to simply find an agenda we could carryout. Since our inception we have been self supporting through our own contributions towards a cause of community betterment. While we knew what we wanted to do, which is to prevent recidivism and reduce crime, while building a better community, sometimes one individual at a time, we were somewhat crippled due to insufficient funds. Hopefully this will change with your renewed community support.
We were full of ideas. Though it may have seemed unfocused or like we were jumping from one thing to another, still they were good ideas that were simply unfunded, due to bad judgment. Hopefully many of them are still things to happen in the future. Because some of these services are necessary for our health and well being of our community and you can make this happen.
The one big idea that still sticks to my mind until this day is the idea of having “World’s AIDS Day” activities to bring about awareness in Highlands County, Florida, about this serious issue. Did you know that this area has one of the highest HIV/AIDS populations in proportion to inhabitants in the whole country? It is higher than Washington D.C. where intravenous heroin use is very high! Disproportionately high intravenous drug use is not the case here in Highlands County, but still HIV/AIDS infections are suspiciously high and it is probably due to ignorance of this disease. We feel that such an event could ultimately save many lives, because awareness is so important. But the funding wasn’t there. Yet at City Hall the Avon Park CRA or Avon Park Community Redevelopment Agency blows $18,000 on Parades every year. I think this money would be better spent saving lives, but AIDS is taboo here and is not so popular a conversation and Dr. King’s dream still lives, while people are dying from AIDS unnecessarily.
We are pending our 501 c 3 statuses and it might be a year before we get ours, because our application still needs work. But we are not allowing this SNAFU or our error to completely stop us. We are working diligently on something big, so that we can get some of our programs going. We are in the process of attempting to find us a fiscal sponsorship out of New York City, so that we can raise tax deductible donations until we get our papers from the IRS. With a fiscal sponsorship we want to reach out to the community and gain some community involvement for our agenda which we feel will make a difference in our community. By reducing crime, preventing recidivism, building a better community and in the process saving lives. And if we stand together all of this will happen with your help.
As we know and understand the Churches of Highlands County is doing good work and is in the business of saving souls through our Lord Jesus Christ. There are many Churches here. But we are trying to reach out to those they (The Church) has been unsuccessful at saving. Many young adults are lost in the streets and we know first hand what it is like, because many of us have been there and done that. Sometimes finding the Lord takes stepping stones and first simply finding another way other than the streets is a huge step but not the final step in the process of being born again. I know this from experience. And knowing that someone within your understanding and grasp cares and to have a place to go other than the streets is good to know. We are that transitioning phase.
What we are about to offer to Highlands County is a program called “Project Creativity”. It is an artistic program, whereby we want to offer many disadvantaged young adults another option and a way out through artistic expression. But not only them, but any young adult 18 to 35 and older, who wants to channel their creativity in a positive manner.
Through creative writing workshops and computer electronic music production workshops, we will not only give them a channel of expression, but we will help build their self esteem by developing their writing and computer skills, which are essentials in today’s society. But we will not stop there, we want to give them a way to actually express themselves to the world at large, by putting them in print in our non profit newspaper and in magazines, so that their voices can be heard, because many of them are simply misunderstood, while giving them a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment by doing this.
We want to bring family oriented shows to Highlands County, by seeking sponsors and also by giving our clients a chance to perform on stage. By promoting local as well as out of town talent, we will also help create community activities we all can be proud of being affiliated with. We also plan to open our non profit recording studio to the public as a part of this production process. Our focus will be on several genres such as R&B, Hip Hop and Inspirational/Gospel and more. Not just to audition talent, but to share this experience with young disadvantaged adults. And again with your support this will all happen.
And all we really ask of our clients is to help us in building a better community, by doing little things, like assisting us with the Southside Redevelopment Initiative, by keeping our community clean of debris and litter, showing respect for our elders, being kind in their daily lives and being helpful to others in need.
Like I said, we are in the process of this undertaking. And with your help this will happen soon, so keep a watchful eye, be patient with us, because a Kingdom isn’t built in one day. And prepare yourselves to invite the National Community Network and Coalition of Highlands, INC., into your hearts, minds and souls and support this agenda when the time comes for you to contribute.
Frank Paul Jones
President of the NCNCHINC