Friday, September 26, 2014

What we are studying.

I’d like to share with you what we have been studying in our Getting Ahead classes so far. It is difficult to plan a journey if you do not have a starting point, so during the first two weeks participants reflected on where they are now and how they got there. Many shared their life experiences, and we found that no two people out of the twenty had exactly the same story of financial difficulty and/or poverty. Some grew up in generational poverty, while others’ financial downturn happened because of an illness, divorce, or death in the family. The discussion helped our class realize that personal choices are not the only reason people are poor and that many types of resources are necessary for a person to be financially stable.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What's happening now!

Now that classes are underway, there is much for our community to do to successfully transition to being a Bridges community, working together to support and strengthen its citizens and businesses to create prosperity for all.

Our next step is to develop a Bridge the Gap Rogers County steering committee. This committee will identify the obstacles in our community that either contribute to or create poverty.  Many of the obstacles will be identified by the participants of the Getting Ahead class as they investigate our community, while others will be ideas that the steering committee members may have had on their minds for years but were not in a position to act on to promote change. Some changes will be real challenges, while others may be easily implemented. Most of all, I am certain that the work will be greatly rewarding to those who effect change and see the results in our community and its members doing better.

If you would like to help someone get ahead, there are a number of ways you can get involved.

Join the multi-sector coalition that is forming to guide the development of the Rogers County Bridges initiative.

Invest in a person’s future story by funding a full Getting Ahead scholarship of $500.
Your donation, in any amount, will go directly to helping someone get ahead.  Tax deductible checks may be written to FUMC, 1615 N Highway 88, Claremore, Ok  74017.  Please write Getting Ahead on the memo line.  

As a Getting Ahead sponsor, you may offer some or all of the following:
Recruit prospective Getting Ahead participants.
Host Getting Ahead in your facility.
Remove obstacles to participation. (Transportation, childcare, etc.)

Graduates get ahead when a circle of allies encourage their journey. Be part of their network of mentors, friends, and advocates.

Bridge the Gap Rogers County is focused on our specific community. We do not provide direct aid to those in need; rather, we facilitate collaboration among individuals, businesses, and government with the aim of eliminating poverty. The benefits of reducing poverty in our community are vast—reduced crime, a prosperous and stable local economy, health and well-being of citizens, low unemployment, and reduced drug use, to name just a few.

If you want to join forces with Bridge the Gap Rogers County, need more information, or would like a presentation at your office, club, or civic group, please e mail me at