I, Michelle Korty, LCSW, am someone who dreamed of becoming a social worker since I was in middle school. Twenty years ago (1993), I graduated from college and started my professional career in the helping field.
As you know our World is changing and I have a dream that I believe is the future for non profits in our communities. I live and work in a small rural community (Scott County, Indiana), where we face many of the social issues other communities are facing. We have high rates of drug overdoses, low birth weight babies, high teen pregnancy, high incidences of domestic violence, high number of substantiated cases of child abuse, record numbers of prescription and illegal drug use, prostitution, mental illness, and poverty.
The numbers have led Scott County to be 92 out of 92 in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Report on Counties in Indiana. What our high numbers really equate to is the impact our social issues have on the quality of life lived by the children, adolescents, and adults in our community. While our need remains high, we are seeing more of our much needed programs disappear because of lack of funding.
A Place to Be in Scott County Inc is a non profit organization [we are in the 501 3(c) application process] that I and two colleagues, LuAnne Yandow, MSW and Arless Sexton, (who has 40 years of cooking experience and knowledge), are opening to help fill in some of the needed service gaps in our community. We are opening a restaurant along side the non profit where the profits from the restaurant will help pay for the services. It is our goal to eventually be completely sustained by our "Carryout for a Cause Restaurant", cutting down any reliance on state or federal funding.
The campaign we are launching is to raise money to stock our restaurant kitchen with everything that it takes to make amazing food. This includes: pans, silverware, utensils, measuring cups, pots, knives, and containers, seasoning, spices, baking supplies, etc.
The kitchen equipment will be used for the following:
- to make food for our customers;
- to teach cooking classes to improve independent living skills of our clients;
- used by our clients in our kitchen to improve their employment skills;
- as well as to work off, through the barter system, financial assistance that they will receive to avoid eviction or avoid having their utilities shut off.
Our menu at the restaurant will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will all be carryout. Breakfast will be light on the go meals, lunch will be soup, salads, and sandwiches on homemade or freshmade bread. And dinner will include precooked full family dinners that can be reheated in the oven. The entire menu will be healthy, made with quality ingredients, homemade, and nutritious. We have spent the past few months creating opportunities for our community to do taste testing and give us feedback.
Your help with equipping our kitchen will allow us to make healthy, affordable, and nutritious food and the proceeds will assist our organization in providing services for adolescents and adults who are in need. Services that include: counseling for domestic and family violence, groups for families impacted by addiction, case management for life stressors, and crisis intervention, etc.
What We Need & What You Get
A Place to Be in Scott County Inc needs $5000 in order to fully stock our kitchen with the needed pots, pans, containers, dishes, utensils, knives, etc. that will be used to make amazing food. The small equipment will be used for cooking, in cooking classes, and for our agency participants to earn financial assistance to avoid eviction or having their utilities disconnected.
All of the services that our organization will be able to provide will stem from our ability to cook affordable, healthy, and nutritious food for members of our community both paying consumers and individuals and families who are in need of nourishment for survival.
If you are able to help you will be given recognition in the form of your name on our website (still in the process of being developed), our facebook page, and/or having a dessert or sandwich named after you, savings on a meal purchase, and the knowledge that you are helping members in a small rural community that are in need. We will use any funding received to purchase as much of the needed kitchen equipment as possible.
Putting together this agency and business combination has made it difficult to obtain all the needed funding. The three of us have spent the past two years working diligently in a program for pregnant and parenting adolescents and young adults that has the potential for long term social change but will be closing if funding does not materialize at the national and state level.
This experience has led us to make the decision to open this agency where eventually we will be able to completely sustain the needed services with the revenue from our hard work and loyal customers. We know that we need help in the beginning from amazing people like you to get it open and operating.
We will be focused on providing services around domestic violence, sexual assault, addiction, poverty, and everyday life stressors. These are areas that are being underserved in our community and as a result of your generosity it will help us to make a difference for the families in need.
Other Ways You Can Help
We know that not everyone will be able to help. So if you are unable to contribute would you please share our information with your family and friends and use the Indiegogo share tools to improve our visability. We really need your help to get this started and to be successful.