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Nonprofit Optimist

Aug 23, 2018

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Today's Guest: Rose Hart
        As a lifelong resident of Marshall County, WV, was part of the first graduating class of John Marshall High School in 1969. She spent 30 years of her career working for the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier, before co-founding Appalachian Outreach, Inc. in 2002. She now serves as the Executive Director of AOI. In 2012, Rose also completed her certification in Nonprofit Management through WVU. 
        In addition to her work with Appalachian Outreach, Inc., Rose is an active member in her local community and church. She's currently involved with the local Long Term Recovery Committee, Local Emergency Planning Committee and WV VOAD (West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). She's also a member of St. Jude Parish in Glen Dale WV, where she is the RCIA director, Eucharistic Minister, and Lector, and she is a member of God’s Children of Love prayer group in Moundsville, WV. She completed the Diaconate / Pastoral Ministry program of the Diocese of Wheeling – Charleston in 1987 with a certificate in adult formation.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Appalachian Outreach, Inc.
      Guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inspired by the Holy Spirit, the mission of Appalachian Outreach is to help relieve the burden of poverty and the loss of dignity suffered by the people of Appalachia who, through no fault of their own, struggle to meet the basic needs of daily life.
      They continually look for contacts in counties where accessibility and opportunity are limited and other charitable agencies are lacking or struggle to meet local need. They also look for contacts locally that will support the mission of Appalachian Outreach, therefore building a network where the dignity of all is respected and the love of God is proclaimed through prayer, word, and deed.

Lessons Learned:
In our conversation, Rose shares her experience of leading Appalachian Outreach, Inc. and how it originally got started. Some of the key lessons she has learned through this work are outlined below: 

  1. When getting started:
    1. Realized applying for permits would be time and resource intensive. Instead, asked the mayors of each surrounding county if they could solicit their residents. Led to not only a "yes" in response to that question, but also some really positive public relations opportunities for the mayors and for leadership boards within the community.
    2. "We're too successful to stop now."
  2. Need to build relationships with local contacts.
    1. Created an advisory board of someone who knows each area well.
    2. In order to build trust, you have to go where people are. "Sit on the porches and listen."
    3. Partner with existing organizations!
  3. Funding from/through the Government
    1. NIPS - Neighborhood Investment Program
      1. Allows for donations to be made as a tax credit to the donor.
    2. Rose and her co-founder approached small county commissioners and talked to them about the good they were providing for the county. In return, the commissioners provided some compensation for transportation of the goods.
  4. Income generating opporunities:
    1. Run a store house where they sell building materials at a discounted rate and they only had to pay for transportation.
      1. Mountain Resource
      2. Sharing of Good Network
    2. Clothing donations to World Mission Clothing

Find Appalachian Outreach, Inc. online: