Darin Preis

I missed my Leadership Link last week and was on the verge of missing another one because the days seem to be flying by!

First let me apologize to my Koala-loving fans out there. Turns out they're . . . marsupials, NOT bears! Who knew?! Lilly has a pouch, like a kangaroo, so yep. Marsupial. Want to hear what they sound like? Let me warn you, it's a little haunting.

Last week Congresswoman Hartzler visited the Missouri Women's Business Center. She has not historically been a supporter of traditional Community Action funding needs but the Women's Business Center struck a chord with her. You never know where this kind of relationship building will go but I felt really good about the visit. Jaime and Jamie summarized the Center and all of it's interventions and Jason Ramsey, Board President, and I talked about CMCA. Jaime also took the opportunity to introduce Kimberly McKinney, a budding entrepreneur who has attended one of the WBC classes called LaunchU. Ms. McKinney has started her own photography business and said, “I was trying to figure out how to earn some income while I stayed home with my young children and people told me I am good at photography. I didn’t know anything about starting a business though and I learned the whole process at the Women’s Business Center. I also have an Early Head Start home visitor who helps me keep my kids on track and my home was weatherized to keep my bills down. CMCA is helping me reach my goals.” I've attached our press release if you'd like to read more about Representative Hartzler's visit.

Also last week we held our second annual Dinner for a Difference in Jefferson City. Several board members were in attendance and Jewell Holt, Carolyn Lewis, and Roger Drake spoke to the audience about their struggles and successes. Our goal was to raise awareness about the realities of poverty but we also raised a lot of unrestricted funds and made new friends and supporters. The staff that served dinner to participants really make this a special event. They give their all to CMCA and their pride and satisfaction in our work is noticeable. I can't thank the team enough for a truly wonderful evening. Revenue from this event will go towards cash matching requirements for the agency (like the Women’s Business Center to help us expand in rural areas), help offset fundraising costs (which are not allowed by our grants), and to establish unrestricted funds to support families in crises where no grant funded resources are available.

I'm going to stop here so as to not risk losing your attention. I hear the weather is going to be lousy this weekend but I hope you get a chance to recharge your batteries, enjoy friends or family, and gear up for another week of changing the world.

Thanks CMCA!