Feb 2016 – Where Should Shaping Clay Grow?

At our February 26th meeting we discussed what role should Shaping Clay play in 2016? How can we as a group make a difference in Clay County? It was a far ranging discussion, with these notes capturing the high points.


From the outset there was consensus that we don’t want to rehash discussions being held at other groups. We all attend different meetings but somehow they all focus on the same themes, so it becomes repetitive.  As an organization we are not looking to reinvent the wheel, rather provide support and make connections for ongoing efforts and seek ways to expand the impact of Clay County’s nonprofits.

The importance of separating the focus of Shaping Clay and The Mercy Network meetings so that there is less repetition led to a discussion of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you missed it in school, here it is:


The group around the table felt that it made sense that the Mercy Network focus on the first 2 levels, the social service needs of the community. Shaping Clay could then focus on the top 3 levels, those areas that nurture and enrich the well-being of the whole community, not just those faced with a need for support.  The image of two circles, one inside the other better captured what the group was trying to express. The Mercy Network was the core, the center circle. Shaping Clay would encircle it and would focus on enrichment for the entire community, including those within the core.

Circles Inside Another grid

During 2016 Shaping Clay is poised to venture into some new territory. We want to explore how the nonprofits can collaborate with a variety of other stakeholders in Clay County. Some of these other groups / topics previously identified during our 2015 meetings include: Libraries, Agriculture, Emergency Planning, Education, Legislators, Government, Speaker’s Bureau, Storytelling, Volunteer Directory, and Resource Directory.

Suggestions For 2016 And Beyond

  1. Invite nonprofits which provide a vital role in the community’s well-being, but are not presently attending Shaping Clay meetings. Those mentioned included schools, arts, history, and youth athletic groups. It was also recommended that Shaping Clay as a network of nonprofits we encourage action and collaboration among the nonprofits on selected projects by adopting a Plan Do Act Check model.
  2. Have key note speakers, such as Bill Garrison from the Economic Development Corporation share his vision and future plans for Clay County.  If we know how and where Clay County is going, then we can identify ways that the nonprofits and businesses can work together.
  3. Adopt and support one of the CHIP (Clay Health Improvement Plan) Lifestyles / Behaviors workgroup projects once finalized.
  4. Find a champion to update an existing or create a new Resource Directory. The Resource Directory is to be accessible to anyone in Clay County (especially new residents and businesses), to include as many resources as possible, not just social services, and be kept up-to-date. Ideally it should include eligibility requirements and documentation needed to obtain a social service.
  5. Develop a Communication Plan and spearhead a promotional campaign which communicates the full impact of nonprofits in Clay County – number of employees, nature and value of services provided, etc. Create a story about the impact that a disaster would have if our nonprofits couldn’t respond for a week or longer. The currency which we bring to the community is so much more than $, it includes quality of life, compassion, health, and other positive attributes.
  6. Sponsor a panel discussion on a topic that would bring together and be of interest to both the Mercy Network and Shaping Clay participants. Two such topics come to mind – Agriculture or Emergency Management Services.
  7. Explore how Shaping Clay can provide support to organizations such as Saint Leo and the Clay County libraries. How can they help support the nonprofits? Organizations such as these have great ideas, untapped resources such as students, professors, volunteers, and media. It’s likely that by sharing our respective missions and goals with these and other stakeholders we will build some connections that are beneficial to all. Saint Leo would like to engage students more and be a sponsor of public forums. Presently Saint Leo is sponsoring a ‘Compassion Fatigue Seminar’ on April 7th from 8:30 to 3:00 at the Orange Park Library. Please share the attached flyer with those who could benefit from attending.
  8. Identify, make connections, and help get the word out about innovative programs such as Reverend Bill Randall’s (Saint Simon Missionary Baptist Church) transportation project. It was noted that he’s tackling transportation needs similar to how Clay Habitat is working with housing needs.

Bottomline: As a community, it is very important, that we work together to accomplish our shared vision and mission for the betterment of Clay County!

In light of the foregoing discussion Doug and Karen got the ball rolling by identifying the topics for our next 3 meetings. Details to follow and suggestions are welcome for these topics and the balance of the year.

March 25 Libraries. This meeting will be held at the Orange Park Library from 8:30 – 10:30.

April 29 Agriculture. This meeting will be held at St. Vincent’s Middleburg from 8:30 – 10:30.

May 27 Speakers Bureau and Resource Directory. This meeting- will be held at St. Vincent’s Middleburg from 8:30 – 10:30