December 2016 Meeting Notes

At our December 2, 2016 meeting, we had 5 new people join us, which added a lot to the discussion. Following is a recap of some of our discussion.

Jonathan Hall, the band director for the Oakleaf High School, has a great program that he is spearheading with his students. They are launching a program called For every bag of Box5coffee sold, the Oakleaf High School Band will receive funding to purchase musical and educational resources for students at the school. They also care about children who do not have the basic necessities to experience a high-quality education. They will be donating resources to children in the greater Jacksonville, FL area as well as children in Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kosovo, Syria and Northern Ireland. I encourage everyone to check out the website at You can find out more about the program and discover ways that you may be able to contribute to their effort. You can reach Johnathan at to find out more.

Allie Munch shared with us some of the programs that Big Brothers / Big Sisters are doing. They want to expand their programs and outreach to people who may want to find out more about being a Big Brother or Big Sister. She noted that they’d like to have more options for those under 18. Please get in touch with Allie at if you have ideas to share with her.

Ernie Cohen of Kids First of Florida says that they are responsible for some 500 kids. For those not familiar with KFF, it has a number of programs that it manages for Clay County’s children. When children are removed from their families due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment they need a temporary home, or foster care. When returning home is not possible, then KFF must terminate parental rights and find a forever family through adoption for that child. Additionally, they provide post-adoption support, preventative programs, and independent living services for children aging out of the foster care system into adulthood. Ernie feels that in Clay County we really need a combined resource directory to better coordinate resources and prevent duplication of services.  If you would like to connect with KFF contact Ernie at

Sonya Maness-Turner joined us as a newcomer to the area and is very interested in finding a position with a nonprofit in Clay or Duval County. Among her many experiences, she has been a community builder for the United Way in Jacksonville, Executive Director of the YWCO in Laurel, MS, and Finance Assistant for the Carson Tahoe Health Systems in Carson City, NV. Please contact Sonya if you can connect her to a nonprofit opportunity in our area at

Sandy Coffey is a regular Shaping Clay meeting attendee and is on the Board of Trustees for the Clay County Library System and a Friend of the Orange Park Library. We benefit from Sandy’s insight about how information is shared with the public through our library network. If you’d like to find out more about our library facilities and other resources that could benefit your organization, please contact Sandy at

Andrea Richardson runs an incredible health-focused program called Creation Health. Danneley Duval joined us from the Department of Health, Clay County. They both have health programs that can be of great benefit to the community, but need to have better ways to get the word out. Both may have a program that could be of value to the clients you serve. You may contact Andrea at Danneley can be reached at

Rachel Walker is with the Adult and Continuing Education program for the Clay County Schools. Among her responsibilities, she works with individuals who are getting their GED. She is very interested in finding out what skills companies are looking for so that the students she works with can get a job when they finish their studies. Rachel can be reached at

While not at our meeting, Leah Donelan from the Nonprofit Center has shared that they have a number of programs that can be shared at upcoming Shaping Clay meetings. Please let me know which program(s) you would like to attend this year.

1.    State of the Nonprofit Sector (including fundraising trends) for Clay County after February.

2.    Developing and Managing Your Volunteers.

3.    Building an Effective Board of Directors

4.    Budget Basics

5.     Development 101

6.     Advocacy 101

7.     Running an Effective Meeting

We decided that there was a lot of interest among the meeting attendees to talk about our much needed resource directory. Therefore, at or January 27th we are going to assemble all the resources that we can to explore what steps we can take to move toward a resource directory for Clay County. Suggested contacts included: Bob Arnold of United Way, Eldersource, Library, Reinhold Foundation, Orange Park Medical Center, Mercy Support Services, Public Safety, and Emergency Operations Center. Please join us and invite anyone who would like to have input to the content or process of creating a resource directory.

In addition to topics suggested by the Nonprofit Center, the following are notes from our February 2016 Shaping Clay meeting, which includes suggested topics for meetings. What topics are important for us to discuss during 2017?

February 2016 Meeting Notes: 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.
  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!