December 2016 Meeting Invite

Friday, December 2nd

8:30am -10:00am

Come one, come all Shaping Clay members to join us for the last Shaping Clay meeting for 2016. We’ll meet at St. Vincent’s in Middleburg from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. There will be no heavy discussion, just networking and the opportunity for those who wish to share highlights about your organization’s accomplishments during the year.

If there is any confusion, for those who missed the May meeting, we decided to more clearly define the mission and goals of Clay’s two nonprofit networks – The Clay SafetyNet Alliance and Shaping Clay. We looked to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for a model.

The Clay SafetyNet Alliance (previously known as the Mercy Network) is to expand the platform of committed partners among faith-based, nonprofit, for-profit and local government organizations. This network meets regularly (the third Thursday of the month) in order to share resources, avoid duplication of effort, and find solutions to issues facing our community. It focuses on strengthening a safety net for those in need of social services.

Shaping Clay is a network of nonprofits which provide programs and resources to enrich, educate and/or entertain the lives of those within our county. We invite all stakeholders to join us (usually the last Friday of the month) as we reach out to leverage our efforts and find ways to help us all ‘get the word out’, a common challenge faced by many organizations. Among our meeting topics we focused on mental health, veteran services, and senior services, with each of these resulting in councils being formed to dig deeper. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for 2017.
We’d love to have all Shaping Clay members join us on December 2nd at 8:30 am at St. Vincent’s in Middleburg. Please invite anyone who you feel would like to attend. This will be a great opportunity to find what other organizations are doing and see if there are ways to partner.
Bring lots of business cards to exchange.
Shaping Clay Meeting Information 
– Meeting Location, St. Vincent’s Middleburg

– Arrive by 8:15 to purchase your own refreshments at the St. Vincent’s cafe, then walk down the hall to the meeting.

– A $2 donation at the door helps to cover website and marketing costs.

Connect our organizations via Facebook. The more active we are using social media, the more we will get our story out and get supported. Consider not just posting an upcoming event, but share photos and information about what happened during and after the event.  

What Is Shaping Clay?

Shaping Clay is a community-building network focused on making Clay County, Florida a better place to live, work, learn, and play.

During 2017 we are poised to venture into some new territory. We want to explore how our nonprofits can collaborate with a variety of other stakeholders in Clay County. Some of these other groups / topics previously identified during our meetings include: Libraries, Agriculture, Emergency Planning, Education, Legislators, Government, Speaker’s Bureau, Storytelling, Volunteer Directory, Event Directory, and Resource Directory.

We meet the last Friday of each month. Check back on the website to find out the next meeting’s topic, confirm our meeting location or scroll down to review notes from our previous meetings.

Also feel free to contact one of us with questions or suggestions relative to past or upcoming meetings.

Peace and Joy  

From your Shaping Clay Team 

Karen Wintress



April 2016 – Agriculture in Clay County

Come join us for our April 29 meeting from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent’s in Middleburg. We scheduled this right after the Agricultural Fair to learn of any things that we could do to build upon on this great community event. We want to highlight organizations, resources, and best practices in getting food from the farm to the table, ways to eliminate food deserts and support our local growers, explore school and community gardens, and provide continuing support to our food banks.

We will have a roundtable discussion about the role and impact of agriculture in Clay County. We are reaching out to all stakeholders, some may regularly work together, others may never have actually sat down together. We want to explore what each organization does in this arena, any challenges that we face, and how through knowing about and supporting each other we can leverage our impact. Examples of groups that we’d like to see represented include: farmers, master gardeners, community / school gardens, 4-H, food (pantries, rescue, deserts), food curriculum (e.g. high school academies), the Clay Agricultural Fair, Amazing Grace Crop Maze, UF/IFAS Extension, the faith-based community, any others who’d like to join us, and of course regular Shaping Clay attendees.

Clay County will continue to grow as the Expressway is finished and new people and businesses move in. Are there things we should consider to support our farms and other agriculturally-related businesses? How do we reduce the amount of people who are hungry? Is there existing curriculum about nutrition and food options that could be shared more broadly so that we all can make healthier choices? What opportunities are there for young people (K-college) to learn more about our incredible agricultural resources? What role do the churches and other nonprofits have in this arena? For those who can’t attend, send information via email ahead of time to Karen Wintress, and we’ll share it with the group.
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Mar 2016 – Libraries and Nonprofits Working Together

We went into our meeting with the following intent – to explore how the libraries and nonprofits in Clay County can support each other’s missions, goals, and projects. What services or facilities can the libraries offer to our organizations or clients? Are there any new programs that the libraries would like to sponsor or co-sponsor with any of the nonprofits? How can the nonprofits help support our libraries? Does the library see any role in assisting with county-wide projects such as a Resource Directory or Speakers Bureau?

And following are the notes from a very lively discussion between our Clay Library professionals representing the Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, and Orange Park branches, Friends of the Library, and the Library Board of Trustees, and Shaping Clay nonprofits.

It became apparent almost immediately that a common refrain echoed throughout our entire discussion – how to get the word out. While it was expressed in different ways, the challenge we all face is having people know what we do, how they can access us, and for some, even that we exist.

Our libraries shared these comments. They are expected to do more with less as some of their funding has been reduced by 60% over the last 5 years. Not only do they need to add books and other information resources, but also need to expand computer labs and Wi-Fi service, and are faced with some of the facilities that are aging and need updates.

In terms of providing resources for the community, among the library’s many initiatives, three major ones are 1) to get teens into the library, 2) to work with the schools and families to engage students in summer reading programs to prevent the ‘summer slide’ or drop off of grades, 3) and to support a love of life-long learning throughout the community. The libraries hold many events throughout each month, but not everyone who could benefit from these programs hears about them.

The libraries have meeting rooms which are used, but often are underutilized. On April 7, Saint Leo University is presenting a five-hour Compassion Fatigue Training Seminar held at the Orange Park Library. Saint Leo expressed an interest in further exploring the use of the library’s meeting rooms, since their space on the St. Johns River State College campus is tight

Clay County Literacy Coalition wants to expand throughout all of Clay County and will explore working even more closely with the libraries. Presently 80 volunteers are working with 100 adult students who are learning English or getting their GED. However, most efforts have been in the Orange Park area, and they are now prepared to reach out throughout all of Clay County.

The Shepherd Center expressed frustration that people still don’t know who they are or what they do. This nonprofit has been in Orange Park for 22 years. It strives to improve the quality of life for adults over 55 with educational programming focused on health and wellness.

Molina Healthcare too offers many services that are not well known. As part of their commitment to serving the community they are compiling a resource guide of services that are provided which will be distributed throughout the state. Contact if you want to find out more and be represented in their Resource Guide.

The Florida Department of Health / Clay County’s major emphasis is on driving improvements for overall population health in Clay County. Of course the health of each individual adds up to our community’s overall health. This organization too is continually exploring ways to get the word out about healthy choices, behaviors, and lifestyles.

Community Hospice does a lot of outreach in the community, but many people still don’t understand hospice care and the level of support they provide to the entire family, including children’s programs. They are yet another example of getting the word out. Mercy Support Services is fairly well known in the community and the call center connects requests for assistance to service providers throughout Clay County.

We then brainstormed a variety of ideas about how to help us all get the word out throughout Clay County.

  1. It was noted several times that the Reinhold Foundation has an excellent directory of nonprofits, but organizations need to regularly update their information.
  2. Explore with Clay Electric and Clay Utility Authority whether messages can be included with their bills or in the newsletters they send out to residents and businesses.
  3. Make it a goal to participate in the next Clay County Agricultural Fair by having a table or booth. One way to accomplish this is to join the Clay County Chamber and participate with their table.
  4. Hold community nonprofit and/or volunteer fairs. These could be held in conjunction with the community’s Farmers’ Markets. They would have to be held in several locations in order to reach everyone – Orange Park, Keystone Heights, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, and Middleburg.
  5. Coordinate a speaker’s bureau, an idea which has been raised several times at Shaping Clay meetings. We believe that we could start small and approach this as a joint-venture between the libraries, Shaping Clay, and seek involvement of the Clay Chamber, as well as other stakeholders. The library would consider hosting lunch and learn programs in their meeting rooms as a start. It was clearly stated that these would be informational programs and not sales pitches. It was further discussed how these could evolve into more in-depth panel discussions.
  6. There are great events sponsored by various organizations, but there is no one place to find out about them. If you are not on a specific email list, then it’s unlikely you’ll hear about them. Here are a few examples of events and their sponsors within a couple week period.
  • Clay Florida 5 Year Plan Presentation – Clay Economic Development Corporation
  • Clay County Water Summit – Clay County Chamber
  • Non-Profit Appreciation Event – Clay County Chamber
  • Clay Safety-Net Alliance Meeting – Formerly Mercy Network
  • Clay County CHIP Release Meeting – Florida Department of Health / Clay County
  • Rotary 501 Run, Expo, and Car Show – Orange Park Rotary
  • Compassion Fatigue Training Seminar – Saint Leo University
  • Business and Educator Networking Social – Clay County Chamber

We will explore if there is one place that all of the events from various organizations can be posted. And better yet, if summary slides or notes are released after an event, to add them to the event directory. Challenges will include how to navigate through a large collection of events if you are only interested in specific topics. The libraries are updating their website and agreed to explore if they could serve as the central ‘online place’ to post these events. We also discussed how to define ways that we can post each other’s events when appropriate.

There were 6 great ideas floated at our meeting. To all those who attended, and to those who weren’t able to join us, we need volunteers to step up and join us if we are to move any or all of these forward. Please contact Doug Greenberg at or Karen Wintress at to let us know what initiative you’d like to contribute to. Also, if any key points were missed in these notes, please let us know.

While we didn’t discuss this at our meeting, here’s a great website that we should be aware of: It includes hundreds of activities for families and kids in Clay and Bradford counties. Katy Hall would love to hear from anyone who has activities to add to her site at, and it costs nothing to add them. I’ll make sure that she is checking out the library website for activities.

Please plan to join us for our next meeting on April 29, 8:30 – 10:30 back at St. Vincent’s in Middleburg. We are going to celebrate our Clay Agricultural Fair by finding out more about agriculture, food (recovery, pantries, deserts), school or other curriculum about nutrition, and ways that the nonprofits, agriculture, and other stakeholders can work together to support this very important sector of Clay County.

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

Jan 2016 – Clay Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

At our January 29 meeting the focus was on health initiatives and resources in Clay County. We reviewed the CHIP (Clay Health Improvement Plan) implementation plan introduced earlier in January.

According to the 2016 County Health Rankings Report for Florida released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, out of 67 counties in Florida, here’s where Clay County ranks.

Clay County Health Rankings

Here’s a link to read the full report.

Here’s a link to Clay County:

Workgroups have been formed for each health issue that was identified as high priority in Clay County:

  • Mental Health,
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle/Prevention,
  • Healthcare Access.

Anyone who would like to contribute to these efforts is welcome to participate. In order to find out more about each group – who’s participating, what has already been discussed, and when each group will meet next, contact Emily Suter of the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida at or Jose Morales of the Florida Department of Health / Clay County at

In order to read the full CHIP report – copy this link into your browser:

Copies of the newly released Clay County Quality of Life Report were handed out at our meeting. Check it out at:,357. You can obtain a hard copy of the report at the Clay Chamber office. This 2015 Second Edition updates the initial report published in 2008 and is a guide for building a better community. Everyone is encouraged to read it as it provides a high-level review of where we stand in the 10 areas of: Arts & Culture, Economy, Education, Health, Public Safety, Recreation, Environment, Governance, Social Well-Being, and Transportation.

Samantha of ILRC (Independent Living Resource Center) led our discussion by noting that her agency is challenged because while it serves people with disabilities, they represent a broad spectrum of income brackets and age ranges. Consequently there is not a one-size fits all response, rather they must be able to match the appropriate resources for each individual.

Teresa head of the Penney Retirement Community (PRC) shared that she has brought a physician into the community and is looking for ways to connect this resource to the broader community. While the residents at PRC are retired and need health care, many come from professional fields, are very active, and volunteer in many ways in the community.

Joseph, a student at Saint Leo and active member of the Navy based at Mayport told us of an innovative program that is looking to provide ‘tiny houses’ for our veterans.

Sandy a Board of Trustee member of the Clay County Library reminds us that we should remember when delivering services and seeking ways to make connections in the community, the library is a caring and supportive environment. It is a place where people feel safe to come and gives those without access to the Internet a place to do so.

Mitzi from Community Hospice which provides palliative care for patients and their families noted that health care access is impacted in her organization due to a shortage of nurses. Also they are challenged in letting people know about the availability and benefit of using their services.

Leteja from the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency works to develop self-sufficiency in its customers by providing guidance in education, work, and financial resources. Their intake interview process is only about 15 minutes and they are challenged when working with someone that has a mental health issue. There is a stigma that comes with mental health issues.

Christy from the Quigley House let us know that they too find that some are still not aware of the services they provide for domestic abuse and sexual assault victims. They conduct in the workplace presentations to get the word out. In terms of providing services they are presently challenged because of having only one counselor on staff.

Anna from the Council on Aging, which serves people age 60 and above or disabled has 4 senior centers and through Clay Transit provides transportation throughout the county for everyone. They provide in-home health services, adult day care, companion and respite care, meals-on-wheels, and energy assistance and are a referring agency for groups sitting around the table. See notes at the end about the Clay County Senior Services Coalition which formed from our July 2015 Shaping Clay meeting on seniors.

Emily and Vultheara from the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida gave us an update on the CHIP meeting that has already taken place and what’s upcoming. There are three initiatives that were identified by the Unhealthy Lifestyle / Prevention Group.

  1. Focusing on healthy weight for children and adults.
  2. Looking at health in the built environment, such as walkability.
  3. Implementing health policies in schools such as distributing candy as a reward should be replaced and taking away recess and phys ed are not helpful in reinforcing a healthy lifestyle.

Heather, head of the Florida Department of Health / Clay County observed that being new to Clay County there is no one source for information about available resources. She suggests that such a resource directory include what is being provided, who’s providing it, and the eligibility requirements. It was noted that accessibility doesn’t mean that it’s not available; it may mean that eligibility requirements are not being met. Jose also from the Department noted that access to mental health services, especially pediatric are limited, resulting in long waiting times.

Anna from the Way Free Medical Clinic reiterated that while they serve many in the community, there are people who need their services, but can’t get there due to lack of transportation.

Rachelle from Baptist Health would like to see us support mental health the way we do cancer. At one time cancer was stigmatized, but has come to the forefront and receives lots of support. Why not the same for mental health?

Allie from Big Brothers / Big Sisters noted that many of the children they connect with mentors are from single parent families. The problems that we see with children are reflective of what’s going on with the parents at home.

Doug from the Clay County Literacy Coalition reminded us of the importance of literacy in maintaining health. For example if you can’t read your prescription this can cause problems. Literacy is an important first step in being healthy.

Karen from Utility Bill Checkup shared about Creation Health, an exciting holistic health program that is being held Tuesday nights at the Barco-Newton Family YMCA in Fleming Island from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. It costs $25 to register and classes are free. The eight sessions include choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook, and nutrition and one can join at any time. Andre Van Heerden is the coordinator and we are looking for more facilitators and additional locations to hold this program in Clay County.

Open discussion resulted in the following suggestions / comments.

  1. The need for a resource directory is high priority, but one of the challenges is keeping it updated. Adding eligibility requirements would make it much more useful.
  2. How can we use grocery stores, CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacies to help spread the word about healthy choices and behaviors?
  3. The CDC’s Worksite Health ScoreCard can be very useful to employers. From the website it explains that “this tool is designed to help employers assess whether they have implemented science-based health promotion and protection interventions in their worksites to prevent heart disease, stroke, and related health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.” Go here to check it out:
  4. We need to be more politically active, to generate awareness and support from our elected officials.
  5. We need to find ways to make a difference and the earlier the better.

Here is an update to what’s going on at the Clay County Senior Services Coalition. Anyone interested in working on these or other senior issues is encouraged to contact Shereen Snare at the Council on Aging who is coordinating this group.

This group is dedicated to identifying and working on hard issues that affect senior aged adults in Clay County. In September of 2015, the group identified the following 4 items as priority issues facing seniors in Clay County:

  1. Housing
  2. Food Insecurity
  3. Transportation
  4. Lack of Knowledge of Services that ARE available

The group began a conversation about the need to expand ways to reach seniors and their families for those that are not always plugged into traditional forms of media or advertising. This included:

  • Community –wide Outreach
  • The faith community, inclusive of church leadership, and pastors
  • The Medical Board
  • Addressing those 40+ that are seeing their parents ‘age out’”


January 2015 – Our Ideas For Sharing And Doing

At our January 30th meeting the focus was on ideas for sharing and doing.

Shaping Clay January Each of us provided a quick introduction to his or her organization. This gave us all a better understanding of each agency’s target audience and mission.

Next, we split into 3 groups and each shared the top needs of our organization. Many highlighted similar needs such as not having enough volunteers or funding, the challenges in attracting board members, challenges in getting the word out about how our organization benefits the community, and ways to get the community engaged in our efforts.

We then brainstormed about how to tackle these challenges. Participants identified others in the room to work with that they had not thought about collaborating with before. This discussion flowed easily into identifying which groups were not represented at the meeting, but could add to our efforts. We’d like to see members of the clergy since they are so well connected to people and know needs within our communities. Also we’d like to see the media, our communities’ storytellers working with us. We started to explore how we might work with the radio. Another group that we’d like to work with are colleges such as St. Leo University and St. Johns River State College.

Jan 2015 MtgLook for a survey to arrive soon via email. We want your ideas for ways that Shaping Clay can grow and support the nonprofit organizations within Clay County. We want to make sure that our meetings provide value – a place to learn, network, and guide us all to turn ideas into action.

Thank you for the community leadership and support in Clay County. See you on February 27th at 8:30-10:00 a.m. at St. Vincent’s Clay County.

Peace and Joy

    From your Shaping Clay Team

Karen Wintress        Samantha Bane            Doug Greenberg         Jackie Kujala
609-933-2666           904-881-6697                904-272-5988             904-449-4957

Jan 2015 MtgJan 2015 Mtg Jan 2015 Mtg

Welcome 2015! New Meeting Location.

Upcoming Meeting
Friday, January 30, 2015 

8:30 am -10:00 am

New Year with a New Location: 

St. Vincent’s Health Care

1545 Branan Field Road
Middleburg, FL 32068

   Registration Button - Click here

At our holiday meeting on Friday, December 5th, we welcomed our new Steering Committee!

Douglas Greenberg, Clay Literacy Coalition (Coordinator)

Samantha Bane, Independent Living Resource Center (Marketing)

Jackie Kujala, Guardian ad Litem (Hospitality)

Karen Wintress, Utility Bill Check Up (Communication)

We also said farewell and thank you to our outgoing Steering Committee!
Catrine Fredrikson, Rotary Club
Christy Fitzgerald, Rotary Club; Owner, Conquer the Chaos
Amy Parker, Reinhold Foundation
Lee Sackett, CJ Acres Animal Rescue
Beth Eifert, Community Coach, Nonprofit Center

Each Steering Committee member – new and outgoing –
was given a clay angel made by local artist, Michael
Higbe. The clay represents the county they serve; the 
angel represents their guardianship; and the heart
signifies the compassion they – and all nonprofit
champions – bring to the world. Thank you ALL for your
service!! !

We also took time that morning to network, laugh, share
stories, and give away door prizes. It was a nice way to
bring the year to a close.

A big thank you you to Susan and Brian McInnis (CPAs with The McInnis Company), who generously provided the breakfast.

What will Shaping Clay bring in 2015!

– New Meeting Location, St. Vincent’s Clay County

– Arrive by 8:15 to purchase your own refreshments at the St. Vincents cafe, then walk down the hall to the meeting.

-The new format will be networking-focused. Please come prepared to talk about your organization! A $2 donation at the door helps to cover website and marketing costs.

-After January’s meeting a survey will be sent to receive feedback regarding the new meeting location & food.

Thanks so much and see you on January 30th at 8:30-10:00 a.m. at St. Vincent’s Clay County.

Peace and joy,

Samantha Bane

Coordinator, Shaping Clay Helping Professionals’ Group


Our Next Meeting is December 5th!

There is no November meeting. We are joining our November and December meetings into one holiday meeting on Friday, December 5, 2014. We will meet 8:30 am -10:00 am at the Orange Park Library .

Holiday networking and celebration: come meet and welcome our new Steering Committee members!

On Friday morning, December 5th, we’ll have a LOT to celebrate:

– we’ll say goodbye and “thank you” to the members of our very first Steering Committee who have served for the past 4 years: Catrine Fredrikson, Chisty Fitzgerald, Amy Parker, Lee Sackett, and myself;

– we’ll welcome and thank our new Steering Committee members who will be introduced that day;

– we’ll network and celebrate the wonderful gifts that we each – as nonprofit champions – have individually and collectively shared with Clay County throughout the past year;

– and we’ll talk about what the new year – and new committee – will bring to Shaping Clay in 2015!

Shaping Clay members, Susan and Brian McInnis (CPAs with The McInnis Company), have generously offered to provide breakfast that morning, so our individual $5 donations will be collected and given to one lucky organization during our door prize drawing that morning! Other door prizes will also be given that day, as well!  If you would like to donate a door prize, or know of anyone who would, please email me and/or bring it along that day. And please feel free to bring a friend!

Thanks so much and see you on December 5th, 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the OP Library!

Peace and joy –


Beth Eifert
Coordinator, Shaping Clay Helping Professionals’ Group

Lessons Learned – October Meeting


Zac West, Area Director for Young Life, spent time with Young Life in Africa. Using this global lens, Zac described how this experience shaped his life and his views toward relationships and collaboration. He shared the top 5 lessons he learned during his 5 years with Young Life in Africa. These lessons rival the advice that can be found in any top leadership book. They include:

  1. Make sure to ask your target community, “how can I help YOU,” rather than attempting to impose your own agenda on them. Based on local needs, Zac and his wife often filled in as coaches, teachers, counselors, and farmers.
  2. Don’t be afraid of needing others. If you go in thinking you’re the hero, you’ll deprive others of the blessing to help.
  3. Keep in mind that your project/organization is not the most important thing happening in your target community. Take time to first listen and understand – and then help.
  4. Think of helping the whole person: body, mind and spirit
  5. “Haraka haraka haina baraka:” This is a Swahili proverb that means “The fast way is the slow way,” so be prepared to take deep breaths, go slowly, and take the time to build things that will last forever.

Young Life is a non-denominational global organization that is consistently rated 5-stars on the Guidestar website. Its aim is to double its impact by 2016, touching the lives of 2,000,000 kids annually, world-wide.