My name is Bertram Cooper and I have been given the privilege of starting a community outreach program, that we are calling Community SEEDS. This non-profit organization (501(c) 3), will provide programs and services to our area residents. Sadly, too many of our neighbors fall into the category of being disadvantaged, poor or underserved. A recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau (ACS) indicated that: 14% of the county’s population live below the poverty line and more than 17% of our children, under the age of 18 lives in poverty. THAT’S TOO MANY-IN A LAND THAT HAS SO MUCH! By using the combined resources of our communities, Community SEEDS will help people get back on their feet, by planting hope and creating a strong root system that will withstand the storms of life.
Community SEEDS operates as a clearing house for area churches, to serve the economically disadvantaged, poor and underserved people of our area, with emergency assistance and programs to empower & encourage them to become self-sufficient! We want our communities to be a place where “there are no needy people among us” (Acts 4:34)
This letter is an appeal to you, to help us in our efforts to serve those in need? No family should be cold during the winter or go without food, clothing and needed prescriptions. No one should go without the programs or information they need, to get a good job, get back on their feet and give back to our community! It takes a strong root system to grow healthy plants and a strong support base to grow healthy communities…Community SEEDS wants to provide that support base, by offering the aforementioned services and programs. However, to do so, we need financial assistance at the highest level. People in rural American need hope and help! We need to provide these resources to our communities, so they too, can experience some portion of the American dream (home ownership, financial stability, job training, affordable healthcare, helpful educational program etc.). It’s hard to have success stories when families are worried about food, jobs, health, housing, safety, proper clothing, utility payment, educational deficiencies etc.
We will not only provide resources for people, we will teach them how to be resourceful. We are not interested in creating a culture of people dependant on programs. We will hold them accountable, create a plan for their long-range success, track their progress, and teach them valuable skills that will make them “marketable.” It will be our privilege to serve the less fortunate, but we will not serve as an agency to “disable” them with programs only. Grace is important, but only when coupled with accountability.
In addition to the aforementioned services and programs to our community, the Emergency Management Team and American Red Cross, of our area have visited our 8 acre facility and have determined that we would be an excellent disaster shelter, in case a catastrophe caused our neighbors to seek refuse. Our campus provides: a fully working gymnasium with restrooms, kitchen and numerous additional inside rooms, an operating maintenance facility (over 5,000 sq ft), a main building with 20 classrooms, full kitchen, food and clothing shelter, and computer lab. There is also, 4 acres of open land for evacuees to house animals brought with them during evacuation.
We are confident that if you embraces our vision of “helping the less fortunate "and assisting with disaster relief, that together we will sow seeds of success, one family at a time. Thus allowing our communities to not just grow, but flourish! Please allow us to have further dialogue with your office to discuss our services, programs and needs.
In HIS grace,
2012 State of SEEDS Letter
Blessings in the Name of our Savior-Jesus The Christ!
We had a phenomenal 2011! God showed up in a major way and we are so thankful. All of our programs and services are “healthy,” we have by far the best volunteers on the planet and we have served over 2,000 clients over the past 18 months!
We learned a lot in 2011…We learned that:
People are kind!
No doubt, this past year was one of tremendous financial challenge for many. Economic conditions made it necessary for many to make careful choices about how to spend, save, and give their resources. But, that being said, God has surrounded us with incredibly kind neighbors…We want to thank all of you that participated in one way or the other in supporting this ministry and mission. Some of you went above and beyond anything we could have imagined! Please continue to pray for us and if you’d like to be part of serving others, come volunteer.
The needs are enormous!
We are so blessed that we get to serve God’s people every day. But I must confess, sometimes it’s overwhelming. “But God, (who) commendeth his love toward us,” provided for all those that came with legitimate needs. We will continue to serve our community’s needy with: food, clothing, emergency rent and utility assistance, lifestyle classes and the message of hope from the Word of God.
It was a season of "First!"
* First time the annual Hunt County Thanksgiving offering was given to Community SEEDS (50% to us-50% to Hope Center in Greenville)-Sponsored by Hunt County Ministerial Alliances
* First time the annual Hunt County Christmas offering was given to Community SEEDS (50/50 with Hope Center)-Sponsored by Hunt Baptist Association
(This was very humbling for us)
The future is bright!
This past year saw the beginning of several new programs, services and classes