IRT Breaks Ground at MTK’s Camp Kamaasa

May 2018 | NEWSLETTER of the IRT (Innovating Readiness Training)
COMMUNITY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

Mississippi’s Camp Kamassa
Military Training Mission Builds Camp for Children with Special Needs

Mrs. Mary Kitchens, Co-Founder and Director, Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation
“With the wonderful help of the men and women of the Air Force Reserve and National Guard, through the IRT program, children in Mississippi with special needs will soon have a great place to attend camp. We are so very thankful to the IRT for their invaluable assistance.”

The Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program began construction of Camp Kamassa in April. During this multi-year mission, the IRT program will build the first special needs camp in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, for the Mississippi’s Toughest Kids (MTK) Foundation. The IRT mission brings together service members from the Air Force Reserve and Air Guard to train on mission-essential tasks, including construction, dirt work, engineering, plumbing, and pest management. Building Camp Kamassa provides the military hands-on, multi-trade construction experience, while simultaneously creating an opportunity for children with special needs to experience summer camp.

The myriad of construction training opportunities at Camp Kamassa makes it an ideal mission for IRT. Military engineers develop a variety of skills, including the ability to manufacture structures from wilderness environments during overseas contingency operations. “We like to get projects that cover all components of construction,” said Chief Master Sergeant Todd Jones, IRT Project Manager assigned to Air Force Reserve Command, “and IRT will be involved in all aspects of constructing Camp Kamassa from cradle to grave.” Service members began the dirt work— clearing land and building roads— for the first phase of the project, and by the end of the summer will install water and sewage lines, dig a well, and build eight cabins. During this project, scheduled to last three years, service members will build a cafeteria, covered sidewalk, and an infirmary capable of providing care for the campers’ unique health concerns.

Kamassa, a Chocktaw word meaning “tough and perseverant,” describes the ones the camp serves—children living with disabilities, life-threatening illnesses, or other hardships. “We envisioned a year-round camp facility with activities like horseback riding, a ropes course, and canoeing that would be handicap-accessible,” said Mrs. Mary Kitchens, MTK’s co-founder and director. Kitchens wanted to build a permanent camp that was accessible to her target audience and had specialized medical facilities. “Without the IRT program, we could not afford to build the camp,” said Mrs. Kitchens, “thanks to the IRT program, thousands of children will have a camp designed to meet their unique medical needs while giving them a camp experience filled with fun, adventure, and discovery.”

Congratulations, Dr. Sharon Griffin!

Sharon Griffin, Director of Volunteers at Mississippi Children’s Museum, was recently awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education from Jackson State University. DOVIA Members across the state join in congratulating you on this amazing achievement, Dr. Griffin!

Congratulations, 2018 DOVIA Officers!

Thanks, everybody for a wonderful DOVIA Mini-Conference at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science! (Special thanks to Ann Taylor at MMNS for hosting us!)

Congratulations to the newly-elected officers for 2018:

President: Stacy Crain (Jackson Zoo)
VP for Programs: Susan Branson (MS Children’s Museum)
VP for Membership: Lisa Kent (Volunteer)
VP for Marketing: Michele Baker (Crossroads Film Festival)
Treasurer: Dr. Fran Baker (Born Free of Mississippi)
Secretary: Adina Welker (Alzheimer’s Association of MS)

The officers will meet in December to plan the 2018 program.

Congratulations, Michele Baker, on your GIVE Award!

DOVIA’s own Michele Baker, CVA was honored with the GIVE Award for a Volunteer Management Professional.

The Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards Luncheon was held on April 11 at the MIssissippi Museum of Art. Every year, Volunteer Mississippi, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, honors the accomplishments of Mississippians who have given exemplary volunteer service to their communities. GIVE Award recipients are presented with a beautiful award while their inspiring stories are shared.

October 2015: Check out the newly updated Archives and Membership Listing!

Hello, DOVIA Friends!

Hope we’ve seen you at recent DOVIA meetings, but just in case you weren’t able to make it, be sure to check out the meeting notes – and supplementary materials – from select 2015 meetings in the Archives.

Also check out out newly updated Membership Listing.  Please join me in a very special welcome to new members who joined since the summer: Stacy Crain (Jackson Zoo), Kelli Nicholson (Hospice Advantage – Jackson) and Tara Lindsey (Stewpot Community Services).

The final meeting of 2015 will be November 19 at 8:15 AM at Manship House Museum.  We haven’t updated DOVIA’s strategic plan since 2013, so join us to see what we said we wanted to do (see the 2013 Strategic Plan here), and help us choose what we will do in 2016.  DOVIA will also hold elections for 2016 officers that day – watch your emails for a chance to nominate an officer – and enjoy some delicious holiday snacks. Be sure to attend!

NOTES: May 21, 2015 Field Trip to MS Museum of Natural Science

Special thanks to Ann Taylor and Karen at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science for this morning’s amazing and FUN behind-the-scenes tour of the aquariums at the Museum!  (We had planned a meditation walk in the garden, but wet weather and muddy, swampy grounds changed our plans a bit.)  Thanks, too, for the delicious breakfast!

NOTES:

  • Born Free update:  799 Flag Chapel Road (former site of Born Free’s residential program) is FOR SALE.  Contact Fran Baker at 601-278-4460 to inquire.
  • Good Samaritan Center’s annual fundraiser, a golf ball drop from a hot air balloon, is coming up on July 4!  To purchase a ball for charity, visit www.goodsamaritancenter.org
  • Center for Pregnancy Choices is holding its fundraiser, a Tri-athalon Sprint.  Visit www.iamathlete.com
  • On Sept. 9, Tougaloo College is holding its Community Service Fair from 10:00 – 11:30 AM.  The same day, Tougaloo is hosting a Community Service and Partnership Development Workshop. DOVIA is co-sponsoring this Workshop.
  • Mississippi Boychoir auditions begin August 1.  No previous singing experience required; just a love of singing and a willingness to learn. Open to boys aged 6-18. Sign up for a free audition here: www.mississippiboychoir.org
  • Department of Archives and History is offering Kids’ Camps in June – July. Sign up quick at http://mdah.state.ms.us/new/learn/students/kids-camps/
  • Kris Beatty, director of Volunteer Greater Jackson (http://volunteergreaterjackson.org/), is seeking stats on volunteering.  Get in touch!
  • “Wolf to Woof” opens May 30 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science; also check out Snake Day on June 2!

Treasurer’s Report:  as of May 20, we have $2,637.37 in the bank

Remember the upcoming workshops sponsored by DOVIA:

  • Grant Writing Made Easy: Financing Your Vision (June 25-26, 2015) – $79 for members
  • Creative Visioning: A Road to Strategic Planning (July 10, 2015) – $49 for members
  • Fundraising 101 (July 17, 2015) – $49 for members
  • Attend all three for just $169!

Fundraising, Planning, and Grant Writing… Oh, My!

Grant Writing Made Easy:  Financing Your Vision

Join Ann Willett for an intensive look at writing proposals – two days of tips, tricks, and in-depth information will bring you that much closer to financing your vision!  Bring a laptop and work on your actual proposal!

Ann Willett is a seasoned grant writer, fundraiser, and marketing consultant with nearly 40 years in the nonprofit sector. She has served as Development Director, Marketing Director, and as an Executive Director before retiring to sunny Florida to spend time at the beach.

Grant Writing Made Easy: Financing Your Vision
Thursday & Friday, June 25-26, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day
895 Manship St.
Jackson, MS  39202
Google map directions here
$79 for paid DOVIA members
$109 for general public

To register for this class, call 601-497-7908 or reply to this email.  $25 deposit required to hold your space (balance due first day of class).  Classes limited to first 15 participants, so send your deposit today!

 

Creative Visioning:  A Road to Strategic Planning

A unified strategic vision is vital to the success of any nonprofit. Learn how to get your board “on board” and how to create a living strategic plan that will grow and shape your organization, not just gather dust on a closet shelf!

Ann Willett is a seasoned grant writer, fundraiser, and marketing consultant with nearly 40 years in the nonprofit sector. She has served as Development Director, Marketing Director, and as an Executive Director before retiring to sunny Florida to spend time at the beach.

Creative Visioning:  A Road to Strategic Planning
Friday, July 10, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
895 Manship St.
Jackson, MS  39202
Google map directions here
$49 for paid DOVIA members
$79 for general public

To register for this class, call 601-497-7908 or reply to this email.  $25 deposit required to hold your space (balance due first day of class).  Classes limited to first 15 participants, so send your deposit today!

 

Fundraising 101

Every nonprofit needs money, so here’s Fundraising 101!  This one-day survey course will introduce several of the major ways nonprofits have raised money, including direct mail, special events, capital campaigns, personal solicitations, and phone solicitations (a great way to involve board members!).  With loads of real-world examples and plenty of time for Q&A, this class is an excellent first step for newbies, or a great refresher for the busy executive.

Derek Alley, CFRE is a seasoned fundraiser who has raised millions of dollars for area nonprofits. Derek owns Arthur Alley Associated, a local fundraising agency.

Fundraising 101
Friday, July 17, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION TBA in Jackson, MS
Google map directions here
$49 for paid DOVIA members
$79 for general public

To register for this class, call 601-497-7908 or reply to this email.  $25 deposit required to hold your space (balance due first day of class).  Classes limited to first 15 participants, so send your deposit today!

Congratulations, Doris Bridgeman, on your GIVE Award!

Dear DOVIA Friends,

Doris_Bridgeman_DOVIA recently nominated Doris Griffith Bridgeman for a 2015 Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award.  Volunteer Mississippi is pleased to announce that its panel of judges has selected Doris to receive the Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer Management Professional award at the annual GIVE Awards Ceremony.

All award recipients were honored at the GIVE Awards Luncheon Ceremony on April 13, 2015 at the Mississippi Museum of Art.  The luncheon also featured award recipients’ photos and stories in the program booklet, a poster and slide presentation, and speeches by the winners.

Congratulations, Doris, on this much-deserved achievement!