Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Collaboration: Identifying Resources to Achieve Your Philanthropic Goals



In addition to working together as a group, a major priority of SALT is to involve partner organizations for both our focus groups and World Relief Campaign. We understand that we cannot become experts about the variety of different social justice issues that we cover each year. Collaborations with partner organizations allow for us to have a reliable source for information about the issue and a more direct connection with the community we are serving. Right now in SALT, I am working in the focus group about Mental Health issues (the other focus groups are Random Acts of Kindness, Food Security, and Bullying/Self-Image). Because mental health can encompass such a wide variety of issues, it was important for us to clarify how we want to approach and address these issues in order to give direction to our work. In our discussions about different organizations that work with these concerns, our group decided to partner with the Northwest Indiana Special Education Cooperative (NISEC). This organization works with local schools to coordinate and facilitate educational opportunities for students with disabilities. It is our hope to organize an event in which a group of VU students help out with these children for an afternoon, giving the parents some time off. Our focus group is also working on a testimony night, where a few speakers, who either have a mental illness or are close to someone that does, will talk about their experiences. After that time, students and community members will also be able to come forward and tell about the ways they have been affected by mental health issues.

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