Of cause and direction
Oct 19, 2012 | 396 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Few local residents are not familiar with the visionary work of the Bradley Initiative for Church and Community, and even fewer have never heard of some of the organization’s family-friendly endeavors.

For those very few, here’s a sample of BICC’s ongoing initiatives whose compound purposes include reinvigorating family values and togetherness, reinstating positive connections between parents and children, and helping to prepare young people for future leadership roles whether in community, in civic campaigns, in government or perhaps in churches.

Three BICC programs making a difference include:

1. “Starfish,” which aids parents, as their child’s first and most important teacher, “... to maximize their child’s future success in school and life.”

2. “Transitions,” which engages families in a proactive process “... to strengthen their relationships within the family structure and to help equip them to thrive as they together navigate the challenges of school and life.”

3. “Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (ITLT), which trains and mobilizes middle and high school students “... to become future productive leaders in our community.”

Successful organizations like BICC require several components.

First, they must have magnificent leadership. BICC does. At the helm of this 14-year success story is Brenda Hughes, a Cleveland resident whose belief in community is as well-founded as her convictions that families, schools, parents, government, civic organizations and area churches can indeed work together in reaching out for causes of mutual concern.

Second, they must have committed volunteers whose willingness to serve in unpaid capacities on behalf of their community is as strong as their own sense of personal values. BICC does. The organization is supported by a diverse group of hometown believers.

Three, they must have the buy-in of the very community for which they serve. BICC does, and in a big, big way. As we said, few in our Cleveland and Bradley County community have never heard of this fine organization and the work it does. BICC thrives because of many — individuals, organizations, local government leaders and churches.

Four, they must have a steadfast mission whose outreach is achieved through discipline and vision, the latter of which must be unconditional, yet flexible. BICC does. Vision is actually the very premise on which the group was founded. Those behind its formation believed in a coming time when dysfunctional, and functional, families could again live as a single unit with purpose, with direction ... and most importantly with love.

Five, they must have organized fundraising in order to address their tasks. BICC does. Like any nonprofit organization in today’s times of economic uncertainty, BICC’s budget could stand even more help. But the best, most accountable groups are those that find ways to achieve their purpose by working within their means. Admittedly, it often requires compromise and the ability to improvise. Innovation, creativity and long hours by staff and volunteers are also part of the equation.

This fifth component — fundraising — is our purpose today.

BICC is preparing for its annual banquet. This yearly dinner enjoys two primary purposes. One, it is a celebration of successes from the past year. Two, it is a look into the future and what BICC hopes to accomplish in 2013 and beyond.

And yes, fundraising. The Nov. 5 gathering is also about building resources to make BICC’s work possible.

This year’s celebration — on a Monday night — will get under way at 6:30 p.m. in the beautiful Museum Center at Five Points in downtown Cleveland.

In Sunday’s edition, we will discuss who’s coming to town to help.

In the meantime, those wishing to make reservations may contact BICC at 423-559-1112 or send an email to bhughes@4bicc.net.

Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased no later than Friday, Oct. 26.

We urge those who believe in community, in strengthening family and in paving direction into the future for our children will respond.