COMMUNITIES OF SHALOM INC

Rating: 4.78 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: PO Box 414 Fairmont WV 26555 USA

Mission:

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a pastor of a local congregation, I have long felt that the problem with churches is primarily the pastors. Pastors oftentimes fail to cooperate with each other because they feel that they are in competition with other pastors. As a consequence, they are attempting to build up their own fiefdom, as opposed to building up the kingdom. If churches could only work together, we could accomplish so much more than we currently do. This also includes our local Council of Churches.

I attended meetings of Communities of Shalom several times before being willing to be a part of the Board. My reason for joining is that I found that Shalom was actually doing something, rather than just talking about doing things.

For the last two years I have participated in Building Bridges and Global Gathering programs. I am also now participating in outreach to International Students at our local college. For the last two years I have participated in Habitat for Humanity, building houses in Mannington and Fairmont.

What I find most helpful about Shalom is their stress on asset-based planning.

Shalom is not just Christian but crosses over into other faith traditions. We participate in celebrating varied faith traditions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've experienced the camaraderie of working side by side with folks of different backgrounds and faith traditions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't really have any constructive criticism on how to change it because I think it is doing so well.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

Marion Shalom is a process in building in many ways. Marion Shalom is all-inclusive in its many objectives. We have wonderful planning retreats where all are heard. We have time of prayer and are deeply concerned over issues that affect many. Respect is also high on our list.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see the challenges that those here experience and how lives have been changed by attending. I personally have grown sine my involvement in Shalom.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We are a varied group. Everyone has such different talents and all the talents we have fit into our program. We use all our talents. I am really proud of the group because we build assets in the community and we are willing to share them with the community.

I'm most proud that we started Teen Court. It is one of the most wonderful things to come out of Shalom.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The deepening of relationships through sharing our stories and traditions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If we had a way of creating more money, we would be able to spend more time evolving the projects we've chosen.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I was a part of the original founding group. I believe in the concept and the principles of Shalom, especially asset-based community development.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The revitalization of Habitat for Humanity, the development of a Teen Court, and the benefits of Building Bridges and Global Gathering. Personally I have been inspired by the holiday gathering and Seder meal.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Employ a coordinator or staff member.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization has played various roles in the community. From Building Bridges to Drug Awareness. It has the potential to impact many lives.

Community Awareness of hate crimes, tolerence, drug/alcohol issues, teens, peace,

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had family members participate in Teen Court. I have attended several of the Building Bridges Conferences

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

A paid coordinator would be a great asset to this organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

It would be wonderful if they had a paid coordinator

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

As someone that does not have very many friends to begin with, I have connected with people from all walks of life, and it has improved my self esteem tremdeously

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt wonderful and very much accepted by those involved or from those who have attended events sponsered by this organization.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with the Marion County Communities of Shalom since in conception in 1998. This small organization has achieved many accomplishments in its brief history. There are five strategic areas we concentrate in: Health and Wellness, Community Spirituality, Re-newing and Rebuilding Community life, Housing and Economical Development. The goal is to empower the community to bring systemic change by recognizing strengths and to build upon those strengths to empower others to make a positive change in the community.

When we first organized as a group, we looked at what were some of the strengths in Marion County. We found from surveys that were taken through out Marion County, that our youth was one of our most important assets. At that time there was a severe problem with the judicial system with youth offenders and how the system was dealing with punishment for these young individuals. We were able to make a change with the system by initiating the Teen Court program here in Marion County. The program was started in 2000 and has become a non-profit 501 (3) organization that is an active court system run by the youth for first time juvenile offenders. This organization that was started by the communities of Shalom has made a positive impact on the youth and the court system to bring systemic change in Marion County.

Another area Communities of Shalom has made a difference is in housing for low income families. In early 1999 Marion County Communities of Shalom recognized the need to reorganize the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate due to lack of proper leadership and funding. The Shalom site took the leadership over and built partnerships to strengthen the organization. We are very pleased to have succeeded in this endeavor to have built ten houses for needy families in Marion County. These are just two examples where the Communities of Shalom have made a difference in Marion County West Virginia.

Marion County Communities of Shalom can be more effective when funding is secure for a full time or part time director. We are a 501 (c3) organization and have qualified persons on the team to write grants and provide leadership but we need to have a person who can take on the daily responsibilities of runing the organization to reach out into the community effectively in doing more to make a difference in Marion County.



I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally seen the results of Communities of Shalom by seeing the youth in Marion County empowered to help solve some of their problems and also witness how families who receive adquate house can improve their lives and beocme productive citizens.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire a full time director!

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization was formed in the wake of a terrible hate crime that left people all over West Virginia shocked and feeling powerless. Those of us from other parts of the state watched as this community came forward with positive action. As a mediator, dedicated to promoting understanding and peaceful resolution of conflict, I was impressed and encouraged to see the way Marion County made collaboration the center of their efforts to educate themselves and their neighbors about living beyond tolerance. I have been asked to speak at their Building Bridges of Respect Conference many times, and have always been eager to donate my time. The crown on their work, for me, is their full and respectful involvement of the youth of their community. This not only recognizes the dignity of their young people in the present, but is an investment that will yield benefits to us all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Each time I attend their conference I'm impressed by the large number of community members taking time from their day to participate and learn. When I'm a speaker, I field questions that show real interest in understanding other people and improving the way their community interacts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

A paid coordinator would be very helpful. The organization has great volunteers as its backbone. Having an accountable person to concentrate on keeping them focused and able to dedicate their gifts to their best use would bolster their impact.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

At Global Gathering I was able to taste a variety of ethnic foods and meet the people from other cultures who prepared it. There was live music, dancing and many display tables that educated me about different cultures represented in the area.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Enjoyment of meeting new people with different backgrounds.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  


I have attended Building Bridges of Respect where I was able to attend interesting workshops about understanding others in the community. I enjoy the display tables there and the craftsmen they invite to show their wares.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I enjoy meeting new people there and stretching my ideas of community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure it had funding.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My community is blessed to have an organization such as Communities of Shalom. Over my entire career, which includes several years as a Social Worker, Substance Abuse therapist, and Teacher, I have never before encountered an organization who so greatly embraces everyone. Communities of Shalom strives to bring people together from all walks of life to work on building a better community. They encourage citizens to get involved at a local level to create change and they provide opportunites for our community to learn and grow.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The acceptance I receive is warm and inviting.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing. I would only try to be more involved. They are doing a great job.

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Review from Guidestar