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February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

The deepening of relationships through sharing our stories and traditions.

Ways to make it better...

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.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

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

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

Employ a coordinator or staff member.

February 25, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 25, 2011

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.



The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

Hire a full time director!

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

Without a religious congregation connection locally, I feel that my association with the members of Shalom I consider my religious family.

The Great!

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

Increased outreach with my community.

Ways to make it better...

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

Try to increase attendance to the events sponsored by Shalom, which are too good to be missed.

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

I have been a member of Communities of Shalom, Inc. for approximately 7 years. I have volunteered with special projects such as Building Bridges of Respect, Global Gathering, Fund-raisers, and serve as the Treasurer of the organization.

For me, Shalom accentuates the positive in our
community. The group seeks out small projects that have a big impact. For instance, Shalom supported and guided Teen Court into existence.

Shalom also offers a support system to the international students at the local university. We provide an opportunity for them to share their cultures and integrate more with the community.

The Great!

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

How I manage to help the organization do what they do with the few funds they receive. It brings me great joy to do so much with so little.

Ways to make it better...

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

Continue to find a way to broaden the scope of those around the table at Shalom meetings.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Likely

How did you learn about this organization?

Through a friend.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

To have enough funds to hire a full-term coordinator.

What is its top priority in the long run?

For Shalom to be commonly known throughout the community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 21, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 21, 2011

I became involved with Communities of Shalom when I participated in a political forum the organization sponosored. Through this forum, I learned more about the organization and how an interfaith group could do so much with so little. I immediately wanted to become involved.

Communities
of Shalom, Inc. focuses on problems from a different angle -- how can we use the assets already available in the community to make the situation better. It's not throwing money at a problem and walking away from it. It is taking action to assemble the positives to eliminate the negatives.

Of the faith based organizations with which I have been involved, Communities of Shalom is a unified, cooperative organization that I am very pleased to be a part.

The Great!

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

The establishment of Teen Court.

Ways to make it better...

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

Provide additional money to enable the group to do further community outreach and asset building activities

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