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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Communities Of Shalom Inc

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Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

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

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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,

Ted L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.



Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5


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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Communities of Shalom is one of the most multi-faceted, inclusive organization in West Virginia. As a Professional in the field of Public Health and Community Development, I have traveled the state and region assisting communities to develop a coalition to address social concerns. I always use Communities of Shalom as an example of a coalition that truly meets the needs of their community, have an inclusive membership that is open to one and all, and truly implements programs that increases knowledge and awareness from acceptance, substance abuse prevention, to coordinating and sponsoring Global Gatherings, Building Bridges conference that speaks to cultural diversity, youth trainings on bullying, etc. Communities of Shalom truly represents an interfaith organization that serves everyone in the community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization was an integral part of my high school experience. I participated in a youth group started and funded by Shalom. I met other high school students from a variety of backgrounds who were interested in serving others. I worked on countless service projects through this group. This group was open to all who were interested. I felt like I finally belonged to a group of people who accepted me for who I am. I also was able to significantly contribute to my community, as well as to other communities on service trips.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The youth of our community were lucky enough to benefit from the support that the Communities of Shalom gave to a vibrant, welcoming ecumenical youth organization called JOURNEY. JOURNEY was able to provide numerous opportunities of fellowship, mission experiences, worship, and leadership to many pre teens, teenagers and young adults through Communities of Shalom's financial support and adult leadership. Communities of Shalom continues to provide opportunities for our citizens to reach out and make our community a better place.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As a certified prevention specialist and someone who is very familiar with asset based community development I am quite impressed with the work of Communities of Shalom in Marion County, WV. I have participated in their Global Gathering, which celebrates the local nationalities and diversity of our area. I have been part of their Building Bridges conference which allows people of various backgrounds to learn more about community collaboration. I recognize them as an 13 year old organization committed to systemic and sustainable change.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Shalom for many years. I enjoy helping out with the Building Bridges of Respect Conference, the most. It is held every other year and about 200 people attend. We explore diversity issues in our community and support small businesses/artists/craftspeople.

I especially like that everyone is welcome at the meetings and everyone has a voice.

Review from Guidestar