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2 reviews

Review for Coalition Of Children In Need Association, Pagosa Spring, CO, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

This organization is one of the most effective charities serving the people of Haiti. Fully 97% of donations go directly to education, healthcare and community service projects in Northeast Haiti. They are currently serving earthquake victim families in the school and medical clinic. COCINA and its partner programs have received significant recognition. Hugues Bastien, the founder and on-site director of the Haiti projects, was nominated for the 2009 Conrad Hilton International Humanitarian prize. The school - Institution Univers - was named a Top Ten School by the Haitian Ministry of Education for its outstanding student scores on national education exams.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

This is a unique national all-volunteer network, whose board of directors have excellent business and professional skills. The board and volunteers come from states ranging from Maine to Colorado.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extremely dedicated people. All of the board members donate to the organization,and nearly all have been on more than 1 service trip to Haiti. Huques Bastien, the founder,left a promising career in the U.S.to serve in his native land.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Greatly expand vocational education programs that teach practical skills to the Haitian people that they will need for the nation's recovery.

Ways to make it better...

I had been to Haiti to view the programs on-site. I am hoping to do this in 2011.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of name recognition, compared to larger agencies such as CARE and World Vision. This makes fundraising more difficult. COCINA is actually more cost-effective than these organizations because of its volunteer network and low overhead.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have worked with more than 25 nonprofit organizations as a consultant and advisor. COCINA is one of the most effective and dedicated organizations that I have served.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Helped this organization to receive grants from private foundations in 7 states.

Review for Vineyard Community Center, Westerville, OH, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The Vineyard Community Center (VCC)provides one of the broadest arrays of educational, recreational and social services of any organization in central Ohio. VCC operates in an ethnically diverse area of Northeast Columbus, and also operates feeding programs and a health clinic in a low income area on East Fifth Avenue near the Weinland park area of Columbus. The quality of VCC's programs recently received a significant national recognition. Kevin Brown, Director of the Zone Afterschool and Summer program, received the 2009 National Jefferson Community Service award. More than 8,000 people each month are served with programs including an early childhood center, summer and afterschool educational program, free health, medical and legal clinics,sports and recreation programs for youth, and an array of classes and volunteer programs including arts, music, GED and English as a Second Language. VCC operates in a very cost - effective manner, with about 85% of income expended on program services, and relatively small administrative overhead. VCC leverages the services of a dedicate corps of more than 800 volunteers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The leaders of the organization are humble people who work sacrificially for the betterment of their community. One of the leaders was on track to be a partner at a major law firm, but decided that VCC was the best place to serve others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extremely dedicated people from a wide variety of organizations and backgrounds.Our career program volunteers included human resources people from AEP and Limited Brands and an administrator from JP Morgan Chase.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Finish off a 7,000 square foot area that is currently just an unused space. Expand early childhood, after school, food pantry and health clinic areas. Offer services in the Northland area of Columbus which is currently underserved by human services.

Ways to make it better...

If I had more time to explore more of the different opportunities for volunteer service. There is almost too much to choose from.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

VCC has limited corporate and private foundation financial support. While the church that helped to found VCC continues to be a generous supporter, the organization needs broader funding to continue and expand its good works.

One thing I'd also say is that...

VCC is a gift to the city of Columbus from people who care.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Helped this organization to apply for grants; also volunteered in the career program assisting unemployed adults.