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Nonprofits receive stewardship awards

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Helping Hands Clinic staff

Helping Hands Clinic staff

Julia Vail

RALEIGH, N.C. – Three North Carolina nonprofits received stewardship awards at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits 2008 Statewide Conference Oct. 16.

The Helping Hands Clinic of Caldwell County in Lenoir, Action for Children North Carolina of Raleigh, and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, were recognized for their outstanding accountability and stewardship.

“These organizations have helped ensure the public’s trust by being excellent stewards of the resources entrusted to them as tax-exempt organizations,” says Sally Migliore, senior associate at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

As stewardship-award recipients, the nonprofits each received a plaque and $500 to invest in board and staff development.

Helping Hands Clinic of Caldwell County

Helping Hands Clinic provides free medical service and prescription medications for uninsured people in Caldwell County.

“There’s nothing quite like a free clinic,” says Lou Hill, executive director of the clinic, “because it’s really the community coming together to take care of their own.”

Since the clinic began offering services ten years ago, patients with high blood pressure saw an average drop of 20 percent in their blood pressures, while those with cholesterol levels over 200 decreased their levels by 21 percent, Jane Kendall, president of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, said at the awards presentation.

The clinic has provided more than $14 million worth of free care in its 20 years of service to the community, she said.

The clinic constantly seeks feedback on both the health and satisfaction of the people it serves.

“We wanted to change the stigma that free clinics mean substandard care,” Hill says.

Action for Children North Carolina

Action for Children North Carolina, which focuses on root causes of social problems affecting children throughout the state, set a goal to provide access to health insurance for all children.

The organization convened medical institutes and insurance commissions throughout the state in an effort to push for affordable health insurance, efforts that helped bring about legislation enacted in 2007 to provide health coverage to 38,000 children from low-income families.

The organization’s coalition-building efforts also were instrumental in passing a refundable tax credit for more than 825,000 working North Carolinians.

“In North Carolina, there is no state-level plan for children, no road map in place,” says Barbara Bradley, president and CEO of the nonprofit. “We need to define what success looks like, set time limits for change and evaluate how we’re doing.”

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, which serves more than 321,000 children year-round, was recognized for its stewardship of both human and natural resources.

The theater overhauled its board-selection process to ensure that all board members make the theater their top volunteer priority.

In partnership with the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, the theater built ImaginOn, a facility in downtown Charlotte that serves as a combined library, theater and arts-education center for youth.

It is also the first public building in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate stories while enhancing literacy and creative expression,” says Bruce LaRowe, executive director of the theater. “It’s a reaffirmation of our connection with the community.”

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