At Neighborhood Thrift I felt an instant connection with AP and Brian.
Those boys are really onto something! I heard a couple of young men
who live to serve others and left their presence inspired. For the
start-up cost of $15,000 this local CBO has truly befitted the
community in which it resides. These kids are barely older than me,
and attempting to build a functioning and progressive business model
that at the same time must be staffed with the “unemployable”. They
are also trying to create an atmosphere and a culture in which these
people can “choose development”, such as helping staff to set an
achieve goals.
I was so amazed by their vision and compassion that I couldn’t help
but feel like they were being attacked when my fellow students started
asking some tough questions for which our hosts didn’t always have the
“best practice” answer. After reflecting, I realize that they were
asking all of the right questions to lead Neighborhood Thrift to
answer their own question. “What now”? This Incredible CBO has been
continuously reinventing itself since the doors of Neighborhood
Thrifts’ first location opened in 2008. Last year in fact, the
mission statement was revised.
A.P. said that when they originally wrote the mission statement they
didn’t realize just how important it was going to be. In fact, they
barely knew what a mission statement was. The new one was well
thought out and a good indicator of what the organization is all
about. This CBO may have its imperfections, but with a little
coaching it could be the best thing to ever happen to the
“unemployable” and the communities in which they live.