By Portia Williams
Mapping compassion throughout the state of Ohio was the focus of the Scioto County Health Coalition meeting Friday. Kim Hettel and Kathleen Young, both representatives of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office, shared pertinent information regarding connecting and building collaborative relationships within communities.
Kim Hettel, director of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, Gov. Kasich’s Office, discussed two new projects — the Ohio Compassion Map, and Bright Ideas Ohio.
“The purpose of my visit is to share the Ohio Compassion Map, and Bright Ideas Ohio. The Compassion Map is a tool for collaboration for non-profit and faith-based organizations, and its an opportunity for those organizations to have a visual picture of who is doing what, and where they are doing it in there county,” Hettel said. “That map is a statewide tool, so yes, I go throughout the state of Ohio to do these presentations, and to share this information.”
“I am going to refer to your organizations as public profit, because that is what you really are. You are for the good of the public, the non-profit designation is just for tax, for the IRS. “We need to start thinking about, what would it look like if the public profit organizations worked better together, instead in silos, instead of competing for funding, instead of not knowing who’s doing what in what communities. And that was the question we asked, who’s doing what, and where are they doing it?
Lack of community is a resounding issue throughout many communities.
“I don’t know about your county, but there are a lot of places that I go and I find out that communities don’t talk to one another, organizations in the community they don’t talk, they don’t what each other are doing,” Hettel said.
Through mapping compassion throughout the state, organizations are able to become more effective.
“We meet with churches and community organizations and the churches in this particular community were doing community meals, and everyone was doing it on Monday and Tuesday, nobody was doing Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday,” she said. “And we started talking about what that would look like if we were working together, and there was a meal on Monday, and one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? That is really what this project is all about, mapping Ohio’s compassion.”
Bright Ideas Ohio highlights projects and practices that are innovative, and show great promise by Ohio nonprofits, and encourage peer-to-peer learning. Hettel also said the two projects, Ohio Compassion Maps and Bright Ideas Ohio are two centered around collaboration, and can be truly transformative as non-profits and faith-based organizations learn to care one another’s mission.
Kathleen Young, a liaison to Kasich defined what her role entails.
“I am the eyes and ears of the governor. I connect you with the person or agency to get the best results to meet the needs of organizations,” Young said. “My job is to take needs back to Columbus, and there is never an issue too small in southeast Ohio. Liaisons are responsible every week to create and send a report to the governor, defining what the issues are in the region.”
SCHC member, Wendy Waugh, extended an invitation on behalf of SCHC for Young to come back to the Coalition meetings, to assess the local needs. Young accepted the invitation, and said she would be willing to do so.
Regina Tipton, coordinator of SCHC, said the visit by Hettel and Young was to make necessary connections.
“What the governor’s office is trying to do is to help us connect those who are not necessarily at the table, and to link us all together for one common, and that’s to help our Scioto County community,” Tipton said. “That is the goal of the Coalition, and that is the purpose of bring them here (Hettel, Young) so that way we can connect with those that were not necessarily at table that may not know that we are here and what we can offer them and vice versa.”
SCHC provides a variety health related opportunities for the local community to get involved in.
“We do a lot of different programming for health education and physical activities, and things along those lines in our community,” Tipton said. “Our main goal here at the County Coalition is to improve our county’s health and wellness and to encourage businesses to try to kind of start thinking about that with their wellness, and just community members in general to start looking at their own personal health status. We are one large family, so everybody needs to be concerned about one another’s health.”
SCHC meetings the second Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at 918 Seventh Street in the ADAMHS building. The organization is open to all community members, businesses, non-profit and faith-based organizations.
For more information about Ohio’s Compassion Map, visit: www.ohiocompassionmap.org, and www.brightideasohio.org. For information regarding SCHC, contact Regina Tipton at 740-206-7170, or visit the Scioto County Health Coalition Facebook page.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.