The Life Change Center

A podcast about Strengthening Rural Nevada

In this two part show, The Life Change Center sits down with our very own Erik Schoen, the Executive Director of Community Chest serving rural Nevada. Erik sheds light on the valuable tools available to every individual to learn emotional and spiritual grown and internal self-development; and how learning about these tools was so impactful in his own life. He shares how addiction is impacting rural Nevada; how every rural county in Nevada is experiencing a shortage in health care providers; the need to develop home grown talent in the way of community health workers and peer support specialist; and how Community Chest is doing that. We also discuss how Covid brought about the importance of investing in emotional and mental health, and the increased need for these services brought about by Covid.  


Part 1~ Click on the link below to be directed to the podcast audio.

Denim Day at CCI 2022

Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans.

An 18-year old girl was picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, wrestled her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully raped her. Threatened with death if she told anyone, he made her drive the car home.

Later that night she told her parents, and they helped and supported her to press charges. The perpetrator was arrested and prosecuted. He was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

However, he appealed the sentence.

The case made it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days, the case against the driving instructor was overturned, dismissed and the perpetrator was released. In a statement by the chief judge, he argued, “Because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same.

People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.

Our amazing youth programs team wearing their denim for “Denim Day” in support of sexual assault victims everywhere! 💙

For more information visit DenimDay.org.

A day on the famous Cow bus

When first starting at CCI in September 2021, I instantly wanted to learn and experience all about the programs that the organization offered. Due to my love of kiddos and cows I knew from the beginning, the COW Bus would be one of my favorites. This past Monday was the first day that I stepped onto a CCI COW Bus, and let me tell you it’s a day I will NOT forget!

Walking up onto the bus was so exciting. I instantly felt this rush of childhood memories come swarming back into my 30-year-old head. Seeing all of the colors, arts and crafts hung on the walls and ceiling, books, and toys — I was in a kid’s dream bus! At four years old it doesn’t get any better than that! After exploring the bus for a few minutes, the kiddos started to arrive, and my excitement grew.

As the kids were being checked in, they started to take off their backpacks and jackets and put them away. Now remember we are on a 30-foot school bus, so every bit of storage is crucial, and Miss Cindy (who started CCI’s COW Bus program 25 years ago) has mastered the art of using every bit of space possible. After greeting each child and mentioning to them that they had a special visitor (me), she had all the kids sit down in a circle until everyone had arrived. 

To start the day off, Miss Cindy asked me to grab the flag so we could say the flag salute. After (of course) being shown by a few of the kiddos how to hold the flag properly we began. Hearing them say the flag salute was the highlight of my day! 

After the flag salute we all sat down on the floor of the bus and Miss Cindy asked each kid about an exciting thing that happened to them over the weekend. Hearing their stories was so much fun! As they described riding go-carts, playing with their Nerf guns, going to ballet class. It made me start to think about exciting things I did on the weekends as a child, and it made me slightly emotional. It made me feel like a kid again, where I had not a worry in the world. 

After the storytelling of their exciting weekend, the kids started to work on spelling their names and a fun project they had been putting together for the holiday coming up. It was a book on how to catch a leprechaun. Each kid in the class was working on a few pages where they illustrated and wrote what they imagined a leprechaun looked like, what you would need to trap them and so much more. While using their imagination, crayons, scissors, and glue they all were able to create their own pages in the book.

~ Tara Massa

9th annual Eide Bailly Resourcefulness Award- Nevada 2021!

Community Chest, Inc. has been awarded $10,000 from the ninth annual Eide Bailly Resourcefulness Awards, which recognize nonprofit organizations for their creative and sustainable revenue generating initiatives across five states – Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and North Dakota. Community Chest’s award-winning program, Comstock Kids Early Childhood Education Center, came from nearly 10 years of gathered insight that showed the number one requested service within their rural Nevada County community was licensed daycare facilities. Community Chest worked to fill this need by opening their Comstock Kids ECE Center. Because they were still able to provide safe in-person services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment skyrocketed, helping not only their community but also their organization in creating another stream of revenue outside of the grants they would typically receive.