OUR MISSION: To act as a catalyst for change and a center for resources to help people help themselves and others, as together we build strong and healthy families and communities.
WHO WE ARE: Community Chest is a non-profit agency serving children and families in northwestern Nevada since 1991. We provide holistic solutions with the goal of building and sustaining strong families and communities. With the support of volunteers, agency staff, public and private revenue, Community Chest develops, offers, and sponsors services that make a difference in the lives of Nevada’s youth and families. We at Community Chest are brought together to do very important work.
WHAT WE DO: Community Chest provides a diverse range of services which include: 1) counseling, 2) family advocacy, 3) youth enrichment programs, and 4) employment placement assistance.
WHO DO WE SERVE: We primarily serve the residents of Storey, Lyon, and Nye counties in Nevada. However, our work often extends to other regions in Nevada and more recently, through programs like Global Voice, to regions outside of the United States.
Deborah and I (Shaun) have always wanted to work in a place where we could act upon our convictions. We wanted to do lifework and we had to create a place in which to do it. Beyond creating an organization in which to act with intention, we brought a desire to build community locally and to address some very difficult social issues statewide. What seemed to be missing from many “human systems” was doing all that it took with an eye on the horizon, acting as if ending homelessness or building a preschool was as vital to our lives as food itself. This gave purpose to our work and gave the volunteers and colleagues a belief in their ability to succeed in bringing about social change. This fundamental belief in the ability of others to make a contribution — no matter what their age or expertise — to choose to live with integrity, respect and work toward the common good underlies all that we do at CCI.This led us to found Community Chest (CCI). Although we knew very little about running a business, we were determined to build an organization that could take risks, and engage a very divergent and rural Western community to build the youth and family supports that were missing. The motivation to do this work emanates from years of working with people and a vision of how that work translates into a plan for social change in our community and state.
As unorthodox as it may sound, we set out to build an environment in which this conviction to bring about lasting social change could flourish. At the core of this conviction are a handful of beliefs that inform our work: all people have essential dignity; as a basic requirement of being alive all people on the globe must have food, shelter, clothing, safety, and literacy; the world must live in peace; and that these issues must be addressed locally.
These beliefs have sustained cultures throughout time but to articulate them in local government, schools, and community is to personalize human rights at home. This is what we have tried to do and it is what motivates us to continue.
Our Guiding Principles
1. We are brought together to do very important work that cannot be accomplished alone. It is not a coincidence that we are here today, although we may move on to other places and organizations in the future.
2. Our work is as much about our own spiritual growth and that of this planet’s as it is about addressing needs and strengths of children, families, and people in our community.
3. We all have ideas, talents, special qualities that need to be honored and encouraged to make our work together more successful. We each take responsibility for creating a role that is meaningful and that fits with our talents as well as supports the overall mission of the organization.
4. We are part of this organization by choice and with that realization, we will direct our energy to the growth and health of the organization as well as to the work we accomplish through the organization, until that point we are ready to move on.
5. We are a transforming organization and accept that we are involved in carving out new and sometimes ambiguous ways of doing our lifework.
6. We will support each other taking risks, making decisions, making mistakes, and achieving our goals.
7. We will listen carefully to each other to learn what our next steps must be to fulfill our vision. We are willing to look as critically at ourselves as at each other, and to recognize and accept that we may have some shortcomings and barriers that need to be overcome if we are to bring the best we have to offer to the organization. The group agrees to support one another in this effort, to be honest and direct our concerns to the individual team members in a respectful and caring manner.
8. We are envisioning an effort that we will remain committed to despite current funding or resources. That is, we’ll pursue whatever we need to make this happen. Our vision is doable and there are resources to support the vision.
9. We will utilize all ideas to work to our advantage— giving credit and building on our collective strength.
10. We believe the philosophy and the process are as much of what we’re about as the programs we support.
11. We are creating a new model for doing business; we will not replicate what we know doesn’t work or that places someone or some agency below and some above. We support shared leadership and decision-making toward a shared goal.