2013 MSP Results

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

A special thanks to all of you who support the Morgan-Scott Project and make it possible for us to help those who struggle to pay their electric bills, to buy their medicines, to feed their families, and to keep a roof over their heads.

Because of your generosity, our contributed support from all sources, both monetary and non-monetary, has grown from $106,000 at the end of 2006 to $$308,000 at the end of 2013.  While contributed support has tripled in that time, spending on our missions has grown by more than 800%, from $21,000 to $189,000.  At the same time, we reduced our internal overhead rate from 80% to 22% meaning that, when combined with an increase in Thrift Store sales, approximately 88 cents of every dollar contributed now goes to help those in need.

And here are the numbers that matter…as a result of your giving, this year we were able to provide emergency aid to 350 families, give food boxes and free food to 3,379 families (much of it through our Friday Food program), repair 33 homes using the help of 285 volunteers, see 84 new patients in the new Free Clinic in Deer Lodge, help 31 adults with their education, distribute seeds for home gardens to 365 families, and give Christmas presents to 1,744 children.

The Project ended the year with a small negative change in net assets of approximately $4,000.  Of the $308,000 received, $43,000 came from individuals, $140,000 from churches, $40,000 from grants, $28,000 from our thrift store, which is used to help offset our overhead costs, and $57,000 came from goods and services donated.  This year a number of donors made use of the DONATE button on the website and made secure donations through PayPal.

Our largest mission programs in terms of spending were home repairs ($52,000), emergency aid ($40,000), and the New Light educational support program ($27,000).

So thank you from the widow who comes for Friday food.  Thank you from the woman who is no longer confined to her home thanks to her new wheelchair ramp. Thank you from the man who now has a job and can support his family because of the New Light program.  Thank you from the child hugging a new doll at Christmas.  And thank you from the staff and Board of Directors of the Morgan Scott Project.

 (Please note that all figures included in this article are unaudited and as such are subject to change.  Our auditors issue the final results on form 990 that is submitted to the IRS.  All figures here are based on the internal reports used by the Board of Directors to monitor our operations. – Tamia Cloud Bible, CPA, Treasurer.)

When Help Is Needed, People Come Through

Gifts for Boys

Gifts for Boys

Gifts for Girls

Gifts for Girls

 

Each Christmas, Morgan-Scott Project cooperates with several other social service agencies to make sure that all children in Scott and Morgan Counties in Tennessee receive Christmas gifts.  The following article appeared in the Scott County News about the Christmas give-away in Scott County:

“When help is needed, people come through.  For the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon Toy Event at the Boys & Girls Club, a total of 137 volunteers showed up ready to do whatever was necessary to provide each parent with two toys per child for Christmas.  That was twice the number of volunteers we had last year – and the committee is very grateful.  A group of UT freshmen came and a mission group from Boston, Massachusetts – who even stayed and helped with the clean up and load the toys not used (which will be used by the Unicorn Fund and Morgan-Scott Project for later events).  This year 432 families were served.  That covered 528 male and 556 female children for a total of 1084.  The event was held on Sunday this year and the hours were shorter, but there was ample time to serve everyone.  Last year 571 families (1230 children) were served.  The event this year was supported by the Unicorn Fund, Morgan-Scott Project, Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI), Salvation Army, Operation Sharing TN, and the Women’s Shelter.”

Morgan County had their gift give-away on December 19th at the Sunbright United Methodist Church.  Mission of Hope delivered a truckload of toys, food and coats at 8 am and toys were given out starting at 9 am.  The Morgan-Scott Project, The Unicorn Fund, and The Salvation Army served 252 families, consisting of 313 boys and 353 girls.  The numbers in Morgan County were down this year, probably because the unemployment rate is lower than last year, which is good news.

It is heartwarming to see the generosity of the many people who contributed to this program and the cooperation of the many agencies that sponsored it.  The people of Morgan and Scott Counties thank you.

A Hand Up – Not a Handout

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

Summer mornings at the Morgan Scott Project mean volunteers rolling out of bunk beds, getting breakfast and assignments for the day, gathering tools, and heading out to the current home being repaired.  The days are spent sawing, hammering, nailing, and painting on wheelchair ramps, porches, kitchens, bathrooms, or roofs for clients who are often older or disabled.  This summer 28 homes were repaired by 259 volunteers who gave up their vacations to make someone’s life better, epitomizing the Project’s motto, “A Hand Up – Not a Handout.”

The materials to make these repairs must generally be purchased and, as with all things, are not cheap.  Unfortunately, in the first nine months of 2013, monetary donations lagged behind expenditures, resulting in the Project ending the period in the red by $27,000.    $174,000 was received, but $201,000 was expended.  Specifically, $158,000 was spent on the home repairs mentioned above, plus emergency aid, free food, educational assistance, seeds and garden supplies, and the new Free Clinic in Deer Lodge, TN.  Fund raising costs were $3,000.  Overhead, or the cost of running the project, was $40,000, which was just 20% of total expenditures.  However, over half of overhead was offset by the earnings of the thrift store, resulting in 89 cents of every dollar donated being available to help those in need.

In addition, $16,000 worth of food and goods were donated, which helps us to stretch our resources further than would be possible otherwise.

We need your help to continue our mission of making lives better for those who are struggling.  Whether monetary or through gifts of your time or goods, we appreciate it all.  Thank you for your support.

(Please note that all figures included in this article are unaudited and as such are subject to change.  Final results are issued by our auditors with the Form 990, the return submitted to the IRS.  All figures here are rounded and based on the internal reports used by the Board of Directors to monitor our operations. – Tamia Cloud Bible, CPA, Treasurer.)

Ella Smith Nominated for THDA Remarkable Achievement Award

Ella Smith, Executive Director

Ella Smith, Executive Director

Morgan-Scott Project’s Executive Director Ella Smith has been nominated for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Remarkable Achievement – Rural Award, presented at the Governor’s Housing Summit in Nashville on October 7-8, 2013.

Ella is the sole employee of the Morgan-Scott Project, which completes the most Emergency Repair Program projects of all of East Tennessee Development District’s community partners.  This year she hosted 20 work groups, consisting of 249 volunteers, who worked on 22 homes and did two community service projects in Morgan and Scott counties.  The Tennessee House of Representatives also honored Ella in October of 2012 for her achievements.

Each year, work groups from churches all over the United States converge on Morgan-Scott Project to repair and improve housing for deserving elderly and handicapped families in these impoverished communities.  For the past four years Faithful Advocates Standing Together (FAST), a group representing young people from the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ has supplied many of the groups of young people to MSP.

We congratulate Ella for her fine work and for the recognition that she so richly deserves, and we thank the many volunteers and donors who make her work possible.

Fridays at Morgan-Scott Project

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

MSP Treasurer Tamia Bible

Friday mornings at the Morgan Scott Project are hectic.  People come early and take a number, shopping in the Thrift Store and visiting on the porch until Ella Smith, our Executive Director, opens the doors. Thanks to the generosity of our donors of both money and time, the free food now includes bread, meat, produce, dairy, and sweets from Second Harvest.  One widow living on $710 a month told Ella, “Friday food makes such a difference in how much I spend on food.”

In the first six months of 2013, the Project received $116,000 in monetary contributions and expended $133,000, ending the period in the red by $17,000.  14% of receipts came from individuals, 67% from churches, 7% from grants, and 12% from the Thrift Store.

$104,000 was spent on the free food mentioned above, plus emergency aid, home repairs, educational assistance, seeds and garden supplies, and the new Free Clinic in Deer Lodge, TN.  Fund raising costs were $2,000.  Overhead, or the cost of running the project, was $27,000, which was just 20% of total expenditures.  However, over half of overhead was offset by the earnings of the thrift store, resulting in 89 cents of every dollar donated being available to help those in need.

In addition to monetary support, the Project also received $13,000 in noncash donations of food and goods used in the Food Pantry, Good Earth Garden, school backpacks, and other programs.  These donations enable us to do far more than we would be able to otherwise and are a direct contribution to helping Fridays stay hectic.

Your help, whether monetary or in gifts of time or goods, is what enables us to provide comfort to “the least of these.”  Thank you for your support.

(Please note that all figures included in this article are unaudited and as such are subject to change.  Final results are issued by our auditors with the Form 990, the return submitted to the IRS.  All

figures here are based on the internal reports used by the Board of Directors to monitor our operations. – Tamia Cloud Bible, CPA, Treasure.)

Ten Ways MSP Serves the Community…and More

Morgan-Scott Project currently operates ten programs to serve this rural Tennessee community, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S.  They range from emergency aid to individual and family development to attempts to foster social change.

1.  The Project provides emergency aid to people who need help, whether due to a calamity, such as fires and storms, or lack of work, or abandonment or for any other reason.  Able-bodied adults must be willing to work (see New Light Program).

2.  A Food Pantry is kept at the Deer Lodge Facility in Morgan County.  It uses food donated by churches, individuals, or purchased from Second Harvest using donations.  A second Food Pantry was started two years ago in Scott County and is now run by the Scott County Homeless Shelter, an MSP spin-off.

3.  MSP hosts Work Groups each summer to repair homes, usually of older or disabled residents.  So far this year 11 work groups comprised of 157 volunteers have repaired 18 homes, building wheelchair ramps and porches, replacing roofs, remodeling kitchens and bathrooms and painting.

4.  A Free Medical Clinic was opened last April.  The clinic is open every Friday and is served by Dr. Tom Kim of Knoxville and managed by a retired RN from the community.  In its first three months of operation, it has served 40 patients (69 visits) without medical insurance.

5.  Each year, MSP sponsors a Christmas Gift Program with the help of other agencies in the Area.  Last Christmas over 2000 children received gifts.

6.  MSP operates a Thrift Store which sells lightly used clothing at bargain prices and donates many items to needy families.  Income from the Thrift Store is used to support other programs.

7.  The Good Earth Home garden Program provides free seeds, fertilizer, and tomato and cabbage plants to local residents.  This year 365 families were served.

8.  Our Backpack Program provides backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of children every fall at the start of school.

9.  The New Light Program provides assistance to adults in receiving vocational testing and education at Tennessee Technology Center and other institutes in the area.  This enables many able-bodied people to learn vocations, get jobs and get off welfare.

10.  Each year MSP provides scholarships to three high school seniors seeking a college education.

And More…In its 41-year history MSP has started many other programs and spun them off into independent agencies in the community.  Some have been discontinued, while others are still in operation.  These include a school for children with disabilities (before this was assumed by public schools), free tutoring programs, healthcare clinics, libraries, the Scott-Morgan Community Development Corporation (which in turn started a Habitat for Humanity chapter), community centers, and legal aid services.

In addition, MSP works cooperatively with other social service agencies including, but not limited to, the Appalachian Life Quality Initiative, the Salvation Army, the Unicorn Fund, Operation Sharing, Families First, Tennessee Technology Center, Mission of Hope, the Department of Children’s Services, and Second Harvest.

Morgan-Scott Project is supported through the generosity of churches and individuals who take seriously Christ’s concern for the poor.  Donations of cash or donations in-kind of food, clothing, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies are always needed and welcome.  Our most recent financial figures show that, by using Thrift Store sales to support overhead, approximately 89 cents of every dollar donated goes to support programs to help people.

New Light Program to Aid Chamber of Commerce Employee

Stacy Kidd

Stacy Kidd

Stacy Kidd of Winfield has been awarded $600 for books as part of the New Light adult education program sponsored by Morgan-Scott Project.

Stacy is the single mother of four daughters, two of whom are in college.  She is currently employed by the Industrial Development Board and the Chamber of Commerce of Scott County.  She is studying online in the Business Systems Technology program and pursuing the Customer Service Technology option.  She feels that this will help her become a better salesperson for the community as she works to attract new businesses to Scott County while enabling her to increase her income.

What better investment could MSP make than to support someone who will use that education to help bring businesses and jobs to this county, which has the highest unemployment rate in Tennessee?  We wish Stacy the greatest success in continuing her education and pursuing her career.