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By: Arielle Johnson

As 2017 comes to a close, if you own a business, you really need to be taking a close look at where you fell short in your goal setting for the year. Just like personal goal setting, business goal setting can fall short of missing the mark if we don’t have a method of achieving those goals. As Mrs. Pemberton stated recently, “If you do what you did last year, that’s suicidal, that’s an insane person.” So before 2018 sneaks up on us, let’s ask ourselves what we are going to do differently this year to make sure we meet our goals.


12 non-profits gathered in the community room of the Southwest Center Mall in Red Bird on Wednesday, December 27 to introduce themselves to each other and make mini presentations about their organizations. After they introduced themselves to each other, they were asked by the organizers of the meeting, Jeanette Berry, Founder of Operation Community Care, to solicit each other, before everyone present, for things they needed for their non-profits. Ms. Berry reminded everyone, if they are planning to have a successful year, nowadays, you have to prove to donors that you are partnering and collaborating with non-profits.


Before the representatives of the various non-profits made their individual presentations, Edna Pemberton, a long time business advisor and consultant to many Black businesses in the southern sector, and the Southwest Center Mall, told meeting attendees there is money out there for their business. “You never have to beg. People can see what you are doing. Let your work speak for you.”


Next month, with the support of Councilman Casey Thomas as the principal speaker, Edna Pemberton is planning a GrowSouth non-profit fair/tour. There will be a small fee charged to attendees, which will help with the gathering of funds to be distributed among those same non-profits. Supporters of the event will be able to see first hand, what the non-profits have to offer as well as speak directly with the founders.


Among the non-profits that came out to the community meeting at the Southwest Cultural Center was Phillippa Williams, Founder of ‘I Look Like Love’. She formed her non-profit because she recognized the need of moms struggling to meet the needs of their small children. We don’t hear about it too often, and it may not be at the forefront of our minds when we think of the expense associated with raising babies and toddlers, but disposable diapers are very costly. Today a package of 40 Pampers can cost as much as $9 dollars. Because diapers are so expensive and there is no federal program to subsidize this expense, Ms. Williams’ organization donates diapers to mothers in need. But that’s not all. Through an offshoot of her diaper pantry business, Ms. Williams has created a mentoring program for single moms called, ‘Mommy Net’ that teaches financial literacy.


In a room full of non-profits commanded by women, Julius Ishola came out to network and let others know his non-profit is seeking people willing to donate rides to those with a need. The name of his organization is, L.I.L.Y.S. which stands for Love Institutes Livelihood of Youth and Sisterhood. Their motto is, “Driving People to Success,” and although they strive to help most people in need, they are specifically focused on providing these services to veterans, the disabled, elderly, single parents and those facing financial difficulties. In 2017, L.I.L.Y.S., a name he borrowed from the movie BAPS, has been able to provide over 400 free rides. Mr. Ishola is also a website developer and offered his services at a reasonable price to everyone in the room.


Patricia Allen, the Founder of ‘No More Violence’ has been working for a number of years to help put a stop to violence by exposing children to the victims of violence. Ms. Allen is in the process of organizing two events for 2018 – a Gala, as a show of appreciation for single moms raising sons in the absence of their fathers and a ‘No More Violence Convention’ specifically targeting youth. The convention is set to travel to a number of different major cities.


Jeanette Berry of Operation Community Care was honored with a plaque displaying a shooting star which lets everyone know how serious she is about bringing people and communities together. At the end of the meeting, when the attendees decided to ask her the same question she asked them, “What can others do to help your non-profit,” she never hesitated a moment to let the group know she has been blessed above and beyond in 2017 and with the help of God, her goals are always met.


The next community meeting will take place in the community room at the Southwest Center Mall on Tuesday, January, 9, 2018. For further details, please reach out to Jeanette Berry via her Facebook page – ‘Operation Community Care, Inc.’