Frequently Asked Questions
What is Columbia County Community Connections?
CCCC is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Columbia County that works to improve results for children and families. Our goal is to connect all the entities in the county that work with children and families in order to reduce overlap and fill gaps in services. We are part of the statewide Family Connection network.
What does CCCC do exactly?
That is a difficult question to answer because the organization is involved in many things. Here is some of what we do:
- Collaborate with the Columbia County school system to provide after-school programs at six schools. These programs are paid for with state and federal grants that are administered by CCCC.
- Serve as the coordinator for the county collaborative which meets every other month. This is an opportunity for agencies such as the health department, DFCS, schools, churches to talk about what they are doing and their needs and to discuss how we can work together to be more effective.
- Serve as the coordinator for the Drug-Free Communities Coalition which is new and is working to reduce substance abuse among youth and families.
- Coordinate the Saturday Sacks programs with the schools, Golden Harvest, churches and individual donors to provide a bag of food for students over the weekend.
- Coordinate the annual Military Thanksgiving event in Harlem.
- Help coordinate the Ryan Clark Scholarship and Community Service Award event.
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved depending on your personal goals. You can:
- Attend collaborative meetings to learn what is going in the community
- Volunteer in the after-school programs as a mentor, tutor, guest speaker or provide a program
- Help with Saturday Sacks or other programs
- Join a committee to work on a particular issue such as high school completion or reducing drug use – be a part of the strategy team
- Donate or raise funds for the organization
- Help with some of the special initiatives such as the Military Thanksgiving or Ryan Clark Scholarship and Community Service Award
- Create a community service project
- Be an advocate for the work of the organization within your circle of influence.
Where does your funding come from?
As the Family Connection collaborative, CCCC received $42,250 in funding from the state Legislature this past year, down from $50,000 in previous years. That funding is used to leverage other funds. CCCC applies for competitive grants to support programs that fit within its mission. The CCCC staff and board members work very hard to keep funds coming into the organization. For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the organization administered $950,000 in funding. Less than $5,000 were donations. Our goal is to diversify our funding sources and do more fund raising in future years.
Where is CCCC located?
CCCC is headquartered at 405 A West Church Street in Harlem. Family Connection and most of the grants that CCCC receives require that a government agency serve as the fiscal agent to be responsible for the funds that are distributed. The City of Harlem agreed to serve in that capacity in 2004 and has continued to do so ever since. In addition, the City of Harlem used a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to construct a building that CCCC shares with Head Start. It is part of the philosophy of Family Connection that it takes public and private partnerships to achieve major community change. While CCCC is headquartered in Harlem, the organization serves the entire county.
How do you know if what you are doing is effective?
One of the basic tenets of Family Connection is to use research, data and proven practices as the backbone of the work that we do. CCCC contracts with an outside evaluator to conduct a thorough evaluation of our programs and practices. Those evaluation results are available on our new web site. We use that information to improve our programs and inform our choices.
Who monitors your programs and practices?
Each of our grants is monitored by our funders. We receive site visits that look at the programs themselves and our financial records are reviewed. In addition, the Board of Directors receives financial reports, our expenses go through the City of Harlem’s financial process and we are audited by the accounting firm of Berry and Associates in Evans. CCCC follows federal, state and local guidelines to ensure compliance with financial and programmatic requirements.
Who can I call for more information?
Call Julie Miller, executive director of CCCC, at 706.556.0609. She will answer your questions.