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A collaboration that IMPACTS the community

Posted: November 23, 2016 2:43 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2016 1:00 a.m.

There is an organization that meets every third Wednesday of the month at noon that believes in collaborating with each other to better aide Kershaw County: it is called IMPACT. 

Nicholas Julian, Director of Support Services with United Way of Kershaw County, is the moderator for IMPACT, and gave insight into the organization. 

“IMPACT is a complete independent entity,” Julian said. “It is not run by one agency. It is run by its members.” 

Julian explained that IMPACT is a collaborative effort of numerous non-profits and government agencies in the county. The funding that they get through IMPACT is all donated from the agencies that come to the meetings. An organization provides presentations to the group about their organization. An agency that attends the meetings will pay for a lunch.  

“We get together and try to figure out solutions to try to voice concerns, help each other, and fix problems in the community,” Julian said. 

Impact has a Facebook page called, IMPACT Kershaw County. He explained that the page allows all the agencies involved in IMPACT to provide awareness to the different events they have coming up. The site is also  a way for the group to communicate with each other about challenges they have. He provided an example of searching for the birth certificate of a veteran, a person fresh from jail, or a homeless person. 

“Sometimes somebody may have a hard time finding a client’s birth certificate. Sometimes it takes a dozen phone calls to get to the answer we need,” Julian said. “If we post on Facebook, people can guide you to find it.” 

Julian says sharing these challenges they go through might help someone who is currently experiencing a similar situation or it can help someone who may experience it in the future. 

The decision makers of local organizations are invited to IMPACT meetings, but Julian noted that IMPACT needs more than that. 

 “We want someone. from the employee of a business to a homeless person from Camden, because that large of a spectrum provides us the best insight to be able to figure out what concerns there are,” Julian said. “The people who experience certain things everyday in life: they are where the greatest insight comes from- that is where the collaboration comes from to solve problems in the community.”  

He said different municipalities in the state have a version of IMPACT, but they all have different names. 

“Every county should have some kind of open community collaboration opportunity,” Julian said. “A place where everybody that cares about the well-being of a community and community members should get together with unbias and be able to have open discussions.” 

The next IMPACT meeting is Wednesday, December 14 at noon at the Jackson Teen Center. They will provide lunch as well. 

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