HANNIBAL | Two years ago, Amy Vaughn set out to fulfill her dream to launch her business “Be The Change For Your Community,” with the mission of boosting nonprofits through fundraising and awareness and setting up community youth programs.
So far, Vaughn's work has included teaming up with Harvest Outreach Ministries, getting the word out about their various programs and gearing up for a youth program addressing racial tensions called “Unity Matters” — a partnership with Bluff City Theater with service projects and a youth-led production.
Vaughn was director of Kids in Motion at Douglass Community Services for 12 years, and her sentimental goodbye from that program led to a six-month period of “basically laying the foundation” for her own business. She developed a business plan and an instruction manual for community youth programs. Vaughn expressed her thanks for loved ones and volunteers who offered their talents and time as Be The Change For Your Community evolved. Her husband, Robert, has offered his support from the beginning. Her niece, Kate Ross, donated her time to design the business logo and website and Neil Sneed and volunteers made a promotional video as an in-kind donation.
Vaughn is excited about the coming opportunity for “Unity Matters,” and she is ready to bring youth programs to fruition in more communities. She said representatives in each community she visited agreed a youth program would be beneficial, but the process stalled when they realized the amount of work involved.
Vaughn said she's following God's plan to help nonprofits with public relations, fundraising and other support; she's confident more youth programs will take hold at the right time in communities ready for the endeavor.
“All of these nonprofits that are doing great things — funding is always an issue. I'm just honored to help,” Vaughn said, stressing the hard work being performed in Hannibal by Harvest Outreach Ministries Executive Director Pastor Larry Hinds and Director Pastor James Bridges.
They contacted Vaughn in September 2019 to help with fundraising efforts and raising awareness about programs like the Harvest House ministries for men and women facing addiction, legal or financial issues, the Loaves and Fishes free meal ministry and the Feed America free food ministry. Vaughn signed three six-month contracts with Harvest Outreach Ministries so far, and she laughed that she would likely sign contracts for the next 20 years.
“For years, Larry Hinds and James Bridges have pretty much done remarkable work quietly in our community,” Vaughn said.
Hinds previously worked with Vaughn during her years with Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion, and he said he looked forward to partnering with her to help Harvest Outreach Ministries grow in the areas with the most need, like raising public awareness and fundraising.
“She's just a great asset to have on board,” Hinds said. “I've been trying to get her with us for quite a while.”
Vaughn's efforts raised more public awareness for the ministries in a few months than during the past 10 years, Hinds said, and she led fundraising events like holiday tours of Garth Mansion. Since October, Vaughn raised about $75,000 for renovating the women's Harvest House. There are additional rooms being constructed at the men's Harvest House for participants who reach the second phase of the program.
More information about Be The Change in Your Community is available by visitinghttps://www.bethechangeforyourcommunity.com or calling 573-719-5019 or 573-231-1775. Information about Harvest Outreach Ministries is available at www.harvestoutreach.faith.