Monday , 23 April 2018

Community Lifeline: Together We Are Better

By: TSB Community Contributor

Community Lifeline Center’s ability to serve those in need rests heavily on the financial support of people in the community: individual donors willing to help those in crisis. In order to ensure the vast majority of that support actually goes to those in need, Community Lifeline keeps paid staff to a minimum, and costs carefully controlled.

Which means Community Lifeline depends greatly on the willingness of volunteers and our Board of Directors to donate time, money, and energy to the mission. Indeed, those in need – and the entire community – are indebted to a few good souls who serve asking nothing in return. It’s a pleasure to introduce some of them to you over the course of the coming year, starting this week with Robert Camp, Senior Vice President of Independent Bank, and President of the Community Lifeline Center Board of Directors.

He’s been a Community Lifeline Center Board member for three years, and President since 2010. As he likes to say, “I joined the Board in January of 2010.  Shortly after I joined, Rex Redden, who was serving as the President of CLC at that time, took a job in Carrolton and had to step down.  I think by default I was then asked to replace him, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise”.

The blessing part came in the form of Camp’s introduction to Executive Director Christine Hockin-Boyd at a Volunteer Recognition event in 2009

“From the very beginning, I was – and still am -impressed with Christine and her passion for the organization and her heart for others,” Camp adds. “As I like to tell potential board members and supporters of the organization, CLC is on the ‘front lines’ when it comes to trying to help the citizens of McKinney and the surrounding areas we serve. On a daily basis, the employees and volunteers are trying to address unfortunate circumstances in a caring and professional manner to allow people to gain back their dignity and hope.  I can’t think of a better place to serve and support our community”.

And, while it’s often assumed that organizations like Community Lifeline Center are supported by government funding, Camp reminds that “…both the city and county continue to have their own funding issues. We currently only receive a small portion of our budget from these entities to help fund the organization’s programs. We can’t rely on any one source for funding, so we have to continue to build relationships with individuals, churches, companies, other non-profit organizations, and local government agencies to collectively meet the needs of our community”.

As to the Board’s role in all this, Mr. Camp says it’s to “…support the Director and work with her to set the direction of the organization through planning, setting strategies and goals, and – most importantly – to then implement them. In addition, the Board is ultimately responsible for the financial well-being of the organization.

When asked how Independent Bank feels about the effort he puts into Community Lifeline, he notes:  “Fortunately, I work for a company that also recognizes this need and encourages its employees to get involved.  The Bank has programs in place to match employee contributions to non-profits up to a certain dollar amount and provides financial assistance to organizations where its employees are volunteering their time”.

He is currently leading the organization through a period of significant change, as the service footprint grows to embrace the continued needs of local families in crisis, as well as the recent Texas Veterans Commission grant to serve Veteran needs. Meeting those needs has not only put added strain on human and financial resources, but on facilities as well. The pressures to serve more, and more completely, have made the development of a clear vision and mission statement an essential part of the2012 plan, along with new and creative ways to generate awareness and funding.

Mr. Camp’s focus is on surrounding Community Lifeline with a Board of Directors, volunteers, and supporters who bring energy and passion to the mission. As he says, “Over the past few years we’ve somewhat adopted the phrase ‘together we are better’. I firmly believe this is true and will ultimately allow us to reach more people in need”.    

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