First in a series: During GivingTuesday, CityView Today is spotlighting a few of the 79 nonprofit agencies supported by the Cumberland Community Foundation’s annual observance of the global day of generosity. Make your gift here between November 20th and November 29th to have it amplified by a $550,000 match.
Today: we speak with Kim Molnar, the executive director of Miller's Crew.
CITYVIEW: Why is your organization’s work vital to the people you serve? How does what you do benefit the community as a whole?
KIM MOLNAR: Eight-seven percent of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed. This is a problem not only in our city, but our state and nation as well.
I have collaborated with families from all over the country and it's a consistent problem in every community. We have created wonderful pathways for our young adults in our community. Without our training program and employment opportunities, our crew members would be sitting at home on the couch. Every parent we meet has the same story. Their loved one is sitting at home with limited opportunities. Our program allows them to learn, train, grow and have purpose outside of their family circle, therefore, developing the skillsets they need to contribute to their working community.
We have built a program that benefits our community in three phases.
Tell us about your operation, and what your annual budget allows you to do — and how you make decisions about what gets left out if there’s a budget shortfall… (this question is designed to illustrate struggles agencies face from lack of funding)
Our primary mission and vision is our training program. Our annual budget has allowed us to accomplish our goal to provide more and more training opportunities within the three phases, more specifically, more space, time, and community business partnerships. For example, our brick and mortar creates training opportunities for 25-30 crew members each week compared to three to six members during a mobile training lab day. Currently, we are able to provide frequency, consistency, and data to prove tremendous progress and growth equivalent to 2-5 years of other training/therapy. We are able to see these outcomes in months vs years. In short, time allotted would have to be considered if budget was an issue.
How does the financial boost you get from the Cumberland Community Foundation make a difference in the life of your organization?
It makes a huge difference. We have built our nonprofit from the ground up for the past seven years. As Karl and I were working in various capacities (building the labs, grill cook, barista, grant writer, project coordination, etc.) to honor the families and young adults with special needs we always had a plan. The plan was always dependent on funding. It was extremely important that with each funding cycle we stayed extremely true to our vision and mission therefore earmarking each "boost" for the next step. This year, the funding will give us the financial security to continue to provide opportunities in our community that are so greatly needed.
What’s your message to those who are considering supporting the Foundation? Why should they be a part of Giving Tuesday and support the campaign?
It's simply wonderful. The Foundation does an excellent job working with local nonprofits who are making such a difference in our community. They allow each donor to see their dollars at work. As a result, our community will continue to get better and better surrounded by organizations and a Foundation who strives to improve the lives of people in Cumberland County.
About Kim Molnar: She’s a native of Fayetteville, mom of three boys, and has practiced as a Speech Language Pathologist for the past 30 years. She and her husband Karl, an educator, established Miller's Crew in 2016 in honor of their son Miller, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kim was a recipient of the 2021 CityView Community Impact Award and 2023 Organization of the Year award. As executive director of Miller's Crew, she spends her time personally working with families, speaking, consulting, and perfecting her barista skills.