Kenneth Hardin: New organization still looking to take the High Road – Salisbury Post

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Dr King asked, “The most persistent and pressing question in life is: what are you doing for others? The nonprofit High Road Inc. works around the clock to address them in everything we do. Our mission is “to be an advocate for all underestimated and underrepresented people, focusing on equity, justice and equal access.”

Simply put, we want to stand up for those who are afraid to speak or don’t understand how to speak. We want to relieve the anxiety, stress and frustrations of those who are often ignored, underestimated or underrepresented.

After nearly a year of careful thought and planning, and after executing the request by the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the 29-page request was sent to the IRS in early January. The same month, the secretary of state of the NC approved the statutes of the organization. During the six-month wait for IRS approval, our group did not let any grass grow under our collective feet. The board of directors has started to hold monthly Zoom planning meetings. Due to COVID and the fact that none of the board members were local, virtual sessions were required.

During these meetings, plans were made on how to grow the organization, but the majority of the time was spent highlighting strong women who have reached the top of their career field. The meetings have been made public through social media invitations in the hope that young women will join them to receive a message of motivation and inspiration. Among the women who have agreed to participate and share their journey from humble beginnings to powerful forces in the labor market include Dr Gwyndolan Swain, who is Department Head for the newly established MHA program at Belmont Abbey College. . Next, Dr. Avis Williams, author, speaker and award-winning director of the Selma, Alabama City School System. Dr. Georgette D. Hill, DVM Ph.D., who is currently Program Director of Pathology and Toxicological Pathologist at Integrated Laboratory Systems (ILS) at Research Triangle Park. Dr Robin C. Eury, who is the Director of Speech-Language Pathologists at Howard University, brought an excellent message.

When the approval letter was received on June 11, the organization officially took off and has not slowed down since. An ongoing fundraising and awareness campaign began, and people responded with immense generosity. Many of those who have donated, some multiple times, have said that they strongly believe in our mission and recognize what we are trying to accomplish. There are five categories of donors from a minimum of $ 25 up to $ 1,500. Individuals have already made donations in each category and the names of donors who wished to be identified are listed on the website.

The organization offers four specific free services. The main service is advocacy. The organization assists Rowan County residents by serving as an intermediary regarding a consumer complaint, medical examination, or grievance with an entity such as the police, education, or a city / county government agency. The nonprofit has previously advocated for citizens concerned about the county, the town of Salisbury, code issues, the East Spencer post office and the West End wildlife and run down crisis. We donated money to a family who lost everything in a house fire, donated to two families with children with special needs to help cover expenses, donated bags of clothes for women at Rowan Helping Ministers, donated two boxes of headphones to a daycare tutoring program, donated a box of new basketballs to a youth sports program, adopted an after-school technology program for Title I middle schools to send students to a STEM camp and stocked the pantry of a community outreach house at a local church with turkeys and 45 Food Lion Cares boxes. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the organization purchased turkeys, hams, ornaments, and eight $ 1,000 Food Lion gift cards, and hand-delivered them to needy families so they could benefit from ‘a Thanksgiving meal.

Other services offered include the partnership with the Easters Seals organization and the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College SOAR program. The objective is to make families and adults with an intellectual disability aware of their services and to guide them in the process of making contact. With the development and revitalization of the community, the association seeks to buy abandoned and dilapidated houses and empty lots to redevelop and prepare them for sale. Finally, the group worked with an established local sports organization for young people to help build character while keeping them fit and healthy.

The Board of Directors is a well-balanced mix of professional college graduates with diverse business backgrounds who bring a wealth of experience. A former municipal councilor, I am the executive chairman of the board of directors. I bring military experience, over 20 years of health leadership experience and 30 years of community advocacy. Georgia-based Hozell Odom, III is vice president. He and I served together in the Air Force almost 40 years ago. Odom is a retired master sergeant with 27 years of service. He spent an additional 11 years in the public service, and is the founder of the H3O Group. Deanna Stewart, who lives in Cary, has been a registered nurse for 15 years. She is completing the last semester of her doctorate in nursing. Vincent Eury, Navy veteran and native of Salisbury, lives in Virginia and has worked in the Department of Health and Human Services for 20 years. He is a prolific jazz musician and commercial voice-over artist. The other two board members live in New Jersey. A graduate in criminal justice and paralegal studies, Tara Edwards has over 20 years of experience leading real estate law firms. Eugene Stewart retired as a lieutenant after 25 years in a New Jersey City Police Department and currently qualifies for a cybersecurity degree. He is a well respected small business entrepreneur in the NJ / NY area. The gallery section of our website gives you a great overview of some of the remarkable people our Board of Directors has interacted with.

If you want more information about the organization, visit https://hardingroupllc.com/. To help us continue to help others, donate through PayPal on the website or send a check to PO Box 3101, Salisbury, NC 28145.

Kenneth L. (Kenny) Hardin is a former member of the City Council who lives in Salisbury.

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