Concerning Sunnyside's Promise...thank you Mr. Padelford for once again illustrating how to make claims and accusations with little or no information (6-20-12 letter to editor).
A few years ago Dr. Cole had the brilliant idea of forming a coalition between the City of Sunnyside, Sunnyside Community Hospital, Sunnyside's Promise and the Sunnyside School District. Each of these entities could gain from this coalition. A memorandum of understanding was developed and the CHSP board (City, Hospital, School and Promise) was formed.
Sunnyside's Promise was charged by this seven-member board with focusing on the criminal gang problem and drug and alcohol abuse by children, which followed Sunnyside's Promise's mission of providing the five promises to all of our community's youth. The big three pledged some funds to help Sunnyside's Promise reach this goal. Since Sunnyside's Promise was strictly a volunteer board with one part-time employee for administrative matters, it quickly became clear that a full time executive director was needed to accomplish the mission. The CHSP Board and the Sunnyside's Promise board approved this additional employee.
As Sunnyside's Promise became more active and began to address the gang issues from a prevention and intervention perspective, many partnerships and collaborations were formed. Specific grants and programs were applied for and received, which funded employees specifically for those programs.
All the while, Sunnyside's Promise had two core employees, Mark Baysinger and Lisa Fairbairn. The administrative cost of two employees, office space, office equipment, telephones, supplies, insurance, etcetera, has to be paid out of funds generated by Sunnyside's Promise from donations. Very little of this administrative money comes from grants and this money is needed each and every year.
Sunnyside's Promise has continually searched for funding sources and has relied heavily upon the city, hospital and schools to provide this basic administration money.
Beginning last year, the hospital was unable to continue to help due to changes in the way hospitals receive their reimbursements, and the school district cannot contribute unless quantitative services are provided in the schools, and our prevention efforts do not currently qualify as quantitative service. We are currently working with the school district to develop a plan to provide prevention and intervention services to students for the coming school year.
The only agency that has pledged and has paid has been the City of Sunnyside. We greatly appreciate the leadership of the City of Sunnyside for its continuing support.
This has left Sunnyside's Promise with only one third of the administrative monies necessary to stay in existence as we are currently structured.
Sunnyside's Promise has lots of programs working and has helped lots of kids. There are lots of grants available and we have been nationally recognized for the work we are doing. But without the necessary staff to organize and manage these programs, we can no longer provide this level of service.
Unfortunately, we still do not have complete support from a few local individuals. We have tried to garner this support, but some just want to sit back and make accusations and ignore the ugliness of the gang culture, all the while complaining about our situation.
Sunnyside's Promise has helped many of our youth continue on a productive path for our society and rescued some of our youth that have made poor decisions in the past. The thousands of hours donated by our volunteers and the generous donations from our community have largely gone unnoticed and unrecognized, particularly by the five or six individuals that have other agendas in our community.
The bottom line is that Sunnyside's Promise needs to find the annual administrative money to continue. The money isn't wasted or spent foolishly, but instead is used to help our community and our children.
/s/ Nate Bridges, Sunnyside's Promise Board of Directors