On October 26, 2022, The ELM Foundation celebrated its 10 th anniversary at our Little Miracles Luncheon. Adtran hosted us in their beautiful Mark C. Smith Conference Center, and lunch was provided by Walton’s Southern Table. Our keynote speaker was James Whitford, CEO and Founder of the True Charity Initiative and Executive Director of Watered Gardens Ministries in Joplin, Missouri.

Over the past year-and-a-half, ELM has worked closely with James and his spectacular team at True Charity to build a network of nonprofits, churches, and agencies in Huntsville and Madison County who are working to change their service models from one that creates long-term dependency to one that focuses on dignity through effort-based programs. As a result of these efforts, the Madison County True Charity network has grown to eleven members: Asbury Church, The Brook, Christian Job Corps, The Cornerstone Initiative, The ELM Foundation, Lincoln Village Ministries, Manna House, New Futures, North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (NACH), Team Adtran, and Willowbrook Church.

At the luncheon, we also celebrated and honored five of ELM’s community partners, our “Miracle Makers,” who have made possible our work over the past ten years: Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Cintel, Inc., Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, and City of Huntsville’s Community Development office. Thanks in large part to the continued support and encouragement of these outstanding community organizations over the past ten years, ELM has become a nonprofit leader in community collaboration and connection as well as capacity-building programs for our social services community.

In 2018, ELM partnered with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville to create a cross agency case management collaborative that now serves almost 300 organizations in Madison County. We use CharityTracker, a web-based network to link these organizations and their 700 users to share resources, information, and referrals to meet client needs. The network has served over 48,000 individuals and delivered more than $11 million in assistance.

We also created the Pathway to Sustainability model in 2020 with community input and started our first agency cohort in 2021. Pathway provides training for nonprofits who want to find more effective ways to help clients move from crisis to abundance and target root causes of poverty. ELM provides training for boards and staff and the Community Foundation manages an incentive fund made possible through the generosity of Cintel, Inc., TVA, and Huntsville Utilities. This is our way of encouraging our agencies to ask their program participants “what can we do for you today so that you won’t need us anymore?”

In 2021, we joined the True Charity Initiative, and we are using the True Charity curriculum to help the community find new ways to fight poverty. In November 2021, we brought James Whitford, the founder of True Charity to Huntsville for a two-day community workshop. Along with our Leadership Social Services program, True Charity is one more way ELM is helping build the capacity of our nonprofit agencies to focus on outcomes and address the root causes of poverty.

Thank you to our Signature Sponsors: TVA and Huntsville Utilities; our Gold Sponsor: Compass Homes; our Silver Sponsors: Redstone Federal Credit Union, Simon Solutions, and Bridgeworth Wealth Management; and our Table Sponsors: The Agape Fund, Matt Bender, Cintel, Inc., Fran Fluhler, LSINC, Longview Financial Advisors, LSINC, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Torch Technologies, Truist, and Jennie Robinson. Your support made our celebration possible!

To learn more about The ELM Foundation, please visit www.elm.org
To learn more about True Charity or to join the True Charity network, please visit www.truecharity.us
or contact Beth Zinn at beth@elmhsv.org.

by Beth Zinn

True Charity Community Initiative, Program Director

"Compassion is a powerful force, a stamp of the Divine nature within our spirits." -Robert D. Lupton