Today, August 1, 2018, marks new beginnings for Transfiguring Adoption. When Darren and I began Transfiguring Adoption a few years ago, we initially planned to begin the process of becoming a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit. But Melanie Nordstrom, whom we had been working with in various capacities since 2000, recommended that we, Transfiguring Adoption, set up as a branch of Community Life Concepts (CLC) of Southern Illinois, NPC, a nonprofit for which she was the executive director. This made perfect sense as Darren and I had a history of running programming under CLC and also securing and managing grant funding under CLC.
Melanie has served not just as a “boss” to us in many ways over the last two decades, but she has been a friend and a mentor. Much of what we know about leadership, nonprofit management, and loving those in need we have gleaned from Melanie. Yesterday Melanie officially resigned as executive director of CLC and recommended me, Margie Fink, to the board as the new executive director. (Of course, this has been in the works in the background for a couple of months now.)
The CLC board has voted on several changes. Most of them will not necessarily be noticeable to those served through Transfiguring Adoption, but all are designed to have a positive impact on all that we do.
- Margie Fink is the new executive director of the organization.
- The legal name of the nonprofit is changing to Transfiguring Adoption.
- We have a new board.
- The current focus of the organization will be zeroing in on programs that relate to foster care and adoption.
- We have also secured the services of Redbird Strategic Resources for strategic planning and fundraising help.
For most people served through TA and for most of our volunteers, little will be noticeably different. First, here is a little background on CLC from the website:
“CLC has a history of founding programs that fill in gaps in services. These have included low cost food programs for families, coordinating emergency relief efforts for natural disasters, youth leadership training programs, volunteer mobilization, and organizing scholarships for low income children to attend private schools, to name a few. Additionally, CLC has provided infrastructural support to branches, such as Community Kids and Transfiguring Adoption, including office and meeting space in a state of the art facility, book keeping, office equipment and supplies, and a proven ability to market new programs effectively. Community Life Concepts (CLC) was founded as an outreach of Christ Community Church in Murphysboro, IL. Our mission is to develop programs that provide practical ways to bring hope and healing to those we serve. We work with faith-based and secular groups in a variety of settings. CLC was incorporated in 2006 and has its own federal nonprofit status. While CLC finds strength in its history, we strive to find new methods to respond to the needs of our world.”
These aspects will stay the same:
- Dedication to improving and increasing services
- Darren Fink as Program Director
- Margie Fink’s duties stay the same with more added.
You may not be aware that there are already two other programs—Community Kids and Compassion Closet—that have been operating under CLC/Transfiguring Adoption. Moving forward, there will be opportunity to add more programming that supports and resources children and their caregivers.
The Compassion Closet’s mission is to show the love of Christ by providing quality clothing and tangible items to foster children and their families. We also desire to serve birth families, aging out youth, kinship placements, and domestic/international adoptive families as God allows and needs arise. The Compassion Closet is located in Knoxville, TN, and serves the greater Knoxville area.
Community Kids (CK) is a support network for foster, kinship, and adoptive families that was conceptualized in the fall of 2009 and began programming in the spring of 2010. The purpose of CK is to provide foster and adoptive families supportive services that are not currently available through the state or other non profits. The first step was to initiate a monthly support group. Free child care from approved care givers is offered during the meetings. In the past, the group offered a free store to aid families in equipping new placements and also offered a summer camp for foster and adoptive children with the aid of a respite grant from AdoptUSKids. While its cofounders, Darren and Margaret Fink, currently reside in Florida and no longer provide programming, a support group continues to operate on a monthly basis in Southern Illinois from the group they began.
As we begin this new leg of the journey, I am grateful for the many opportunities Melanie has given us to grow, learn, do what we love, and become more of who and what we long to be. I am thankful for all who have been a part of our journey, and I look forward to the days, months and years to come and the people we will meet and serve along the way!