Dear Fellow Rotarians & friends,
This week’s speaker is Marty Johnson. Marty is the founder and CEO of the non-profit, Isles. Isles promotes individual self-reliance and the development of neighborhoods in urban areas. Isles appears to have a real impact on struggling communities. Through education and skills training, they have helped people to build successful lives. They’ve also helped people to organize and revitalize neighborhoods. What a concept!
After viewing the Isles web-site, I realized that this thirty-seven year old organization is onto something big! They teach self-reliance in challenged communities. The kind of self-reliance that includes: job training; earning a diploma; applying for a mortgage; stopping a foreclosure; organizing and planning better communities; improving your credit score; taking control of your
It offers assistance far beyond money. They provided dignity to those individuals who want to improve their lives and their neighborhoods. That’s powerful stuff. They teach empowerment to those who need it the most. There are many non-profits who will throw money at a problem. They offer a temporary fix. When the money is gone, the situation usually returns and the money cycle just continues over and over again. It’s like inflating a flat tire without repairing the leak. You fill the tire with air and before you know it, it’s flat again. It doesn’t address the real problem….the leak. Isles addresses the leak.
Isles mission statement says it all: “To foster self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities. Isles seeks to train and educate community members, build wealth, and stimulate green, healthy living through a range of programs.” There have been endless generations of people who live in poverty, dependency and hopelessness. In order to help themselves, they need education and guidance. Isles gives assistance to those in need by teaching them the life skills that are required for success. The by-products of these efforts provide a better quality
of life for individuals and entire communities.
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”
Yours in Rotary,