MCCD

Mentoring Corps for Community Development

Posts tagged ‘volunteer’

MCCD Helps Old Lyme Owner

Hurricane Sandy, aka Super Storm Sandy, provided the group’s first opportunity to help a community member in need. Old Lyme was hit hard like many neighboring communities. Over 250 homes were declared uninhabitable.

Marla Sulmasy, an Old Lyme beach resident, suffered major devastation by the storm. The damage to her residence was so severe that she was forced to leave immediately with her four children. Hers was just one of the uninhabitable structures along the shore.

Members of MCCD worked with Marla Sulmasy to help her navigate the maze-like process of dealing with FEMA, insurance, finances, local officials, land use and building codes, and tradesmen. We created and she implemented an operating budget and a capital budget so she could meet everyday necessities and restore her home.

Countless hours were spent with Marla. Sandy made landfall on October 25, 2012. Marla and her family were able to return to their repaired home on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013. Her fortitude, persistence, and tenacity was an inspiration to all of us who worked with her. It was a joy and a privilege to partner with Marla in this complex, ever changing process and the result, both in terms of time and reconstruction, was extraordinary for everyone involved.

Marla graciously wrote the following about MCCD,

I can honestly say their time, effort and support helped me get back on my feet. But perhaps most of all, I felt their compassion and interest in helping me as their greatest contribution.

Quarterly Newsletter – September 2013

The third quarter was a busy one for members of MCCD. The most significant development was the signing of an agreement between MCCD and IESC (International Executive Service Corps.)

In early August an agreement was signed between MCCD and the Washington-based International Executive Service Corps (IESC) The agreement gives MCCD exclusive rights for Connecticut and Rhode Island. Dick Shriver, Michael Perks and the Reverend Canon Mark Robinson represented MCCD at the signing in Washington. IESC has a bank of 10,000 executives, about 200 of whom live in Connecticut. The group was established in 1964 by David Rockefeller and others as a non-profit organization using private sector volunteers to assist economic growth around the world. They have completed more than 24,000 managerial and technical assistance programs to companies in 120 countries. The agreement with MCCD is their first in the United States and should serve as a blueprint for other states as well. For MCCD, it greatly enhances the contacts and expertise we should be able to bring to companies who have need of such support, to encourage further economic growth in our region.

But we were also busy with many other projects:

We completed a study with a local business, helping them prioritize their marketing and operations.

BJ Bernblum initiated contact with a Connecticut veterans group, specifically the Errara Community Care Center in West Haven. The state has 360,000 veterans, including an estimated 640 who are homeless, live in shelters or sub-standard housing. MCCD may be able to help veterans navigate the maze that enshrouds veteran benefits, and our link with IESC may find common ground for veterans looking to set up or grow businesses.

A meeting with Congressman Joe Courtney led to a meeting with Tony Sheridan, president of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, an important contact as we integrate with IESC. They also discussed doing something similar to the Beacon Hill Village project in Boston. That is a member-driven organization for Boston residents 50 and over, which allows them to continue to lead active lives while living in their own homes.

We continue to make headway with the concept of an Avenue of the Arts. The idea is an old one, but one which we feel we can revitalize. The idea being that the natural beauty of the village deserves a more attractive entrance. It also includes the concept of a bike path that would allow residents better access to view the river and the village.

Janet Olsen has been working on our website, providing more information and making it more user-friendly.

John Forbis has been working with a group that would like to commemorate Roger Tory Peterson who spent most of his career here. They are attempting to determine whether an estuary center might be possible, perhaps in combination with a national foundation.

The group, especially Dick Shriver and John Forbis, has spent a lot of time preparing for an October 9th meeting at the Old Lyme Town Hall at 5:30PM. The theme of the meeting will be “Town Preparedness for Natural Disasters.” First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder will give the main address. But Dick and John will both speak and will introduce the members of MCCD. It is a meeting that should appeal to anyone in Old Lyme who is involved in local or regional services, whether schools, the fire station, emergency and health workers and heads of the business and political organizations.