Friday, December 4, 2009

MTI/Adams Engineering Awarded Small Business of the Year Award for State of Indiana!

In previous posts I have had the chance to talk about MTI/Adams Engineering and how they have partnered with MC3. Not only have they helped develop a training program to hire people from the Monroe Circle neighborhood but MTI and the Adams Family (Dan and Jen Adams)have been great friends of the community center. Jen also is the co-leader of the Cafe and Food Pantry for the last two years and has been invaluable to building teams and systems that allow us to provide a better environment for engaging both the families of the community but the volunteers that serve.

Earlier this week Dan Adams called and shared the news with me and I had the privilege of sharing how valuable and helpful their partnership has been to WNDU TV.

Here is the press release announcing the award.

November 10, 2009 (INDIANAPOLIS) — A South Bend-based company that provides friction welding technology and services was honored today as the state’s Small Business of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Manufacturing Technology, Inc. (MTI) was chosen from a field of dozens of nominees from around the state. MTI and other top small businesses were recognized at the annual awards luncheon held in downtown Indianapolis.

A fourth-generation family-owned business, MTI primarily builds machines that carry out the friction welding process (the solid state joining of two parts using frictional heat and applied force to create a forge-quality weld). MTI also sells the only line of frictional welders worldwide that includes all three major variations: rotational, linear and stir.

The company’s accelerated pace of business has flourished recently through acquisitions and overseas joint ventures. This year marks MTI’s most successful in history, with all major business metrics showing improvement over the prior years. And in the last five years, the company has experienced sales growth of more than 300%. Many of MTI’s nearly 125 employees have been with the company for 15-plus years, including Kevin Grewe:

“Through my years of service, it has been obvious that MTI is a family company with family values. That continued trust and respect put forward is evident by MTI’s employee dedication, as my tenure here is short compared to many. Being part of MTI is more than just a job, it is being part of something to be proud of; this small family-owned company has become a world leader in its field.”

MTI also gives back to its local community through various school-related activities for children and the Junior Achievement. In addition, it developed a skill enhancement program for the underprivileged to try to break the cycle of poverty.

“MTI stood apart for its commitment to its employees, continued innovation and partnerships, tremendous financial growth and commitment to its local community,” offers Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar.”

Companies recognized as finalists for Small Business of the Year were: of Indianapolis; Bremen Castings of Bremen; International Medical Group of Indianapolis; Task Force Tips of Valparaiso; and Unified Group Services of Anderson. This marked the second consecutive time Unified Group Services has been a finalist; all others were newcomers to the list.

Semi-finalists for the award were: Communications Products, Inc. of Indianapolis; enVista of Carmel; FlashPoint of Indianapolis; the M.A.I.L. Group of Lafayette; Omnitech Services Inc. of Valparaiso; and Safety Management Group of Indiana, located in Indianapolis.

“We are proud of the ongoing efforts of all the winning companies and the small business community at-large. These companies impact all of us. They contribute to many working families’ income, to the prosperity of respective communities and to the entire state’s economic competitiveness,” Brinegar notes.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome an Old Friend and New Director of Monroe Circle LeRoy King

As of December 1st, LeRoy King will move from an amazing volunteer leader of MC3's The Gathering to Director of the Monroe Circle Community Center.

Anyone that has attended The Gathering on Tuesday nights knows LeRoy's heart and passion for the families living in the Monroe Circle neighborhood. He will now bring these same skills to help lead the kids, families and volunteers of MC3 to the next level of opportunity and hope.

LeRoy will assume the role of telling the story of MC3 on this blogsite and it is my hope that every now and then he will allow me to be a guest contributor every now and then. In addition to volunteering at one of my favorite hangouts (MC3 that is!) I will be working to help eliminate female infanticide and feticide in southern India via The Rhema Project.

Please help me welcome LeRoy King!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Punkin Pie!!!

Yesterday was a good day for eat'n! SonCity Kids at Monroe Circle and Edison Gardens held their annual Thanksgiving Dinner.... well more like a banquet!

Lot's of great food, friendships built and everyone went home to take a nap!

Also, on Saturday SCK Washington Gardens in Elkhart started the holiday season off on the right path with their first annual Thanksgiving Feast.

This time of year is always a good time to reflect back on how far God has brought you and all that He has provided. Just a few years ago, an old building on the corner of Taylor Streets and Western Avenue was quiet and dark with not much of anything going on with no hope in sight. Today, it is the cornerstone to community transformation. Same can be said about Edison Gardens and the amazing shifts toward a better day becoming the normal.

My prayer is that we will always take time to remember this journey and be very, very thankful!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buzz is Up at MC3

Today we expanded MC3's after-school program to include LEAP remediation and Compass Learning. The volunteers were excited, the kids were adding volume and energy to the education center. I had a chance to briefly talk to Rebecca Mashon, LEAP teacher from Madison Primary Center as she was leaving. As she watched the volunteers from GCC, Bethel College and Penn High School walk the kids back to their homes all she could keep saying was this is going to be very, very good - I can't wait for tomorrow!

Amy Kring, our SCK after-school coordinator deserves so much of credit for where we are at. She has stood in the gap, believing in this kids and coaxing volunteers to invest their time and talent. She is doing something great and even state and local educational leaders understand she is leading something new... something exciting... something very, very special.

If interested... we and the kids still really need you!

Prediction - Deizmond will be a Great Man

This afternoon I had the privilege of having a late lunch with my friend Deizmond. We were celebrating his good grades on his report card. Deizmond has been coming to MC3 for the last couple of years and is a regular at the after-school program. We work on his history, math and reading homework. Lately, I've been helping him with a few speed reading and comprehensive techniques.

He is a bright young man that will go far. But his is not what impressed me the most. Deizmond will become a great man because he is already a amazing young boy with outstanding character and a sharing heart!

As we finished our meal he opened his backpack and pulled out a $5.00 McDonald's gift card he had received as a reward for hard work at school. He could have saved it for himself but he didn't. He asked if he could use it to buy 4 double cheese burgers - one for each of his four brothers and one for his mom. He wanted to share his success and his rewards with his family.

I have so much to learn from Deizmond. Most times I give from my excess. Deizmond gives from all he has.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dr. Tony Bennett to Visit MC3


Had a great turn out on Tuesday with not only Dr. Bennett visiting MC3 but Superintendent Kapsa, Principal Buysee of Madison School and several members of the media. Amy Kring, our amazing After-school Coordinator did an outstanding job.

Here is the link to the South Bend Tribune article. We also had great coverage on the local ABC affiliate.

Please join us if you are in the area on Tuesday afternoon. We have invited the news media to learn more from Dr. Bennett, Superintendent Kapsa, Principal Buysee and Coordinator Amy Kring on how we are going to impact the lives of 55 kids from the Monroe Circle neighborhood.

Media Alert

Dr. Tony Bennett, State Superintendent of Public Schools to recognize new partnership between Monroe Circle and South Bend Community School Corporation to provide after-school remediation program.

WHAT: Monroe Circle Community Center is expanding its after-school program to include Compass Learning (web-based learning) and LEAP remediation by partnering with the South Bend School Corporation.

WHY: 55 grade school children (1st thru 4th grade) have been tested and are presently 6 to 18 months behind grade standards established by state and federal guidelines. 90% of African males and 70% of minorities presently do not graduate from high school with their classmates.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: Monroe Circle Community Center, 526 W. Western Avenue, South Bend, IN 46601

WHO: Monroe Circle Community Center was established by Granger Community Church through its separate not-for-profit organization (“EnterMission, Inc.) to provide individuals and families living in the Monroe Circle area with opportunities to be transformed from a people existing in a low-income, subsidized housing neighborhood to a vibrant community that cares for and dignifies the elderly and disabled as well as edifies, equips and guides people to a point of self sufficiency.

Madison Primary School and the South Bend Community School Corporation will be providing certified teachers, non-certified support staff and curriculum that will better enable students to close their learning gap before it becomes insurmountable.

Additional volunteers will be provided by Granger Community Church, Bethel College as well as residents and parents from the community to provide not only a focused learning environment but one that has a low student to adult/teacher ratio.

Goal: To equip these students so that they move from the lower third of their class to 70% of these students will be testing on or above grade level by May 2010 and 85% achieving this level by January 2011.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sabado Segundo!

Yesterday afternoon I was visiting with Amy Kring's sister (Emily) who works in Mexico as a missionary to Mexican college students. She was sharing that they were trying to build a deeper and greater community impact and were struggling on how best to accomplish it.

Amy was telling her sister about our 2nd Saturday events and they thought they would give it a try. So last Saturday while the food pantry, cafe and SonCity Kids was going on at MC3 we were also sending teams to the VET Center at the Center for the Homeless, boxing food boxes at Feed the Children, working at Manowe and reaching into the Elkhart community at Washington Gardens.

Simultaneously, 2000 miles away in Mexico City followers of Jesus were playing with children at an orphanage, bring joy to seniors confined to a hospital and telling woman that have resorted to prostitition as their only means of survival that they matter to God. Emily shared that everyone was excited (staff, students and guests) and there was such a "buzz in the air" that they were already planning next month's event. As she retold each event the stories of Jesus came alive again in my mind.

I think when the walls of the church come down and we move from simply telling people who Jesus is to showing them who He is something spiritual almost magical happens and a Kingdom party can't help but break out!

Sustantivo Jesus por Sabado Segundo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Notre Dame Swimmers Get Out of the Pool to Make a Difference!

Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 9:15 AM

What do you do when you are a college student, given the weekend off by your coach, no home football game to attend and its the forecast for South Bend, Indiana is cold, overcast and a chance of rain? A) Sleep in B) Head out of town with your friends to Chicago C) Go home to visit parents D) Wake up early to go build into the lives of 50 inner city kids.

If you are 15 guys from the University of Notre Dame Men's Diving Team you drag yourselves out of your warm bed, head downtown to the Monroe Circle Community Center and go "all in" when asked to befriend 50 inner city grade school kids during SonCity Kids/2nd Saturday. When most volunteers show up for the first time they typically step back and observe. Not these 15 keys - they jumped right in. They played board games, they painted tier own and the kids' faces, they kicked a soccer ball around the Cove parking lot, they shared their donuts with the kids so that the kids would have a little bit extra, they walked the kids back home at the end of the day.

They made a difference in the lives of these kids. They gave them hope for a better tomorrow. they allowed the kids to dream what their lives might be like. These guys brought God's Kingdom from Up There to Down Here.

You could see it in the faces of the kids from Monroe Circle. They wanted to be just like these guys when they grow up. Truth be told - so do I!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Congratulations Greg!

Greg finishes the Ironman World Championships in 13:52.05!!!

Last Saturday morning Greg ran into the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean to fulfill his dream of competing in the Ironman World Championship race held in Kona, Hawaii. A little less than 14 hours later he crossed the finish line after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running a full marathon.

He competed for the families of Monroe Circle and the Monroe Circle Community Center. He wore a jersey with the MC3 logo to help bring awareness to the community center and our common goal to provide families an opportunity to move to a place of self-sufficiency.

Greg and his wife Heather are headed back from Hawaii today. In the next few weeks he will be speaking at The Gathering (Tuesday night 6:30 PM) as well as to the SonCity Kids and the adults working on their GED program.

Congratulations Greg! You are an inspiration to all of us!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second Saturday Makes A Difference

Second Saturday is joining forces with Make A Difference Michiana on Saturday, October 10th during their national volunteer serve day. Nationally, there will be over

One Million People

serving in their local communities - giving a helping hand to those that are in most need of help.

Make A Difference is a charitable organization but they would not necessarily classify their mission to be faith-based but we are excited to stand beside them as we lend a helping hand to those in our community that have been marginalized.

As always one of our core sites is Monroe Circle Community Center where scores of volunteers will be helping serve guests in our cafe, helping them carry their food box to their car or across the street, playing with kids from the neighborhood (SonCity Kids) and giving hope to everyone we meet.

Plus, about the time we finish our work on Saturday morning, Greg Macklem will be wading into the Pacific Ocean wearing the MC3 banner to start his swimming leg of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Pray that Greg will stay injury free and possibly he will be able to tell the story of MC3!

If you are already serving at MC3, come on the 10th and maybe even think about bringing a friend to volunteer beside you. It's a great way to introduce them to MC3 and Up There Down Here!