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Nonprofit Profile of Childspring International

Nonprofit Profiles –  From the Desk of: Childspring International

I conduct a series called ‘From the Desk of:  Atlanta Nonprofit Leaders’.  This endeavor is a series of interviews of Executive Directors, Head of Schools and CEOs of local nonprofit organizations.   My Nonprofit Profiles blog posts highlight the most outstanding feature of each leader and his/her organization.  Here are their stories…

“The blessings of a strong board”

 

 

Who:

Alison Fussell, the Executive Director of Childspring International.

What/Mission:

In response to God’s love, Childspring International provides medical care and opportunities for a better life to children around the world.

Where:

www.childspringintl.org

Winner:

If I had to choose 1 thing that Childspring does great, one thing that I am most impressed by, it is the collaboration between the executive director and the board.  Alison shared many examples of how the Childspring International Board of Directors truly function as 1 team, highlighting and utilizing the strengths of each member.

Why:

Childspring International does what they do because children deserve a completely fulfilling life, no matter who they are or where they are born.  Providing them with improved physical health improves their emotional and social health as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alison many months ago during a training series I attended on volunteer development at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.   On the first day of training, Alison introduced herself and then spoke about the wonderful volunteer that was with her at the training.  She spoke about his assistance to her organization and that he suggested and encouraged her to attend the training, despite her busy schedule.  His goal was to ensure that Childspring International had expert knowledge to develop an effective volunteer program at their organization.

I was struck by a few things that morning.

  1. Alison’s genuine caring for her organization, for those they serve and for her supports (staff and volunteers).
  2. Alison’s humility and passion to serve their population of children in need.
  3. Alison’s collaborative approach to her work in helping to lead Childspring International.

 

I have since had the opportunity to meet with Alison at their site and interview her for the ‘From the Desk of’ series.   I am now even more impressed with Alison, her staff, the volunteers I had the chance to meet and their organization’s work.  Childspring International serves children in developing countries to provide them with medical surgeries that they would otherwise not be able to afford.  This not only takes a team of highly skilled surgeons, but also hospital support staff, families who will sponsor, support and house the children while they undergo the surgery (as it usually has to take place in a country other than their own) as well as a whole lot of coordination to transport the children to another country for surgery then back home when they have recovered.  Wow!  Not only is the work so impactful to help improve children’s lives, but all the people I met the day I visited Childspring International were as passionate, warm and welcoming as Alison.

Childspring International has a highly engaged Board of Directors who collaboratively lead the organization.  They are very creative and utilize many low-cost or no-cost resources.  As I was speaking with Alison about the collaborative work that her board does and mentioned the man that joined her at the volunteer training series, I was surprised by Alison’s response.  She said that the man who joined her was not on the Board, but a general volunteer.  An executive director who incorporates the knowledge, strengths and skills of all her ‘people’ is a Winner in my book!

To learn more about Childspring International, please check them out at www.childspringintl.org.

 

Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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