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Hope Happens

 From left, Hope Happens Development Officer Gabriela Inderwies, Director of Development Sandy Kaplan and Executive Director Robert Kindle in front of a portrait of the organization's founder Chris Hobler. ALS took the life of Hobler in 2005, which is one of many neurological disorders Hope Happens hopes to find a cure for.Hope Happens Executive Director Robert Kindle clearly remembers the day his father told him he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The news he told his father that day was news that had the equivalency of a “death sentence,” however Kindle holds onto the notion that while there is no cure for ALS, there is hope.

Hope Happens aims to improve the lives of people with neurodegenerative disorders by promoting collaborative, translational research with the potential to fast-track new cures. The organization’s focus is on a small family of neurological disorders, including ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic spinal cord and brain injury and stroke.

“Our underlying belief is that these diseases all may have one common mechanism, and if we can unlock that one mechanism, then we may be able to help cure all the diseases,” Kindle said. “Discoveries about one disorder can lead to treatments and cures for others.”

In November of 2004, Hope Happens partnered with Washington University to launch the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University in St. Louis, a research center dedicated to speeding the process of translating basic scientific discoveries into therapies and cures. Both partners are convinced that discoveries in one disorder will lead to progress with others. The Hope Center is leading the way in a new model by sharing not only information amongst those study separate neurological disorders, but also a core facility.

“I think of it similar to working on a business problem,” Kindle said. “You get everyone – those from logistics to those from sales – and work together on the problem to consider all sides. There are a lot of similarities in those two processes.”

In order for Hope Happens to focus on its mission and providing funding to The Hope Center, the organization relies on ARCHS’ Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) for its financial expertise. By having LRM handle its accounting, Hope Happens can focus on improving the lives of people with those neurodegenerative disorders.

Family Support Network

Family Support Network staff at the organization's Wine and Dinner Auction in early November.LRM SPOTLIGHT: In order to describe Family Support Network in one sentence, Executive Director Jama Dodson quotes abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglas – “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Through this strong message, Family Support Network’s mission is evident: strengthen families in order to prevent child abuse and neglect through family therapy, parent education, resource referral and community-based partnerships. The goal of the organization is to end the cycle of family violence and to keep children safe.

There is no denying the importance of Family Support Network’s mission, and in order for the organization to focus on serving St. Louis area families, it relies on ARCHS’ Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) for its financial expertise. By having LRM attend to its accounting, Family Support Network can handle the issue of area child abuse.

“That’s the whole point – not having to fret about Family Support Network’s accounting like I did before we switched to LRM in January 2010,” Dodson said. “From the standpoint of accountability, our funders can much more rely on our accuracy since we have been with LRM and see what we are doing with their money. Funders like to see that.”

Before Family Support Network came to LRM, it relied on a bookkeeper who was not on staff and would come in every other week.

“We knew we would get a lot more services and flexibility if our accounting was with LRM,” Dodson said. “I don’t have to worry about the accounting anymore. They prepare very detailed reports for me, which allows for easy results if I ask a question about something.”

Saint Louis Effort For AIDS

LRM CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: The sun was out on a mild July afternoon as the first picnic-goers arrived at the World's Fair Pavilion at Forest Park for the 25th Anniversary Celebration for Saint Louis Effort For AIDS. Within a short time later, the atmosphere of "Picnic With Friends" was lively as nearly 300 people mingled with one another as the big band struck up a rendition of "Zoot Suit Riot."

The July 11 picnic provided Saint Louis EFA clients, staff members, volunteers and the general public to come together in a day of recognition for those affected by HIV/AIDS. It was also a day of recognition for 25 years of community service by EFA that intertwined its mission and vision: provide education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and comprehensive support services to those affected by the disease, and for individuals and communities to be educated about HIV/AIDS and fully empower those to address the preventable disease without stigma, fear or hate.
"We had a lot of people who said they ran into people they hadn't seen for years, which the picnic was supposed to serve as a reunion," said Cheryl Oliver, Executive Director of Saint Louis EFA. "We had a lot of clients there, which was great because they usually don't like to participate because of the stigma that surrounds the disease."

Kids in the Middle

Kids in the Middle Executive Director Judy Berkowitz displays some of the therapy drawings children created during group sessions.Learn How a Leading Area Not-for-Profit Saves Over $30,000 a Year with LRM

LRM Client Spotlight: Kids in the Middle has been counseling, educating and providing support for kids and families affected by divorce since 1977. The not-for-profit organization helps children work through the issues that “bug” them about divorce, and find ways to cope with their fears, anxiety, depression and anger. Parents are also taught how to help their children through the difficult changes within the family.

The organization operates out of its Kirkwood office to serve the St. Louis Metropolitan region, and will now be able to better serve St. Charles area residents with the grand opening of the new Kids in the Middle St. Peters’ office in June 2010. “In talking with our St. Charles clients, Kirkwood was too far for them to come for once a week visits when you account for jobs, schools and other family activities,” said Judy Berkowitz, Kids in the Middle’s Executive Director.


LRM Client Spotlight:
The city of St. Louis was still asleep as the sun broke the horizon of a muggy and early April 10 morning. Not a vehicle or person was in sight down Russell Boulevard, except for a Humanitri bus waiting to depart to an area prison. The passengers eagerly waiting inside did not care that it was 6:15 in the morning, or that they had to start their weekend earlier than anticipated. They were happy to be on their way to see their sons and family members locked up in prison.

“I have two sons locked up. I am the only one who ever goes to see them,” said one woman, as she excitedly tapped her foot in anticipation. “One comes out next year, and the other comes out in less than two. I let them know I love them, and I am starting to see positive changes because one just got his G.E.D. and wants to go to school when he gets out.”

Humanitri’s new two-year pilot program, “Next Steps Home,” will serve 12 to 18 months after release. Partnerships with ARCHS, Gannett Foundation, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod provides $413,250 for transportation for visitation, chaplaincy, housing, case management, employment, education, addiction, mental health issues and other services.


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