Since 2003, Blue Monarch has provided an opportunity to mothers searching for the means to rebuild their lives; most of which have been consumed by drug addiction, poverty, and imprisonment. Over the years, we have seen lives restored, families renewed, and children transformed.
In addition to having served over 500 women and children from 34 counties across Tennessee, we have steadily gained supporters from across the entire country and continue to receive inquiries for help from struggling mothers everywhere.
Our mission is to restore hope not only in the spirits of the residents of Blue Monarch, but in the community at large. We want to restore hope that something can be done to stop the cycle of recidivism; that something can be done to alter the course of a family’s future; and that something can be done to intervene in the lives of children in desperate and terrifying circumstances.
Something can be done. And Blue Monarch is doing it.
We are so excited that we have been able to retire the mortgage debt on our home, freeing up valuable capital in our operating budget. We have also been able to make more in-home services available to our families, eliminating the need to send residents off-site to receive certain services.
I am honored to serve as the President of the Board of Blue Monarch. This organization makes a difference in many people’s lives. Our founder, Susan Binkley has brought a dream to reality. She and her staff have helped over 300 women and children change their future. The women who come to Blue Monarch are usually as low as they can go. They are nurtured, taught and guided to become good citizens, good parents and good people. These women spend one year getting their lives back and many times, getting their children back. Most get their GED and go on to college courses. They are not just taught job skills, but job ethics as well. They are encouraged to make God the center of their lives instead of themselves. The women that make it through the program thrive, as do their children. For our communities, this means one less junkie on the street, one less criminal in jail, one less battered woman, and maybe one less child in foster care.
Every organization has challenges, usually money! As most non-profits, we struggle to continue to raise the necessary money to do this work. We have a great start now after a successful capital campaign, but we know that fundraising never ends. We have a small staff and perhaps with more paid staff, we could help even more women and children. Our other challenge is inspiring our residents to succeed. Most want it, some aren’t willing to do what it takes, but ALL come away from Blue Monarch having learned some life lessons. I have no doubt that once a woman and her children pass through the door at Blue Monarch, they learn that God loves them and wants them to succeed. Most stay and when it’s time, they transform into that beautiful butterfly and fly away free of some of their demons. What more reasons could there be to want to volunteer with Blue Monarch!
Amazing transformations take place in the lives of the women and children of Blue Monarch. I feel we are changing the family tree as the women and their precious children learn a healthier lifestyle. Many of the women at Blue Monarch have been taught to use drugs by their parents and grandparents. I am pleased to witness the breaking of this tragic cycle as children are learning a new way of life and are not exposed to some of the hideous conditions their mothers were. One of the saddest aspects of methamphetamines is how it destroys a mother’s nurturing instinct for her children. Since our program is 12 months, this gives time for the drugs to finally leave the system, and that bond to develop between a mother and her children – usually for the first time. The restoration of families so wounded by drugs is by far the most important aspect of our program. I have witnessed a number of women who have arrived at Blue Monarch hardly knowing their own children, and have left as healthy, caring mothers. Of course, our goal is for every woman to successfully complete the program, but even those who have left prematurely have later told us that their children's lives have been forever changed as they desire a more structured lifestyle and have fond memories. I feel a big part of what we do is help to replace very sad memories with good ones. It is truly humbling to be a part of this amazing process.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Human trafficking has long been an international concern, but did you know that trafficking could be happening in your own neighborhood? News features on this topic often concentrate on women and children in third world countries who have been forced into the sex trade industry involuntarily, but this industry has evolved into one of the most lucrative businesses worldwide. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, human sex trafficking is "the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world." What you may not know is that human trafficking is growing in the United States and takes place right here in Middle Tennessee.
For every $1 spent on addiction treatment, $12 are saved on future social, medical and criminal justice costs. Yet addiction recovery services for low-income and uninsured people are provided primarily by nonprofit treatment centers dependent on funding through competitive grants, private donations and modest payment by patients. These centers are always busy, and patient waiting lists are long.
Relationships have ups and downs, but certain types of behavior in any relationship are unacceptable and abusive. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the epidemic is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This rings especially true when the abuse psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet can leave deep and lasting scars.
In Tennessee, gang presence has been on the rise since the late 1980s and early 1990s, when gangs first made a concerted push into the state. Since 2011, police have identified at least 5,000 gang members in Davidson County, and gang-related crimes have increased by 25%. Meanwhile, cities with 50,000 or fewer inhabitants have seen gang-related crimes triple in frequency nationally since 2005.
Parents dropping their kids off at school may not realize their child sits next to a young person in the foster care system. Students may not realize their classmate is not going home to his or her own parents, but to a group home or foster care placement. No sign on this child would alert anyone that he or she has likely suffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215