ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - A young woman in Elizabethton sees the needs of her community, and is trying to start a nonprofit in order to help.
Amy Aubrey was substitute teaching in Elizabethton when she saw many children in need. "Poverty is so huge in Elizabethton," said Aubrey. "I don't think people even realize."
That is why Aubrey felt she was called to start a nonprofit. "The statistics of poverty levels are staggering," said Aubrey. "But there is a lot more need that cannot be measured in statistics."
Aubrey's dream is to one day create a Community Center in Elizabethton, that not only helps children, but also their families. "For a long time I would just get mad at the parents, and say why cant they provide? said Aubrey. "But the reality is, no one is taking time to invest in the parents lives."
Aubrey has started by blogging and releasing a monthly newsletter to send out to people about her progress. "The idea of these kids and these parents coming together...what a difference that could make," said Aubrey.
Candace Patai, principal at Harold McCormick Elementary School, says the amount of children and parents struggling financially is staggering. "Children with clothing needs, food needs, they are hungry," said Patai. "I think the problem is going to get worse, before it even gets better."
Patai says she sees a huge need for the kind of non-profit Aubrey is proposing. "I think it would be a fantastic resource in our community," said Patai.
Aubrey says she feels this is God's calling for her life. "It's not about charity, or what can I get out of this? What can I get out of helping someone?" said Aubrey. "It's life. It's how a community is supposed to function."
However, it takes a lot of work and money to start a non-profit. Aubrey says she is taking things one step at a time, meeting with business leaders and filling out paperwork, in hopes on one day becoming official. "It might fail," said Aubrey. "But if I can help one family or one person, it's all been worth it."
You can keep up with Amy's progress by visiting her blog: http://costlygraceamyaubrey.blogspot.com/
Or, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.