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SENSE OF COMMUNITY FOR TUESDAY MORNING, SEPT 25th
As our Sense of Community Series focuses on civic engagement all this week, today we’ll offer a few examples of involvement within the business community. I’m Mike Smith introducing you to Enoch Morris, who along with his family, owns and operates Enoch’s Barbeque and Southern Classics in Chesterfield Village . Enoch is the former Executive Director of Juanita K Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts at M.S.U., and currently serves as its Director of Development.
Enoch Morris: “I’ve spent many years in the charitable end of the arts community, out there asking for support, asking for donations, as so now as a business owner I understand that I have to be a part of the community. Our business is a part, and when you decide you’re going to be a part of the community, you have to give back. For many years my wife and I used our United Way contribution for the Family Violence Center, now called The Harmony House. And we felt like that was the place where we wanted (our business) to help. We give one percent of sales to the Harmony House every month, and in the first 4 months, we’ve donated $717.87. It’s a small amount but for us it’s a major contribution.”
Danielle Conti is Director of Development at Harmony House: “Enoch is especially important to us. We are a domestic violence program. We have a shelter here, but we also provide supportive services for victims of domestic violence. The emergency shelter has 100 beds, and we may have 40-50 women stay here each night, but also 40-50 children stay here with their moms each night. We are almost always full and have been for the last few years. Last year we provided services to 567 women and children, and at that same time we were unable to immediately shelter over 700 because we were full.”
Enoch Morris: We have brochures in our business about Harmony House for people who want information and want to give them a call. We are now a drop-off site for donations of personal items, toilet paper, deodorant and whatever”.
Danielle Conti: “The Body Shop in the Mall is also a drop-off site, and they do different campaigns throughout the year where they’ll take donations of products for us to share with the ladies and children. We have banks which will do a Jeans Day for donations. Great Southern did that for us as did Empire Bank. It’s a way not only to raise money for us, but a way to raise awareness too. Windham has also adopted us and recently held a health fair and was able to spread the message about what we are here for. Not only does that help make their employees aware of what they’re doing, but it shows the employees that they and their employers are part of the local community”
Enoch Morris: “We’re seeing that happening more and more. I’d be real surprised nowadays if local businesses aren’t affiliated with some local charity, and feel like they’re giving back. I would encourage any business if they’re not doing it now, to find some way to make their mark on a community”
For the Sense of Community Series on KSMU and ksmu.org, I’m Mike Smith.