Partnership by Lesley Doan

Partnership. What does that word mean to you? According to Wikipedia, “a partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments or combinations.” To advance their mutual interests, to be working towards the same goal or end result. 

This year at Tiqvah we have two new partnerships that have started to grow. Two men who are hitting the pavement and truly trying to make a change and difference in Canton Ohio. These two men go strong all day long and are always focused on the end result…to make our city and the people who live here better. 

The first partner is Officer Lamar Sharpe. His name seemed to keep coming up last summer and so we invited him to help us welcome our students on our first day of programing as they got off the bus. Our students were excited to see him and were familiar with him from their schools and neighborhoods. Since then Officer Sharpe has not been a stranger to Tiqvah. He helped connect us with CSE Federal Credit Union who provided our Jr. High students with new bicycles. When he needed a space for his Be A Better Me Foundation Mentoring Group we helped him connect with Christ Presbyterian and found him space. He spoke at our Evening of Hope fundraiser and even invited our boys to be part in one of his mentoring group sessions with Mike Rowe from the show “Dirty Jobs”. When we attended his fundraiser event he took time introduce us to the attendees. Officer Sharpe is a great man who is doing great things in Canton and we are blessed to have him on our team! 

The second partner new to Tiqvah this year is Kelly “Prodigal Son” Williams. I first met Mr. Kelly at an event where our organizations were sharing information and his students were performing. From there, Mr. Kelly came out to Tiqvah and did a mentoring group in the fall for our Jr. High boys. As a local artist and performer, we weren’t ready to say goodbye to Mr. Kelly! We have some students at Tiqvah who love to perform and we knew having Mr. Kelly around could spark the creativity in those students. Through the winter and spring Mr. Kelly worked with our younger students as well as the Jr. High boys and both groups were able to perform at our Evening of Hope Celebration. Mr. Kelly was also our MC for the Evening of Hope Celebration and we are so gracious for the energy he brought to the event. This summer Mr. Kelly is working with a group of our students weekly on a few songs for the 2019 Stellar Awards. This is very exciting for our students and something they would not experience without our partnership with Mr. Kelly. Along with mentoring young musicians and producers Mr. Kelly speaks to ex convicts and helps them as they reenter into society. Mr. Kelly is a wonderful man who is also doing great things in Canton and we are blessed to have him on our team as well!

Both Officer Sharpe and Mr. Kelly have their own organizations and yet they see the big picture and they see that together we can make a bigger impact. Together we are advancing our mutual interests and working for the common goal to make a difference in Canton Ohio. We want to be the change! In Mathew (9:37-38) Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into the field.” This is our prayer, that God will send more workers into this mission field of Canton, Ohio. There are so many ways to get involved and the mission field is here and now. We would love to get you connected so that you can start using your gifts and talents to further the kingdom of God. At Tiqvah we have individuals who volunteer their time and work with some of our students weekly. We also have individuals who get a group of friends or co workers together and make and serve our students dinner. Still others donate financially to help our program be sustainable. The possibilities to get connected are endless. Help us be the change, help us positively impact the children of Canton by reaching the whole child- body, mind and soul. Together as partners we can do this! 

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