By CRIS WEATHERFORD
I would like to take up a brief amount of time and space to inform the greater community on some of the recent happenings at the Cherokee Children’s Home.
Regarding the construction progress of the new and exciting Children’s Home, we are very near beginning construction. We know that it has been some time since we had our groundbreaking ceremony. Some issues have come up that have prolonged our process, but we are committed to not rushing and completing this project with 100 percent accuracy and 100 percent accountability for the money we are spending.
We have been in near constant negotiations with contractors in an attempt to retain the best cost for the most quality. This has been quite a task. However, we feel we owe this to the folks who have invested so heartily in this most worthwhile endeavor. Everyone from the Tribe that has contributed $160,000 so far, HUD with the $486,000 ICDGB Grant, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation with the $200,000 contributed so far and the nearly $250,000 we have been blessed enough to receive from individuals in this community and beyond who recognize this project as a necessity.
While we are as ready as everyone else to begin, we are not finished with our fundraising efforts. We are constantly working on ideas and strategies to raise the $400,000 we still need to complete both of the homes this community needs to take care of its most vulnerable and deserving population. There is a current drive underway with the Tribal Employee Payroll Deduction. If you can spare a dollar or two at every payday, we could sure put it to work.
In this exciting and busy time for the Tribe, we understand that some are curious as to why this is taking so long, especially when other projects have come up and have already begun construction. The Children’s Home is a Department of the Cherokee Boy’s Club and is a non-profit organization. Thusly, it cannot be funded as some of the other projects are and we have to raise our money the old fashioned way. We know that our current facility has worked for nearly 42 years and our new facility will likely work for just as long or longer. We will be proud and we want everyone to feel that way.
I have also been making rounds to all the community clubs with a short presentation about our project. If I have not been to your community and you would like to see this, please call Tigger Lambert to set that up at 497-5009. It has been nice to get out and about and meet folks from all the communities.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and get informed. If you have any other questions, please feel free to come by and talk or call me at 497-5009.