Youth Philanthropy Foundation continues to honor communities

W. Derek Russell

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Nonprofits thrive upon donations from their communities to stay afloat, and the Northeast Mississippi Youth Foundation continues to aid these local organizations where needed.

The NEYMF, made up of 42 high school juniors and seniors from 17 different counties under the CREATE Foundation, have spent their school year meeting and planning how to distribute funds to local nonprofits in the area. The group built the endowment fund to over $110,000 by the end of February, and has donated more than $35,000 to communities.

At their board meeting in March, the members agreed to donate $3,658 to seven worthy organizations and programs across the area.

Among the nonprofits benefiting from the dispersement, the Okolona Community Dollars for Scholars, Project Homestead, Excel by 5, Aberdeen Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Banah PTC, Agape Health Services and Koon’s Care Free Clinic all lined up to receive their checks Sunday afternoon at the CREATE Foundation building in Tupelo.

Madison Mitchell of Houston said it’s difficult to choose who makes the final cut.

“We have to go through an elimination process on what we feel reaches out most to the community,” Mitchell said. “Many different organizations are presented from different counties, so we also look at groups that impact youth, since this is a youth-grounded organization.”

Dollars for Scholars’ John Standfield graciously thanked the members of the committee.

“This helps other kids your age,” Standfield said. “We can’t thank you enough. It’s so remarkable.”

Carmen Perkins, of Hamilton, says that finalizing the list of candidates is just as difficult as eliminating down to a final list.

“It’s really any organization we feel reaches those who needs assistance,” Perkins said. “It can be education, medical care, the homeless ... there are so many worthy causes to choose from.”

Each member from respective organizations spoke briefly on what their group would gain from the funds dispersed by CREATE and the NEMYF, from building projects to services for the elderly and needy, but one remark was echoed in each of their comments: their thankfulness.

“I am just one,” said Dee Eckles of Project Homestead. “I can’t do everything, but I can do something, and so can you. Each of you has the power within you to do something to help. Don’t ever lose that power.”

Twitter: @wderekrussell

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