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Leadership Selma-Dallas County calls on community for proposals

For the first in its history, Selma-Dallas County Leadership is calling on the community to submit proposals for its Community Service Project, a requirement of each Leadership class that, in the past, has been decided on completely internally.

“Every class is asked to identify an issue in the community and then come up with a way to address that issue,” said Leadership Selma-Dallas County Interim Director Callie Nelson.”That’s why we’re asking for proposals, because sometime it takes a while to come up with what they want to do.”

Previous community service projects endeavored upon by Leadership classes include Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, which was launched by Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class 9 and still retains many of those graduates on its board of directors, the Alabama River Chili Cook-Off, which was launched by Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class 18 and has raised some $60,000 to help local nonprofits, and “Blessings in a Box,” which was launched by Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class 21 as a way of assisting people in hospitals with meeting basic needs.

Nelson said that allowing the community to submit proposals on what needs should be addressed, Leadership is better positioned to affect positive change.

Nelson said she got the idea from a conference she attended in Louisville – the group there had employed a similar strategy to great effect.

“We’re actually addressing needs that the organizations themselves have identified,” Nelson said. “It’s not something we think exists, it’s something a group has already identified and said ‘this is a need.’”

Proposals are open to schools and nonprofit organizations and must be submitted by Dec. 2.

The projects can range from beautification efforts to working with a local food pantry, from the need for equipment in schools to presenting a career summit.

The projects must include a “hands-on component” and should be able to be completed within six months.

Once all of the proposals are collected, the Leadership Selma-Dallas County Board of Directors will select the top proposals and invite representatives in to plead their case for support.

Nelson said the board will likely select two projects – though more may be selected, depending on how many are submitted – which will be announced on Jan. 3, 2020.

“I’m expecting that we will get at least 10 projects to select from,” Nelson said. “We may not get that many, but I’m hoping we will. Everybody I’ve talked to about it thinks it’s a good idea, it’s just taking the time to write it up.”

Project submissions forms can be obtained by contacting Nelson at 334-875-3200 or via email at nelsoc3@aces.edu.