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HUB Spotlight – Maddox Foundation Volunteer Center Northwest HUB

L-R: Stacye Trout – Development Director CF of Northwest MS
Brenda Smith- Co-Director NW Hub (Hernando)
Kara Dulaney-Co-Director NW Hub (Clarksdale)

The Maddox Foundation Volunteer Center/Northwest HUB has been in existence for fifteen years in some variation or another.  In 2018, the volunteer center joined Volunteer MS and The Alliance to become part of Mississippi’s new HUB network.  The existing director, Brenda Smith, who joined the volunteer center in 2012, has guided the Northwest HUB through multiple iterations and now sits at the helm of the Maddox Foundation Volunteer Center/Northwest HUB’s Hernando office.  Through her years of service and guidance to the nonprofits and volunteers of Northwest MS, the volunteer hub has grown and expanded to serving thirteen (13) counties and gaining valuable partnerships with Volunteer MS, the MS Alliance for Nonprofits, and Philanthropy, and the Maddox Foundation.  The Northwest HUB is a program housed within the Community Foundation of Northwest MS. It works closely with the CF’s amazing staff to provide long-term sustainability to nonprofits throughout the MS Delta and Northwest region. 

As a retired community college teacher, Brenda Smith brings the philosophy of working to provide training and “fishing lessons” to the nonprofits and volunteers. 

Many of our nonprofits are small “grassroots” organizations that are eager to serve their communities. 

It has been rewarding to see these organizations progress and to observe the new confidence that their directors have achieved through participating in the programs and training provided by the Northwest HUB.

Shortly after joining the HUB network in 2018, we were lucky to find Kara Dulaney, a friend of the  Community Foundation of Northwest MS, via an online job placement system.   She brought her unique blend of enthusiasm, devotion for the service of others, and understanding of the MS Delta to the HUB.  With the hiring of Mrs. Dulaney, we had the opportunity to expand to a second office in Clarksdale, which has allowed us to provide a more central location to our lower counties.

In early 2020, like so many others, we had to rethink how we serve our communities.  We became overwhelmingly aware of the lack of available food resources for the region that we serve.  The Northwest HUB and the Community Foundation of Northwest MS began working closely with food pantries and organizations serving our youth to help them meet their clients’ and volunteers’ rapidly changing needs during this challenging time. This “forced change” resulted in our most significant accomplishment to date, the FEED Fund, where the Northwest HUB worked tirelessly to provide valuable resources and support during the crisis.  Over the past eighteen months, the HUB has connected food pantries and nonprofit organizations to over $1,000,000.00 in “FEED Fund,” allowing them to increase compacity, gain knowledge and partnerships, and facilitate a network of support.

In the early fall of 2020, we had an epiphany of sorts and realized that we were not going back to the way things had worked before. Through this, we began to reinvent ourselves to meet the reality of the ongoing pandemic. We redesigned our county network meetings to make them virtual and began to work virtually with our nonprofits to help them to move forward.  As things start to improve, we have started a socially distanced “HUB on the ROAD” to reconnect with our nonprofits and volunteers throughout Northwest MS.

Moving forward, the Northwest HUB has so many exciting things planned, and we look forward to logging many miles to make a difference in Northwest Mississippi!

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