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New non-profit to host education seminar

October 22, 2010

LaMarcus Ellis and Alexander Gibson

Bad decisions. Some are worse than others. Some keep a person from living life to the fullest, while others can destroy hopes and dreams.
Helping people get their dreams back on track is a new non-profit organization designed with the goal of teaching others to help themselves.
Help for the Helped is a new non-profit organization under the direction of Alexander Gibson.
The organization will be hosting an educational seminar from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday at McKee Park, providing free resume services, GED information and college preparation information.
The family-friendly event is open to the community, but the organizational focus is to provide needed information to convicted felons, and under-priviledged young adults who could use a “helping hand.”
The event will also be an opportunity for the community to talk with program organizers about projects, programs that would be most beneficial.
“To be wherever we are today, we had to have a little help,” Gibson said. “Because we have received so much help, this is a way to give back.”
Gibson said this organization is a diverse group of individuals interested in finding solutions to some of the problems of the community.
The organization is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for people who may be falling between the gaps of service with other worthy organizations.
Some of the ways Help for the Helped seeks to make a difference include creating a scholarship fund for students struggling in a variety of circumstances, provide a free educational programming, establish a crisis hotline, provide a variety of community service projects around the area, provide motivational seminars, and begin a convicted felon rehabilitation program.
“Not everyone has family to help them,” Gibson said. “We don’t want to assume we have all the answers. We want to talk to people to find real needs.”
LaMarcus Ellis, Help for the Helped’s president of operations, said the program is focused on helping others create change in their own lives.
“We don’t want to just make a difference, we want to be a difference in someone’s life,” Ellis said.

Convicted felon rehabilitation

Gibson is quick to say they are not going to “rehabilitate” anyone.
“Rehabilitation comes from within,” Gibson said.
“You can’t help someone who doesn’t want change for themselves. You can’t change the way you act until you change the way you think,” Gibson said.
Gibson said this element of the program is to help convicted felons who have served their sentence get “back on their feet” and into a job that will help them have a productive life.
“For the convicted felon, life after prison is a ‘Catch 22,’” Gibson said.
“They have fines and other things to pay, but they have extreme difficulty in finding a job. When they do, it is usually a minimum wage job that will not help them get ahead of the fines.”
Gibson hopes to find businesses to provide “internship-type” opportunities for released felons.
He also hopes to provide educational and professional skills programming for released felons interested in making a change.
“Many have a dream,” Gibson said.
“We just want to give them a little direction. They know what they want to do, and we want to help them do it.”
Helped for the Help is seeking donations to help keep all programming free to those who need it the most.
To make a donation or for more information about the organization, contact Alexander Gibson at Help for the Helped, 2369 Poe Drive, Starkville or e-mail him at arg114@msstate.edu.

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