Special to the Marion Times Standard

Since its establishment in March 2023, the H.O.P.E. Ambassadors have grown exponentially in their effort to connect with their communities. Through their ongoing involvement with such organizations as the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Workforce Development Councils, The University of Alabama School of Medicine, and many others, the H.O.P.E. Ambassadors have successfully increased their reach from 3,500 contacts to a shocking 20,000 contacts across the 12 counties they serve. These incredible results are a testament to the dedication and spirit of the H.O.P.E. Ambassadors themselves.

Every H.O.P.E. Ambassador has demonstrated diligence, care, and excellence in their commitment to their individual communities in the midst of the pandemic. To ensure the grant’s overall success, each Ambassador is expected to make contact with 25 individuals each week (5 contacts per day), and two Ambassadors have earned the esteemed title of “Superstars” due to their exemplary effort.

Lucette Fletcher and Janice Maxine Jones have exemplified outstanding service as Ambassadors for Greene and Pickens Counties, respectively. Their commitment to going “the extra mile” has impressed their supervisors, as they consistently exceed their weekly quotas since the implementation of the grant. Moreover, their ability to engage with and get the participation of their fellow community members in the survey process has been critical in achieving the outcomes of the grant.

Lucette Fletcher’s approach to making 10-15 contacts per day is based on the idea that being sociable and helping others is vital. She attends local events hosted by religious and community organizations, and even frequents everyday places like the post office and grocery stores. By acting as an Ambassador and collecting survey data, Fletcher has found confidence and happiness in her job. Janice Maxine Jones offers this piece of advice to everyone: “Any event where people are, I’m going to have my clipboard – baby I got it!” This motivational message succinctly signifies the necessity of being outgoing and engaging with the public in order to achieve success as an Ambassador. Ms. Jones is an avid believer in the Ambassador technique known as “posting up”. With only a clipboard in hand, she stations herself at frequented places such as Dollar Tree to survey shoppers as they depart. As an extroverted self-proclaimed “people-person,” Ms. Jones finds this practice enjoyable and easy to carry out.

Ms. Jones loves being an Ambassador for the Black Belt Community Foundation Health Outreach and Prevention Effort (BBCF H.O.P.E.). She is committed to carrying out the program’s work of assisting low-income families in Alabama’s Black Belt region in accessing quality healthcare services. She views interacting with the local community as an opportunity for promoting the BBCF H.O.P.E. program. To this end, she attends events and gatherings to make connections and collect surveys with her trusty clipboard in tow. Her ultimate goal is to collect 10 surveys per day, and she is motivated by a desire to help her local area become healthier. With BBCF H.O.P.E. directors Samantha Ledbetter and Wendell Paris Jr. praising her efforts, Jones is proud of the exposure she is able to give the Black Belt Community Foundation and the positive impact she is making.

(Source: Black Belt Community Foundation)