Impact Inc, a fresh perspective on helping the community

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Impact Inc. is doing just as its name suggests, leaving a lasting impression on members of the community in Newburgh. The organization founded by Damian DePauw looks to bring together existing resources available to tackle major issues in the community.

Impact inc. stands for individuals making positive advancements in their communities together.

“Our goal is to make positive advancements in the Newburgh community together,” said DePauw. “We want to increase civic participation in an impoverished neighborhood. We want to see everyone notice how they have the capability and skills that can contribute to existing resources put in place.”

The program was recently the winner of a design grant through Pratt Institute. The grant gives DePauw the ability to get professional marketing from design students for the organization.

The idea for Impact Inc. came when Depauw decided he wanted to get more involved in the community. Depauw is a community organizer for the organization We are Newburgh. After seeing all the work done by We Are Newburgh he was inspired to start something on his own.

“Over the past few years I have done a lot of work with We Are Newburgh,” said DePauw. “I said, how can I help everybody even more? I wanted to inspire people to do what they’re passionate about.”

Impact Inc. has two programs in the works right now, The Star Project and the TimeBank. The Star Program was started by DePauw as a way to help the homeless population by offering customers in select businesses around the City the opportunity to purchase a pre-paid meal for someone in need.

Participating businesses include, Blacc Vanilla, Brick Street Deli, Crown Fried Chicken, Mr. Cris Pizza, Rockland Bakery, Tony’s Newburgh Lunch, Kennedy Fried Chicken, and Bliss Kitchen.

DePauw provides a cork board with pamphlets listing food, shelter and health resources for the homeless population. Everytime a person decides to purchase a meal or drink for someone, they pin their purchase with a message on the board.

What keeps DePauw going is the idea that he can help some that’s going through some of the same experiences he’s been through in life.

“There’s been times that I needed help,” said DePauw. “I know now how hard it is for some people to come up in this community, something like this is something that can help people turn that corner.”

For Regina Clark a woman who at the worst time in her life didn’t have enough money to feed herself and her children, the star project changed everything. When having a meal at a star project eatery she was able to get assistance for her substance abuse disorder and find housing when she was homeless.

Clark is now a year sober and living in an apartment with her children. Her journey to where she is started by picking up a pamphlet at a Star Project board to get the help she needed.

“If we all realized that we are all in this together, the world would be a much better place,” said DePauw.

The second part to Impact Inc. is the Together We Can Newburgh TimeBank. The TimeBank offers incentive for its members to do good deeds in their community in exchange for someone doing a good deed for them in return.

“The TimeBank is meant to use the skills available in the community to help others,” said DePauw. “Let’s say you need your car fixed, if there is a mechanic in the system, that person can help you for credit. Then if the mechanic needs help with something else they can use the time they have in the timebank to ask for help.”

The TimeBank concept was created by Edgar Cahn with different modes being used internationally.

“It’s a concept that helps to strengthen the community,” said DePauw. “The most important aspect of it is the connections being made by people who normally would not be introduced to one another.”

The skills in the timebank are considered equal across the board, whether its a doctor volunteering her time to help a member of the community, or young kids shoveling someone’s driveway.

The Newburgh TimeBank currently has more than 50 participants. DePauw is looking to expand that number into the hundreds. To make members more comfortable with the idea of allowing a stranger into your home or to assist with your needs, Depauw is looking to host annual mixers to introduce members of the system to one another.

DePauw plans to continue to build Impact as a platform to highlight and link people’s passions. Right now DePauw covers a majority of the costs for Impact out of pocket with a $6,000 grant to cover marketing.

“If everyone donated three to five hours a month, it would make all the difference in the world to this community,” said DePauw

To find out more information or to make a donation to Impact Inc visit, .impactyourworld.co.

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