New Outreach Program Connects ABAM Name with South Side

Alexian Brothers South Side location welcomes Chris Dodd and Liz Lowry as the facilities first Outreach and Volunteer coordinators. The position is the first of its kind for Bettendorf since its opening in December 2011 and was created to immerse the organization into the surrounding area.

The new title among Bettendorf stretches across a wide variety of tasks all of which center around positively connecting ABAM services and mission with the community; thus far the pair has met the challenge yielding great results.

Recent outreach from Dodd and Lowry have brought in aid with financial management for tenants from Urban Bank, free haircuts from local barbers and a sealed a contract with Chicago State University for student volunteers.

“The main goal is to create sustainable relationships within and outside the organization and then to connect the needs of both.”  Dodd says.

To further address internal needs, Dodd plans for a ‘Listening Campaign’ which he explains as an opportunity for tenants to sit down in an open forum format and provide feedback for what has worked, what hasn’t and what other outside services they want to be see within Bettendorf.

Some topics he hopes to address include personal growth and development, being good members of society, and general life skills relating to education and job training. “We want to build lasting programs that create permanent and positive changes within the tenant’s life.” Dodd says.

To address the external relationships they continue to reach out towards established sources such as churches, schools, political leaders and other organizations of the like. The idea is to use these connections to create mutually beneficial relationships through community events, outlets to give back and partnerships.

Through the many connections they create, the goal is to lay a solid foundation to keep the outreach program growing. “Setting up clear procedures, policies and a sustainable volunteer program is all part of our process to create a successful outreach/volunteer program here.” Lowry says.

For inquiries on outreach opportunities with Bettendorf contact Chris at cdodd@abam.org

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Meet Chris Dodd (left):  Previous to working for ABAM Chris got his degree in Sales at Northern Illinois University and spent ten years as a sales manager for fortune 500 companies until he had a calling towards something more substantial in life. “I didn’t want to just sit on the side lines anymore, I wanted to get out and really do something.” Dodd says. He attended seminary school and became a pastor during which he participated in various healthcare workshops and felt a particular need to cater to the disabled population, enticing him to the work Bettendorf does.

Meet Liz Lowry (right): After getting her BA in International Affairs, Liz wanted to work with outreach in domestic issues which led her to take a position as Outreach Coordinator through Americorps VISTA for ABAM’s  Bonaventure House and The Harbor  in 2010-2011.  Being a positive asset during her term, ABAM was happy to have her back on the team.  She is currently in her second year of Seminary School and will be with ABAM until June to help get the Bettendorf outreach program off the ground.

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