Behind the Scenes at Maranatha-Carlisle

Luke Hand, Big Spring High School

Luke Hand, Big Spring High School

Intern, Nonprofit Exploration Program

For six weeks of visiting six nonprofit organizations for an experimental class in school, Maranatha-Carlisle was the final organization on my list. Before I visited Maranatha-Carlisle, I checked out their website. I really like the way they design their website because it was very helpful and direct when it came to finding information about who they are. I found out they are a non-profit organization that focuses on helping people with financial problems.

Maranatha-Carlisle helps clients maintain budgets to pay for their bills and holds financial education classes. Overall I sense that they are a reputable organization that can change a lot of lives in positive ways.

On my first day at Maranatha-Carlisle, I had gotten a little lost. It was a little bit difficult finding the organization because I didn’t realize they were just part of the building rather than the entire building. But that is okay, it gave me a feeling that this was a hidden gem that was waiting to be discovered. Ringing the intercom up on suite 202, I was greeted by a friendly voice whom I found later was the administrative assistant, Barb Allen. When she opened the door I felt like I was walking into a little house. Later on, it really wasn’t a surprise, because all the employees acted like they were a family. They greeted me warmly and with huge respect and asked who I was, and why I was interested in my internship. My first impression of them was high because obviously, they were interested in getting to know people one on one.

Throughout the day I interviewed all the employees in the organization. I met with the founder of the nonprofit, Joan Jones, who talked about how she and her husband started Maranatha-Carlisle in 2003. They were involved in Samaritan’s Fellowship, an organization that provides small grants to families experiencing financial emergencies. She noticed the same families requesting assistance because they didn’t have someone to guide them through the financial crisis and to help them make better decisions for the future.

For 18 years, Maranatha-Carlisle has been providing this service to Carlisle and the surrounding areas. Anyone can apply for Maranatha’s services. Some clients have disabilities and have trouble managing their money; othersĀ  need assistance managing their bills and saving for emergencies. Clients pay a monthly fee of between $10-$45, and over 30% of clients are charitable clients and pay no fee.

The account managers I met, Molly Baehr and Pam Roda-Kline. talked about how they meet with clients and work with them on making budgets to pay their bills. They collect and pay bills on the client’s behalf making sure that they have enough money for essentials while helping them save to achieve financial goals. They record all transactions in a data management system..

The business management team of Kris Hall, Sue Ferguson and Mir Robinson, works very closely with the account managers, but they are different because they help intake new clients, manage grant spending and maintain the financial management system.

The executive director, Michael Landis, oversees the organization and focuses on running the departments, fundraising, and working with partner organizations in the community. Truly he is a leader in the field.

The IT department deals with technology problems whenever needed. The reliable person who runs it is Mike Herr and he is a handyman when it comes to computers and security. He is always learning new things, securing the organization’s data, and helping to fix technology issues.

The administrative assistant Barb helps run every department. She is the receptionist, the mailman, assistant account manager, and everything in between. She is your backup person whenever you need another hand.

Carla Maranto-Arnold is responsible for communication and development. She writes grants, manages the website, marketing and events. She is a very friendly person and helped me understand what the organization was really about.

Overall I find myself enjoying my time at Maranatha-Carlisle and I hope that this organization continues to grow and positively impacting people’s lives. They are all truly amazing people who are passionate about their jobs and determined to help the community.