By: David Reed
The JF Maddox Foundation was founded by a generous soul, Jack Maddox. He and his wife wanted their money to be invested back into Lea County for future generations. His brother and the preceding generations of Maddox family made that directive a reality by diligently investing, managing, and distributing funds over several decades. Every year the JF Maddox Foundation invests upwards of $12 million in Lea County. As someone with a stake in this community, you can shape how we invest this money.
In 2012, the Foundation funded a study of social service needs in Lea County. The report analyzed statistics from sources like the FBI, Census Bureau, and Health Department. Then, it verified findings through local interviews and focus groups with Lea County residents. The result was a snapshot of what it takes to access services like housing assistance, food services, and transportation across every community in Lea County.
The Foundation used that study over the last 10 years to address social service needs. The study revealed a need for improved communication between social service agencies, a desire to bolster teen pregnancy prevention, a need to adjust operating hours for social service agencies, and so much more. We gathered stakeholders and had conversations about housing insecurity, teen pregnancy, and food/hunger. We have joined community discussions about healthcare and behavioral health. We have provided resources that support solutions to real problems that were discussed by real Lea County residents. The study enabled us to be intentional about what we did and how we did it.
However, a ten-year-old study may no longer be relevant. Much has changed in that time. Hobbs has reached 50,000 people. A new hospital has been built. We have the CORE in North Hobbs and the Wellness Center in Lovington. We even have TWO Quiznos!
We also have seen the rise of organizations like MyPower, Inc., Eagle Student Health Center, and Habitat ReStore. These organizations and many more like them have made a significant impact in social service needs in Lea County. It is time to re-assess and evaluate our next moves.
The Foundation has contracted with a third-party company, Crescendo Consulting Group, who specializes in community assessments and understanding where needs should be met with resources. They have published an electronic survey to gain insights and direction from the community. If you would like to be included, fill out the survey by going to https://tinyurl.com/LeaCountyStudy
As always, your input is very valuable to us. We invite you to lend your voice to this study so that you are heard in this community and help guide the Foundation in a way that brings progress to the issues that challenge us the most.
David Reed is the Chief Operating Officer for the JF Maddox Foundation, a private family foundation focused on cultivating big-picture possibilities in Lea County, New Mexico. Through its investments, scholarship program, and leadership institute, the JF Maddox Foundation has transformed the Lea County community bringing about the changes that residents thrive on for generations.