Supporting TRY to benefit the community

By: Chuck Rankin, Board Chair

A company is more than a place where people spend upwards of eight hours a day for a paycheck. It is a place where people interact toward a common purpose they hope will lead to greater prosperity and a sense of community.

That’s why companies that are involved in improving their communities tend to have employees that work harder, care about the job they do and the company they work for. In a word, these employees are ENGAGED.

Similarly, most successful companies are engaged with both their employees and their communities.

It is my honor to be engaged personally and professionally with Truly Reaching You Ministries, which is marking its 20th year this fall. Alcon Tool Corp. has donated office and warehouse space to TRY for 10 years, and I have been a board member for even longer. Alcon’s CEO, Charlie Connor, also sits on the board.

To me, helping TRY and its founder, Perry Clark, is an opportunity to serve a cause greater than myself and help men learn the skills they need to re-enter and contribute to society.

I never thought I would have the opportunity to help men who had spent time in prison, but then Perry came into my life. Perry is focused on improving the lives of people who have made poor life choices. But his vision also has enriched my life immeasurably. God put Perry on my doorstep, and that has been the push I needed to support one of the most impressive yet unheralded nonprofits I have come across.

TRY’s success rate is nothing short of amazing. Through faith-based learnings and an approach that teaches men life and job skills such as housing rehabilitation and landscaping, TRY gives people the tools they need to re-enter society successfully. We call it giving a hand up, not a hand out.

The men going through TRY’s program have overwhelmingly rewarded TRY for its approach. Of the 102 men who have completed TRY’s program, only one ended up back in prison. In comparison, the recidivism rate in Ohio is 10 percent after one year and 31 percent after three years. That’s right, after three years, nearly one in three convicted felons ends up back in prison.

If you would like to become active with TRY, or get your employer involved, please contact us at 330-785-9294 or To begin our third decade, we are conducting a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $750,000 over three years. The money will help us fund our ongoing efforts and allow us to expand our business model so our landscaping and renovation and other services will allow us to become self-sustaining.

You see, TRY isn’t asking for a handout. We just want a hand up.

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