For the past several hours, Melissa Winston has responded to criticisms of Bright Futures on the KZRG Facebook page.
This comment was posted seven hours ago:
To be very clear, Bright Futures Joplin has never refused to give a coat to a child in need, nor have we embezzled money (hence the clean audit report from the State), nor do any Bright Futures Joplin funds go to fund Bright Futures USA. We have met well beyond 10,000 student needs in the last 5 years and have full intentions of continuing to do so.
Winston made other comments, including some during the board session, as noted earlier.
Most of the comments on the website were not about Bright Futures Joplin, but Bright Futures USA, though many suggested they did not intend to contribute to the local Bright Futures as long as it maintains affiliation with the national organization.
Some of that criticism comes from BFUSA's hiring of former R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff as a paid consultant.
BFUSA treasurer Mark Quinn, who has been the spokesman for the organization recently, continued that role on the KZRG Facebook site with comments, including this one, which was posted Monday:
. I am friends with CJ but that doesn't mean that I would support him on anything if he wasn't capable of delivering great results that will ultimately HELP MORE KIDS. (When CJ comes back after 6 months and as a result of his efforts BFUSA will now be helping thousands more children, will that change your mind?) To answer your questions...CJ didn't do this when he was on the board because the demand on his time for this project is almost like taking on a full time job. I don't think we should ask anyone to do this much work for free when he has to start thinking about a new career and taking care of his family because his exit package isn't going to last forever. He deserves to be paid for his time because we live in America and that is what we do here. If you were not able to listen to the interview I explain why we pay outside consultants sometimes to help organizations grow. The best practices of the top rated charities pay marketing firms and good/fair salaries to their leadership so that they can grow. I would suggest a visit to a website like charity navigator to learn more about that. Bottom line on that is if you grow BFUSA then thousands more kids benefit and that is what this is about after all; but some of you posting here have lost sight of that. Of all the things that you can attack, why go after a charity where a group of thousands of volunteers in this community are helping kids and families that are struggling. No program is going to be perfect. No program is going to be run exactly as you would lay it out. By your words here you are hurting the very thing that is helping people that need it most. For the record there are only two schools that have left BF and only one of those site BFUSA bringing in a consultant as part of that reason for leaving, and per their own comments, they had been considering it for a long time anyway.