A proponent of kindness to all, Jason Hynson plans to improve on collaboration between other area organizations to further help the people in need.
Hynson has worked with marginalized people for a good deal of his career and is continuing his path in nonprofit leadership as the new executive director for Victory Mission, a nondenominational, evangelical ministry that provides emergency and educational services through a food pantry, evening meals, men’s lodging and addictions program and the Victory Trade School.
The organization helps 10,000 families annually with food. During the winter, the organization hit max capacity with 151 men helped through transitional housing, the Victory Lodge and the addictions programs.
“We offer clothing vouchers and donation pick-ups and recycling through our warehouse,” he says. “This means many clothing, furniture and metals are not ending up in the landfills.”
Hynson worked in the nonprofit sector his entire career. At Wonderland Camp Foundation at Lake of the Ozarks, he increased the annual budget to over $1 million from $648,000 through programing and fundraising. He also crafted a collaborative program between Wonderland Camp and Missouri’s Vocational Rehabilitation, a state funded program helping individuals with disabilities gain employment.
Throughout his career, Hynson says his skills have been tested, faith strengthened and resolve sharpened. From Oklahoma to Texas to Missouri, he’s worked with troubled children and people with disabilities, as well as the Boy Scout’s of America. Looking back, he sees a pattern and some planning – not necessarily his own – to get him here.
“I think God is calling me and putting me in the right place,” he says.
He’s found a common thread, and his philosophy was formed: Treat people with kindness and try to understand their story, regardless of background.
“Once you try to see their story, then you have more empathy,” he says. “Everybody has a series of experiences that make them who they are. We need to see people in the human aspect and meet them where they are.”
Hynson plans to expand the Victory Mission’s scope and while there is no current plan to move off Commercial Street, he says the building is for sale for the right price. He hopes to set individuals on a journey to move beyond emergency services and into long-term reconciliation, rehabilitation and re-entry into the community.
“We have good supporting mechanisms out there,” he says, noting Victory Mission needs to be a leader in the community. “How can we remove barriers to allow people to access the opportunities and programs that are here – to build collaborations and solutions to problems and not just meeting immediate needs?”
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