When did you first get involved with CCFI?
I was recruited to the Board in the mid-1990’s. It was called Juvenile Services, Inc. (JSI). Little did I realize the impact that commitment would make in my life. The staff scrambled for money and space to work. The office was in an old, small building beside the railroad tracks on Gray Street. It was inconvenient and poorly structured for children who we served. I soon realized that each time I was there I could see visible results of our efforts in the faces of the children.
Why were you moved to join CCFI as a Board Member?
The passionate work of the staff and Board clearly showed the possibilities to impact our at-risk children and their families. Giving them a safe and secure place to go provided hope for those most vulnerable in our community. I was drawn to join the Board because I witnessed a working board engaged in our mission. There was no one involved who was building their resume. We gladly served and looked for ways to make a difference for the children and families. Although very diverse in our makeup, the Board shared our dreams in a cooperative way. Times together drew us closer and enhanced our individual experiences by our service to the children, to the agency, and to each other.
What do you enjoy most about your service on the Board?
I got to witness the move to the Community Services Building where we benefitted from shared resources. It was fulfilling to work alongside staff, board members, and community volunteers to rehabilitate the space to accommodate more children in a more productive environment. Providing a better environment and reducing operating costs per child allowed us to serve a much larger group of children. During that transition, we changed the name to Center for Children and Families, Inc. (CCFI) in order to differentiate from an organization of a similar name who dealt with children who had gotten in trouble with law enforcement.
What do you feel is the biggest impact CCFI has made on the community?
Besides the services to the children, I know CCFI has made a difference in how our community spends its resources. There has been a noticeable drop in crime, less vandalism, and a better sense of community for those we serve. Children gain confidence in their schools and community volunteers. Some deal with unimaginable home lives. They have a safe place to go after school where they find dedicated servants to give them some things they may not find at home.
What would you like to say to encourage others to get involved with CCFI, whether by donating or volunteering?
As a business person, I see concrete victories from donations and services offered through CCFI. Becoming a volunteer or Board member offers one the opportunity of a lifetime.You can see tangible results of your efforts while building a network of friends.Together, we can leave a legacy of hope to those who need a little attention and love.It was an honor to serve on the Board and I cherish those memories.Is it your turn to be amazed and blessed?