By Pat Creighton
August 31st marked the end of our 2016/17 year and it has been a year to remember. We accepted 307 new children, an increase of 38% over the previous year, and served 649 children with 261 volunteers. We welcomed 82 new or returning Advocates and one new Supervisor, Laura Rodriguez.
We completed our 2nd year in the Collaborative Engagement Program with Barb Robertson and Anna McDonnell leading the way. Our PMC Best Practice Project closed its 2nd year as well. Marilyn introduced us to trauma-informed advocacy through TBRI® (Trust Based Relational Intervention) training. Fawn worked with our Texas partners to produce a new Resource book for our PMC children, trained 26 advocates in our Fostering Futures Program and provided opportunities for 80 teens to participate in adult preparation activities including: buying a car, budget planning, and college campus tours. Kim Ayres led our Educational Committee to provide support, recommendations, and resources for our school age children while Patti and Kim Vest joined forces to provide an informational training guide for Advocates dealing with Infants and Toddlers. Mandy stepped in to ensure that we continued to recruit and interview new volunteers while we looked for a new Recruitment Manager, and Gwen acted as our Community coordinator for many children’s events including our Bike Rodeo and Easter Egg hunt.
Our wonderful Volunteer Committee (including: Susan Olver, Jane Funke, Betty Keyser, Judith Bartok, Donna Pershall, Sharon Howerton, Laurie Schoepf, Dana Grimsley) coordinated support group training, treated the CPS caseworkers and staff to an appreciation lunch, helped with various children’s events, provided support to new Advocates, and honored Program Supervisors with a special lunch!
Sadly, we lost a dear friend and Advocate, Donna Pershall, when she passed away very suddenly this past month. And…not to be forgotten…Harvey completed our year by devastating thousands of homes and displacing many of our families, friends and children.
As we look to make sense of it all, I am grateful to be surrounded by strong, selfless men and women who understand our responsibility to look after each other, to hold each other up, and to love without condition.
Our work is not done but I know that we are up to the task! Thank you for all you do.