January is National Mentor Month, and during the month we like to honor all of the different individuals who volunteer their time and energy to support our community’s youth and families. At FCNI, we have multiple volunteer roles, including mentor, tutor, career mentor and admin volunteer; and all of these roles directly help us achieve our mission, “to enhance the wellbeing of children, youth and families in partnership with our community.” Matt Hanley, a local attorney, is currently a Mentor with us.
Tag: community support
Sponsor a Child for the Holidays is a time each year when our community comes together to make holiday dreams come true for the youth and families we serve. It’s a fun and magical time, and as a Social Worker at the Family Care Network for the past few years, I have many special memories of our families enjoying this tradition during the holidays.
Each year, the Family Care Network has the honor of partnering with local organizations and businesses to make a difference in the lives of the children, youth and families we serve. Recently, we had the pleasure of partnering with Old Navy to create a unique opportunity for our young adults who are eager to learn about employment and working.
Gifts come in all shapes and sizes—from extravagant, to handmade, or sentimental and even humorous. While every gift given for the pure joy of its recipient is meaningful, “life changing” gifts are in a category all to themselves. These are the gifts that when given, change the mindset, the circumstances and even the futures of those being gifted. Every holiday season, Mike McCarthy partners with us to give such a gift to one of our families working towards successful self-sufficiency. And witnessing each family’s joy at receiving Mike’s gift leaves not one dry eye at FCNI, and reminds each of us that we live in a truly remarkable community.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller
Community support can make anything possible. And Tara Brown can attest to the fact that community and family can provide one the strength and collective power to make anything possible, including adopting a child from foster care as a single mother.
When you’re involved in something as impactful as foster care and adoption, Tara has learned that people want to be a part of the process of something meaningful, inspiring and beautiful. “Some people are meant to foster or adopt, and those who can’t, can still be a support system for those who do,” Tara says. Throughout her journey, Tara discovered the beauty and strength of true community and interdependence. She found that the hardest part about entering into the world of foster care and adoption was her own resistance to asking for help. Tara quickly learned that it is okay to not be okay, to have needs, and to have moments of weakness and doubt, as these moments have taught her how to ask and receive critical help.
Every year at our Benefit for Kids event, we get the opportunity to connect and work with many local restaurants, wineries and breweries in order to create a wonderful tasting experience for our 250+ guests. Over the 12 years that we’ve hosted B4K, we’ve established some wonderful relationships with the people behind these businesses, and look forward to showcasing their amazing goods each year. As the planning for this year’s Benefit for Kids comes to a crescendo, we want to spotlight one of these important relationships. Shanny Covey, along with her partner with Robin Covey, operates three local favorites: Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria and Novo and Luna Red in San Luis Obispo. At least one of Shanny and Robin’s restaurants has participated in B4K almost every year since the beginning of the event in 2004. This year, Novo will be participating and we’re looking forward trying what is sure to be an amazing dish that will no doubt delight all of our guests.
The Holidays are coming soon, and that means FCNI’s annual Sponsor a Child for the Holidays gift gathering campaign is well under way. Last year, the community fulfilled over 1000 wishes through Sponsor a Child—an impressive number that brought immense joy to those we serve, as well as a lot of inspiration and gratitude from our staff. This year, we will have an even greater need. At the end of each summer, we ask our children and youth to fill out their “Wish Lists” for the holidays, which we then distribute throughout our community.