Lisa Schultz, a mom of three and a working professional, visits the children in residential treatment twice a month to share her love of reading. "It's a way for me to be valuable. I am on the internet reading the news for 15 minutes here and there. That adds up. Instead, I choose to use my time better. That child I am reading to needs me," Lisa explained.
She joins the children before their bedtime to play, read books and snack on cookies and milk. "I'm animated and a good storyteller. I wear off on the kids. They feel safe with me and many become a storyteller with me. They really just want that pat on the back and encouragement," Lisa said. She helps remind children that others care. Her visits mean more to them than just the books they share.
The support we receive from our corporate and individual partnerships helps make the work of Child & Family Services possible. Lauren Jeckovich shows us how donating her time can make an incredible difference for the Agency. Lauren is a member of Child & Family Services Ambassador Committee and first learned about the Agency through one of our board members. It was not long afterwards that she became passionate about the cause and wanted to support the mission.
At her first Ambassador meeting, Lauren learned about the Adopt-a-Family Program, a program that pairs donors with families served by Child & Family Services. She had a strong desire to help, realizing so many families in our community are not fortunate enough to feel the joy of the holidays the way she did while growing up. “I experienced more joy shopping for the family I adopted than I ever had shopping in the past,” Lauren said. “It was contagious! My mom and my sister became involved too. We all went shopping together and made sure we got everything on the wish lists.” It was an experience that made last year’s holidays as enjoyable as the ones she had as a child.
Lauren also created a mentorship program between children in our Residential Treatment Program and her employer, Enterprise Holdings. The program involves a series of fun activities for Enterprise employees and our children throughout the year. For Easter, Lauren and coworkers brought Easter eggs to one of the residential homes and spent hours decorating with the children. In the spring, Enterprise employees spent some time outside playing games with the children.
Lauren loves the special touches she can contribute by being an ambassador. She realizes how significant the donation of her time is when she participates with the children. Child & Family Services is grateful for Lauren. So much so, that Lauren was awarded the 2017 Susan T. Siwiec Distinguished Donor Award from Child & Family Services.
To learn more about event volunteer opportunities, please contact Child & Family Services Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 335-7234.