Last year, Family & Children’s Agency’s Junior Board of Directors sponsored A Taste of Fairfield County at Aitoro to benefit Homeless Services. This year, A Taste of Fairfield County returns on Thursday, Nov. 13 to support FCA’s After School Program. Restaurants, chefs and caterers from around the county will come together to offer samplings of a variety of food and drinks. Join us for a fun evening of food, drinks, entertainment and raffles to support the more than 50 students involved in FCA’s After School Program in Norwalk.
The After School Program is once again lucky enough to have the Rowayton Arts Center fund a six-week art program. In addition to art expression, students will learn how to be art docents to describe their work to the public. Please join us in supporting the After School Program students for the Expressive Arts Class gallery opening!
The Connection, Inc. was awarded the 2014 Family Strengthening Award by Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) on Oct. 21 at FCA’s annual meeting, held at Silvermine Golf Club in Norwalk. For more than 40 years, The Connection, Inc. has been one of Connecticut’s leading
Peter Nucci, Jr., President and CEO of The Connection, Inc. (third from left) accepts the FCA Family Strengthening Award with The Connection, Inc. staff and FCA President & CEO Robert F. Cashel (far left).
private, nonprofit human service and community development agencies. Each month, thousands of people throughout Connecticut are assisted by The Connection, Inc.’s diverse behavioral health, family support and community justice programs. These programs reunite families, break the generational cycles of abuse, create safer communities, and assist with mental illness and addiction issues.
Since 2004, FCA has partnered with The Connection, Inc. to provide a Supportive Housing program through FCA’s Family Support and Intervention services for families referred by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). Services provide families with case management and other support that helps them access and retain appropriate housing that is safe, affordable and promotes family stability. During this partnership, which spans over a decade, over $3 million has been allocated to FCA for these support services.
“One of the hallmarks of the Supportive Housing program has been the close working relationship between the staff of The Connection, Inc. and FCA,” said FCA President & CEO Robert F. Cashel. “Throughout our relationship, staff from both agencies have worked together to provide appropriate housing and support for families.”
The Family Strengthening Award at FCA recognizes and celebrates individuals or organizations in the community whose outstanding contributions have dramatically impacted FCA’s ability to strengthen and stabilize families and offer help in all phases of life.
Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) presented Sharon Sullivan with the Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award at its annual meeting, held Oct. 21 at Silvermine Golf Club in Norwalk. Sharon first became introduced to FCA in 2003 and became quickly involved by leading a shoe-drive for clients and donating to the Agency’s Campership Program. She has been an active member of FCA’s Board of Directors since 2004 and served as the Board Vice-Chair from 2005-2012.
Board of Directors member Sharon Sullivan accepts the Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award with FCA President & CEO Robert F. Cashel.
Sharon’s involvement with FCA has spanned from governance to fundraising. She has served on numerous Board committees including the Board Executive Committee, the Board Development & Nominating Committee, and the Development & Marketing Committee. She brings a fresh perspective to each. She has a keen eye for marketing and has been an instrumental leader in FCA’s rebranding and visibility efforts throughout the years. In addition, Sharon and her husband, Jeff, have been significant financial supporters of FCA and have generously donated copious auction items to the Agency’s annual Benefit. Throughout the years, she has donated hundreds of tickets for shows at the Westport Country Playhouse to FCA families. Sharon has an inherent passion for bettering the lives of children and families, which is something she has shared with her entire family. Her daughter, Samantha, was a mentor to students when she was in high school and taught hip-hop classes to students in the After School Program.
“Sharon’s charity and vision have been a tremendous asset to myself and FCA as a whole,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO.
The Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated the highest level of volunteerism on behalf of FCA. The award is named in honor of Anne Cary, who has been involved in every aspect of volunteerism at the Agency for more than 25 years. Anne was also a Board member during the 1990’s and currently serves on its Advisory Board.
Another year, another great Minks to Sinks sale! Thank you to all who donated, consigned, volunteered and shopped this past week!
Minks to Sinks, often referred to as the greatest treasure hunt in town, will kick off its fall sale this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the corner of Danbury Road (Route 7) and School Road in Wilton. An auxiliary of Family & Children’s Agency (FCA), Minks to Sinks holds two tag sales per year offering an incredible variety of clothing, furniture, kitchen items, art, books, athletic equipment, toys and more. Proceeds from each sale benefit FCA.
Minks to Sinks has its roots in Wilton, having taken place since 1931. Today, the sale brings out nearly 200 volunteers from the Wilton community, many of whom have been involved in Minks to Sinks for over 30 years. During the semi-annual sale, volunteers work tirelessly to price, ticket, organize and display the thousands of items that are donated or consigned for the sale. Volunteers don the trademark red, white and blue striped aprons.
“Family & Children’s Agency’s relationship with Minks to Sinks dates back as far as the 1950s. In that time period, Minks to Sinks has donated roughly $2.9 million to FCA,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “We are grateful each year for their wonderful work.”
Minks to Sinks sale hours are:
Saturday, Oct. 4th: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 5th: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 6th : 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sunday and Monday dates are half-priced bargain days, with all items for sale at 50 percent off the marked price. On Monday, all shoppers may fill a bag with any merchandise at the sale for only $7.
September 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month, a period to applaud the gains made by those in recovery as we would those who are managing other health conditions. National Recovery Month emphasizes that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) offers Project REWARD, southern Fairfield County’s only outpatient substance abuse facility specifically designed for women. This month, FCA celebrates the achievements made by those in Project REWARD and encourages other women battling substance abuse to take the first step toward recovery.
“Project REWARD offers a continuum of care with a variety of outpatient options,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “This program provides the support and safety that an all-women’s program can ensure.”
Project REWARD has been serving clients since 1993. All clients who are referred to the program meet privately with a clinician for a comprehensive evaluation to determine the appropriate level of care. The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for three hours, with less-intensive programs offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Project REWARD is unique in that it provides both child care and transportation for those within our catchment area of Norwalk, Darien, Wilton, Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport, Wilton and Weston.
“Women feel more comfortable opening up and sharing in a gender-specific environment,” said Elizabeth Murdoch, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health at FCA. “This individualized attention allows the staff to help the client determine triggers and stressors to help prevent relapses.”
In addition to relapse prevention, group discussions focus on co-occurring mental health issues, anger management, domestic violence, parenting, mindfulness, relaxation, co-dependency issues and nutritional education. Women in the program have access to a psychiatrist for an evaluation and, if needed, medication management.
FCA believes that mental health and addiction recovery is essential to overall well-being, and supports the efforts being made around the country during National Recovery Month.
Family & Children’s Agency is thrilled to share that it was listed as the number one Work Place in Fairfield County in 2014 for mid-sized companies by Hearst Media Services. This is FCA’s first year being included on the Top Work Place list, and we are both honored and proud to have placed first out of 10 in this category.
The Top Work Place competition is conducted through an independent employee surveying company. Seventy-four companies throughout the region participated in the survey this year. FCA had a 68 percent response rate among employees, and FCA employee responses greatly surpassed national averages in terms of employee satisfaction, such as encouraging new ideas, being well-informed, conducting work efficiently and feeling that senior management understands what is going on.
As noted in the article written by the Connecticut Post, staff feedback is valued highly at FCA. “We have a culture that really looks to bring in employees at all different levels into the organization,” said FCA’s President & CEO Robert F. Cashel.
More than $100,000 was raised at Family & Children’s Agency’s (FCA) annual Golf & Tennis Classic, held Sep. 8, 2014 at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield. Mark Brown, of Wilton, and Jamie Bergin, of Darien, chaired the golf tournament, while Stephanie Mercado and Mary Cahill, both of Wilton, chaired the tennis portion of the event.
“The Golf & Tennis Classic continues to be a tremendous success each year for Family & Children’s Agency,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “We are so grateful to our sponsors and players who supported the event this year. We are proud to say that 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to helping clients.”
Corporate sponsors, participants and donors for the golf outing included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bloomberg Tradebook, cg42, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Hillhead Capital Inc., The Hour Publishing Company, HSBC, Idelle Labs, Jefferies, KCG Hotspot, Maplewood Senior Living, McMahon Ford of Norwalk, MJP Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley, Nomura Securities International, Inc., People’s United Bank, RBS, Stein|Troost architecture, UBS, Weeden & Co. LP and Xerox Corporation. Individual sponsors and donors included Deanna and Jamie Bergin, Tammy and Mark Brown, Jill and Alex Dimitrief, Jay and Mark Lux, Kathleen and Peter Murphy, Barbara and William O. Murphy, and Friends of Family & Children’s Agency.
150 backpacks were collected from local donors for FCA clients!
“Family & Children’s Agency is so grateful to our supporters who donate back to school supplies for clients each fall,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “School supplies are essential for academic success, and these donations will mean so much to the students and families receiving them.”
This is Rachel Schiavone’s first year donating school supplies in honor of their friend Victoria Soto, a teacher who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. Both the Service League of Boys of New Canaan and the Sciarretta and Lord families of Wilton are in their seventh year of donating back to school supplies. The “Tools for School” drive, conducted by the Wilton families, collects backpacks filled with supplies, which are given to sixth grade students in the After School Program. The tradition began when one student in the family began to collect school supplies in lieu of birthday presents seven years ago. In its third year, FactSet Research Systems had a “giving tree” with over 100 request tags for employees to take.
Thanks to the generosity of both the Greenshields family and the Knights of Columbus, many of the Agency’s program clients have been able to enjoy a day a the ballpark in FCA’s suite to watch the Bridgeport Bluefish. See pictures below: