Family & Children’s Agency Participates in Norwalk Food Drive
Nov. 16-24 is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) is participating in a food drive in collaboration with Greater Norwalk Opening Doors–an alliance to prevent and end homelessness. FCA’s two Norwalk locations will be collecting nonperishable food items this week from the community. Stop by FCA, or any of the four participating agencies, during normal business hours.
Family & Children’s Agency
9 Mott Ave. OR 140 Water St.
Westport City Hall
110 Myrtle Ave.
Norwalk City Hall
125 East Ave.
Keystone House, Inc.
147 Main St.
What Can You Donate?
Peanut butter – Canned tuna – Breakfast cereal – Canned fruit – Canned vegetables – Instant oatmeal – Powdered milk – Powdered drink mix – Canned pasta sauce – Hearty soups – Boxed meals (e.g. hamburger, chicken, tuna helper, Betty Crocker Complete Meals) – Chef Boyardee (e.g. ravioli, spaghetti-o’s, family-size cans) – Jelly and jam – Crackers – Ketchup – Mustard – Salad dressing – Mayonnaise – Salt and pepper – Sugar
Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging (SWCAA) Awarded Family & Children’s Agency’s 2013 Family Strengthening Award
The Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging (SWCAA) & Independent Living was awarded the 2013 Family Strengthening Award by Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) on Oct. 22 at FCA’s annual meeting. SWCAA has been a core funder of many of the services offered by FCA’s Home Care Services for Seniors, including Personal Alert, Carpentry and Home Modification, Assisted Transportation, Homemakers and Home Health Aides. SWCAA’s relationship with the Agency has continued for more than two decades, and their support for the Personal Alert response system has been in existence for nearly three decades.
SWCAA Executive Director Marie Allen, left, with SWCAA Board Chair Alice Pisani.
“Our partnerships with the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging is one of our most important and longstanding relationships,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA.
SWCAA, based in Bridgeport, is a private nonprofit organization that is a designated agency on aging by the Older American Act of 1965. SWCAA is a primary funding source for federal and state dollars for the elderly in the 14-town region of Southwestern Connecticut. In the last two years alone, SWCAA has provided almost $6 million for services to seniors in Fairfield County.
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.
Charles W. Pieterse Awarded Family & Children’s Agency’s 2013 Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award
Family & Children’s Agency presented Charles (Charlie) W. Pieterse, Vice Chair of the Agency’s Board of Directors, with the Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award at its annual meeting, held Oct. 22 at Silvermine Golf Club in Norwalk. Charlie is a partner with Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan LLC, where he has worked for 24 years and focuses his practice on trust and estate litigation, as well as business litigation.
Board member Charles W. Pieterse (right) with Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan LLC colleague, Cynthia Lloyd, accepting the 2013 Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award.
Charlie’s history with Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) began in 1999 when he and his wife, Sara, adopted two children through the Agency’s Korean Adoption program. In 2005, Charlie joined FCA’s Adoption Support Foundation and later became its co-chair. He was instrumental in successfully integrating the Foundation’s work into the Agency’s development efforts. Since 2007, Charlie has been an active Board member, with him and his firm providing literally hundreds of hours of legal consultation to FCA, all on a pro bono basis.
“Charlie is always willing to provide his and his firm’s legal talents and expertise to FCA on any issue while also offering important guidance and support on the strategic direction of the Agency,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA.
Charlie has been selected as a Connecticut Super Lawyer every year since 2006. Due to his extensive pro bono work, he has been included on the Connecticut Bar Association’s annual Pro Bono Honor Roll numerous times. In 2008, Charlie received the Robert G. Krause Pro Bono Award from the Greenwich Probate Court. In April 2011, the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies awarded Charlie the 2011 Connecticut Family Champion award in recognition of his work on the Board of FCA.
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.
Local Organizations Donate to FCA Back to School Supply Drive
Organizations and friends of Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) have donated school supplies to clients of FCA for the upcoming school year. The Service League of Boys (SLOBs) of New Canaan, the Sciarretta and Lord Families of Wilton, FactSet Research Systems, Professional Media Group, LLC (PMG), and members of the Agency’s Junior Board of Directors are donating supplies to children involved in a number of programs across the Agency, including Specialized Foster Care, Mentoring, Counseling and the After School Program. Supplies include backpacks, pencils, rulers, notebooks and folders. The youth receiving the supplies range in age from elementary to high school.
Both the Service League of Boys of New Canaan and the Sciarretta and Lord families of Wilton are in their sixth 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 grad 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 six years ago. In its second year, FactSet Research Systems had a “giving tree” with over 100 request tags for employees to take. When assembled together, the donations create over 50 backpacks filled with supplies. For the first time, employees of PMG of Norwalk are donating supplies with a corporate matching grant for all supplies donated. Likewise, members of the FCA’s Junior Board will be donating additional supplies at their next meeting.
“We are so thankful to the Service League of Boys, Sciarretta and Lord families and FactSet Research Systems for their continued support, and to PMG for joining the back to school drive this year,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO. “These donations will be greatly appreciated by both the students who will use them and the parents who may be struggling to afford them.”
Many of us take for granted having back to school supplies. These supplies not only allow students to be prepared to be successful in the school year, but an opportunity to fit in with their peers and take on the school year with confidence.
To learn more about Volunteer Services, please contact Mayx Holmes, Manager, Volunteer Services, at (203) 855-8765 or email@example.com.
Thank you for being a friend!
The first week of August is National Friendship Week, a time to acknowledge, thank and appreciate those who are a good friend to you. Friendship is the crux of Family & Children’s Agency’s Mentoring program—so much so that the program is called “Project Friendship.” Both Project Friendship, with adult mentors, and Junior Project Friendship, with teen mentors, are community-based mentoring programs in the Greater Norwalk area.
Anne Schneider, Coordinator of Mentoring Services, says that she sees close friendships evolve in all mentoring matches. In many cases, the mentee becomes part of the family.
One pairing is that of Rachel, a 10-year-old girl in Norwalk who began mentoring services four years ago at the age of six. At the time, Rachel was paired with Sarah, a Big Friend in the Junior Project Friendship program and a local high school student. Rachel and Sarah formed a close connection, and when Sarah went to college two years ago, her mother, Susan, assumed the role as Rachel’s mentor. Susan’s family now has to relocate out of state for work, but she wants Rachel to remember all the memories they’ve made over the last four years so she is making Rachel a scrapbook to surprise her.
Click here to learn more about Project Friendship or contact Anne Schneider, Coordinator, Mentoring Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glen Gate Company Offers Internships to Two Foster Care Youth
Janeen Reid, Supervisor of Adolescent in the Specialized Foster Care program at Family & Children’s Agency, knows well of the challenges foster care youth often face when transitioning into adulthood.
“So often there’s a stigma that comes with being in foster care,” says Janeen. “People might be less receptive to them or unsure of their abilities or skills, but these kids just need someone to take a chance on them. They need opportunities.”
Opportunity is what Glen Gate Company, a landscaping corporation and longtime supporter of FCA, is offering two foster care adolescents this summer. For one month, the selected students will have the opportunity to hone their professional skills in a corporate environment. One student will be placed in an administrative role, while the other will be in the field training with landscapers. Both students will work full work days, Monday through Friday, and receive a stipend.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to hone their professional skills and learn new skill sets,” says Janeen. “They will learn how to provide customer service and work in a corporate environment, along with other skills such as punctuality, working well with others, communication and work ethic.”
Both students are over 16 years of age and are still in high school. This experience with Glen Gate will not only prepare them with valuable career skills, but bolster their resumes when they apply for colleges.
Although this internship opportunity is only being extended to two students, it sends an important message to all youth in the foster care system: that someone is supporting for them.
“These kids need people advocating for them,” says Janeen. “We’re so fortunate to have this partnership with Glen Gate.”
If you know of a business interested in extending opportunities to youth in Specialized Foster Care, please contact Debbie Tadduni, Director, Specialized Foster Care, at (203) 523-5322 or email@example.com.
Videos of the After School Program performing a step dance routine and African drumming!
Graduating eighth-grade students from the After School Program.
Students in the After School Program at the Agency participated in their End of the Year Performance on June 18. Students in the Program take part in various enrichment activities throughout the year, many of which were showcased at the End of the Year performance, including photography, step dancing, and African drumming.
The After School Program serves 50 Norwalk middle school youth on the campus of Norwalk Community College each day. Students served through the program face potential multiple barriers to success. In addition to academic support, the Program offers enrichment activities, helps promote character development, reinforces executive functioning skills, and prepares students for a successful transition into high school.
Read Family & Children’s Agency’s Spring/Summer 2013 Newsletter
Read up on all the latest news with Family & Children’s Agency’s Spring/Summer 2013 newsletter!
Family & Children’s Agency serves communities within Fairfield County and beyond including Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, Weston, Darien and Stamford.
Family & Children’s Agency Receives $10,000 Grant from Fairfield County Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls
Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) of Norwalk has received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls to support the Girls’ Challenge component of the Agency’s After School Program.
Artwork from a female student in the Girls’ Challenge program with the After School Program.
Girls’ Challenge, which will enter its tenth year this fall, is designed to encourage middle school girls in the After School Program to develop and strengthen positive peer relations, internal resources and leadership skills. The topics covered include self-esteem, body image, peer pressure, self-care and stress management. In addition, girls have an opportunity to hone their leadership skills through community service projectsand exploration of personal interests and life goals. The goal is to foster team building, cooperation and communication to build leadership skills. Girls’ Challenge, along with its gender-based counterpart, Boys’ Council, is held on Friday afternoons during the school year.
“Family & Children’s Agency is tremendously thankful for the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls’ generous support of the Girls’ Challenge program,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA.
The Girls’ Challenge program is a component of the After School Program at FCA. The After School Program seeks to improve the lives of Norwalk’s middle school youth by enabling their successful transition into high school and increasing their ability to be productive, independent young adults. The program serves 50 Norwalk middle school students who meet after school, Monday through Friday, throughout the school year at the Program’s Norwalk Community College (NCC) campus.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded $151 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, please visit www.fccfoundation.org.
To learn more about the Youth Development Programs at Family & Children’s Agency, contact Jennifer Barahona, Director, Youth Development, at 203-523-5784, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thank You to All Who Joined Us for “Cycle for the Community!”
Cyclists of all levels came out on Sunday, June 23 for “Cycle for the Community” at SoulCycle in Greenwich! The event was sponsored by the Agency’s Junior Board of Directors to support Homeless Services. Attendees experienced an invigorating workout, which engaged both the mind and body. The Agency would like to thank not only the Junior Board of Directors for spearheading this event, but SoulCycle for their support. Our legs may still sore, but we’re happy to have shared that experience and supported a great cause!
Thank you to all who made the event such a success!