Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Power of Play

This post was created by Leah Knopf, FamilyWorks MSW intern (including the video!).

We recently made a video to highlight our Child/Caregiver Playgroups. Playgroups offer many benefits to families, including opportunities for playing and learning, as well as encouraging healthy development, school readiness, connection and community. The video also showcases Sarah, our wonderful Family Programs Coordinator, who facilitates Playgroups and fosters a supportive community. Check it out!

Please consider making a donation to FamilyWorks on May 6th, during GiveBIG.

 

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Making The Most of Every Space

This post was written by Shirley Ferkingstad, our Resource Center Program Manager.

Most hallways are relatively non-descript—some pictures, the door to the bathroom, dust bunnies. But at FamilyWorks we utilize the hallway in a unique way to offer a variety of services that complement our Food Bank & Resource Center and to cultivate a stronger sense of connection and community . . . especially when we have a captive audience, patiently waiting in line for the food bank.

There is always information about FamilyWorks classes and various community services posted in the hallway and you might walk in and find our volunteer Cora (who you might remember from a previous post) playing her keyboard and singing her songs, brightening the days of our customers waiting in line for other services. Several times a month there will be a WithinReach representative at a table in the hall eager to talk with/assist you in signing up for health benefits, food stamps, or other public benefits.

DSCN0193Or you might find someone from Budget Mobile talking to folks about getting a free cell phone. Our upstairs neighbors, Solid Ground, also provide information tables about their services and in the Spring they do a seed giveaway in the hallway. You may even come across some Artisan bread on the racks outside the Food Bank. You never know what to expect–music, food, information, surprises.

Utilizing the hallway to provide meaningful programming to our customers and community is just another example of how FamilyWorks seeks to Nourish, Connect and Empower our most vulnerable neighbors.

Please consider supporting FamilyWorks during the GiveBIG campaign on May 6.

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The Power of Connections

Accessing job, parenting or other types of resources can be difficult if you don’t know where to find them. Fortunately, FamilyWorks offers a variety of ways to equip and connect people and families with the resources they need. 

The following letter was food bank hands (from 2013 dinner video)written by a customer of FamilyWorks who was able to access vital parenting and community resources as a result of working with our staff. The letter is shared with her permission.

Dear Mrs. Weber,

My name is Anisa and I am from Somalia. My family and I are in your program. Somalia is a place of war and turmoil. It is where dreams are taken away because of civil war. Everyone in the country is affected including older adults, young people, and babies. War destroys safety most of all, but also education, jobs, health, and good income. In my case, even though I had my health, I didn’t have my education, job, or any kind of income. I was a kind of limbo. Because I believe risk can create opportunity, I decided to come to the USA.

After I came to the USA, my life improved dramatically. I was feeling lonely and not knowing this country. I met you, Jake, and you are most welcoming person I have ever met and your program helped me to take a CPR and parenting classes which helped a lot for my family. You also give me opportunity to volunteer at Food Bank which was the greatest experience I have ever had. You introduced me to Mayor Mike McGinn. He told me about the possibility of an exciting position. This would be a Somalian outreach engagement project that shows me motivation to achieve my goal.

Thank you for all your help and support. My family and I are very grateful I met you and your program. FamilyWorks is my “911.”

-Anisa

 

–Please consider supporting FamilyWorks during the Give BIG campaign on May 6.

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