Each year, the Newman University Staff Assembly executive committee hosts a silent auction to benefit a local charity. The committee votes on a different nonprofit organization to support each year, allowing the opportunity to help as many individuals in the community as possible.
This year’s proceeds of $2,000 benefited a newer program — the Saint Francis Community Services (SFCS) Individual Living Program at The Mount.
SFCS serves more than 31,000 individuals through child and family services.
Jae Hedrick, development officer for the nonprofit and Newman University alumna, said services at The Mount will include independent living for teens and young adults who have aged out or will soon age out of the foster care system and a Head Start daycare program for children in foster care ages newborn to 5-years.
Trish Bryant, vice president for children and family services at SFCS, said, “One of the biggest barriers, especially for young moms, is getting adequate day care so they can go out there, get an education, get a job and feel that their child is being well taken care of. That’s really why we wanted to do the partnership with Head Start, to really give these girls a chance to get their feet on the ground and really get back in the community.”
Hedrick said her five years at SFCS have been an amazing experience and she loves being able to make a difference through the organization.
“I started as a special needs reintegration case manager,” said Hedrick, “working with more intense cases. … Then I worked in the adoption department as an adoption specialist writing assessments for families who wished to adopt and then onto a supervisory role before I moved into the foundation. I have learned so much while working for SFCS. I truly am thankful for my journey in child welfare because it has exposed me to so much.”
Hedrick added that she is excited about the programs and the opportunities that will be provided to the children and young women benefiting from the services.
The organization is hoping to open the day care program in September 2018, and the independent living program should start at the beginning of 2019. Many different volunteer opportunities will be available. Hedrick said the SFCS website will be updated soon with information for those wanting to help.