Guest Post: Dr. William Quinn, Executive Director, Families4Change, Inc.
The Upstate Family Resource Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina celebrated the first Family Solutions Program completion of 2023 on January 31st. Dr. William Quinn, Executive Director of Families4Change, Inc., was invited to the FSP graduation and congratulated the families on their successful accomplishment – ‘It is easy to start a program but not easy to finish a program’! Congratulations on your 10-week commitment to attend weekly FSP sessions and complete weekly homework assignments’. Two UFRC Board Members, Tina Humphries and Gloria Baynes, also attended and witnessed the celebratory event.
As Kelley Ezell, Executive Director of UFRC, told the families, “You have many things you could be doing every Tuesday evening, but you made sacrifices to get here. What a great achievement!” She shared with the group that her grandson attended the group several years earlier, and he still talks about what he did in FSP and what he learned. After a celebratory potluck dinner, each family came up to be recognized by FSP Group Leaders, Carol Holder and Angela Jones, with support from FSP Coordinator Liv Hayes.
After a celebratory dinner, each family came up to receive their Certificate of Completion, a photo of their family engaged in the fun gum drop and toothpick activity from a previous session, and received a copy of the book, Life is So Good, by George Dawson – his life story. Youth read their assigned essays written prior to week 10 graduation on how the Family Solutions Program benefited them. Parents shared their excitement of new parenting skills learned and thanked other families for their guidance and support throughout the program.
Families made Blessing Bags for community service to give out to strangers on the street corner or in the community during the week who are struggling with their life circumstances. One family doubled down and also volunteered at the local soup kitchen. Families learned anger management skills, triggers, cues, reactors and reducers, how to make good vs. bad decisions, and what their highest life priorities are to focus on during the week by playing the family auction game. To end the night, families learned about other resources offered by UFRC and resources available to them in the community. Families said good-bye to each other and slowly departed making their way to the parking lot reflecting on their shared experience in the Family Solutions Program.