Have you ever been at a place in your family’s life when you just didn’t know which way to go or where to turn to get direction? Maybe it was a place that you didn’t expect to be, and you felt certain that you were the only family going through those circumstances. I know my family has been there and without my faith, family and friends, it would have been difficult to move forward. Even with all that in my corner, I still needed practical guidance and direction to help determine the next steps to a resolution.
In January 2007, the vision for a place to offer such guidance and support took a step toward reality. We had a desire to serve families in times of uncertainty. We wanted to be a beacon of hope during times of crisis and provide educational opportunities to help divert family crisis in the future.
Let me give you an example that touched my heart recently:
Beth had dropped out of school when she was 16 thinking that she didn’t need an education. She eventually married and became a stay at home mom. As a mother she quickly realized that she wanted to get her education so that as her boys grew, she could find a good job. She also began to see that it was a challenge to stress the importance of education to her adolescent boys when she had not valued it herself at a young age. She needed to set a good example for them. She was determined to get her GED and show them that even though she had made a poor choice years ago, she could make a choice now that would make a big difference for her family. Beth enrolled in our GED program and she achieved her goal. She now plans to attend college in the near future.
In addition, shortly after her graduation, she and her husband were introduced to the Family Solutions Program offered by the UFRC. Presently enrolled in this program, she and her husband are discovering how to guide and support their sons’ behavior through monitoring and supervision. At the same time, the boys are learning the importance of education and school attendance, as well as acquiring positive decision making skills and peer pressure management. As a family, they are finding acceptable ways to manage anger and conflict. Cooperation and communication tools will help their family become stronger. Most importantly, they are able to take advantage of these resources right in their own community.
Barbara Bush once said: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” I believe that her definition of family has become our creed at UFRC. We want resources to be available to be there for the individuals and families, who live, work and learn in our community.
Maybe you are a volunteer, or maybe you have donated food. It could be that you have made a financial contribution. Whatever your involvement, you have helped us to “put our arms” around our community and “be there”. Thank you for your support of the work that we are doing at the Upstate Family Resource Center. You can also help us to grow our support network encouraging others to join you in supporting our community. Introduce them to our website or have them call to schedule a visit to discover how they may also become a part of this tremendous organization.