For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- The Children's Home Society of Florida, Treasure Coast Division, held it's annual meeting for the board of directors on May 16 at PNC Wealth Management offices.
The evening's highlights included presentations by two of the clients of the Transitional Living Program.
James, who after many years of being homeless and struggling to remain in high school, became a resident of Baines Hall a few months ago. Without the worries of where he will sleep each night and where his next meal will come from, James is able to attend school every day and focus on his schoolwork to obtain his diploma. He is participating in the International Bacculaureatte program, and hopes to study cooking as a passion in the future. James feels that as a "survivor" of homelessness and abandonment, he can help others in need and hopes to do just that in the future stating that "if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life." James is also president of the Youth Advisory Board, which acts as a liaison between the residents and the staff.
Daniel, a former foster care client, moved into the Youth Transition Center when the living arrangements he had with a friend did not work out. Daniel had a good relationship with his foster families but when you turn 18 and are a foster child, the options to continue care for these kids is removed completely. Daniel is part of Youth Shine, a group that legislates in Tallahassee for foster care bills that will better serve the youth in the system. He is also attending IRSC and has successfully transitioned to living on his own in the community.
The annual meeting also presented the opportunity for Children's Home Society of Florida to recognize Board Member Marta Schneider with the prestigious R. David and I. Lorraine Thomas Child Advocate of the Year Award.
Created in 1982 by the late Dave Thomas, this is the single highest honor CHS bestows upon an individual or organization. The award honors passionate child advocates who have given their time, talent and financial resources in hopes of creating happier tomorrows for children and families suffering today.
"As an organization that represents our community's most vulnerable children and young adults, we are proud to have strong members of the community on our board who have a heart for our mission," explained Executive Director Sabrina Barnes.
The group also heard from Anthony Sudler, chief philanthropy officer from CHS corporate offices in Winter Park. There were prospective new board members as well as seasoned members, and time was also spent planning for the coming fundraising year, board recruitment and publicity that will help improve the public's knowledge of what the programs offered do for our community.
The Children's Home Society of Florida Treasure Coast Division, which is one of 15 divisions in Florida, serves nearly 12,000 children and their families each year in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. Children's Home Society of Florida is not a government agency and must rely on the support of individuals, civic groups, foundations and businesses for the funds to give children and young adults the opportunity to be safe, healthy and prepared for life. For more information, call (772) 344-4040 or visit www.chsfl.org.