Favorite Charity: Family Partnership Center
I work for Family Partnership Center in Modesto, California. Our agency is part of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and we are also grant-sponsored by Edgewood Kinship for our Kinship Support Services Program. Under the umbrella of Family Partnership Center are three programs: Kinship Support Services, Parent Partnership Project and Children's Mental Health.
We provide many support services for Kinship givers and parents of children with special needs. The group members provide outreach to new members and there's a kind of old-time quilting bee flavor to the group. This is one of very few places they can go without being judged. Many of them are raising children with mental illness and/or side effects from being drug addicted in utero. I believe it's a gift to be able to work with these wonderfully "giving" people.
About 2-1/2 years ago I was asked to lead a "Beading" group as a respite time for people to gather and feel comfortable among other folks with similar life problems. This is to be a time for oneself or, to socialize, relax and create. It's a time for healthy rejuvenation so our group members are more prepared to cope with very difficult home situations of raising their children with significant special needs. These members have mostly lost their social connections as they don't have others who understand the behaviors and symptoms of their children. Here at Family Partnership Center there is no judgment and the mood is lighthearted. Most important, our members are able to walk away with a one-of-a-kind work of art at no expense to either keep or give as a gift. (We have a $2.00 a week donation just to keep us in supplies.) Some of our members have become very adept at beading and their jewelry is beautiful.