May 2015 Newsletter

Time is definitely flying by this year, and we can feel the summer breezes slowly making their way toward us. It’s hard to believe it’s may and we are already almost halfway through the year, but that doesn’t mean we’re even close to halfway the exciting events we have going on at WIN! Read on for the latest news and updates on what we have been up to this season.

 

Feb CEO AddressAn Organization that Cares

The room was full of love and laughter as staff members circled around the room, greeting each other with hearty embraces -  not the typical workplace greeting, but the instruction of WIN Family Services CEO, Al Laws Jr. This simple act set the tone for this month’s CEO Address – Employee Engagement. Shortly after staff took their seats, Mr. Laws then announced he wanted a chance to get to know new employees! He proceeded to take the microphone around the room and have the newest members stand and say a few things about themselves.

In the first 30 minutes, an outsider could plainly see that WIN Family Services is not your typical organization, but one that proudly gets down to business, but also knows how to have a good time. Most importantly, WIN Family Services is built on the compassion human beings have for one another. That is why Mr. Laws chooses to stress the importance of a conducive and happy work place.

In a presentation shared with over 50 individuals, Mr. Laws reviewed what employees and managers around the world are looking for in the jobs they seek and the results they wish to garnish. The results were nothing far from interesting! In a survey, agencies across the board believed that the top three things employees wanted from their job were:

1.           Money

2.          Job Security

  3.      Promotion and Growth

Funnily enough, employees were surveyed and the lists were just a little different.. The three most important things to employees worldwide are:

1. Interesting work

2. Appreciation

3. Feeling Involved

 

Lastly, a list was reviewed of what employers look for in employees:

1.       Communication Skills

2.       Honesty

3.       Teamwork

4.       Interpersonal Skills

5.       Motivation/ Initiative

6.       Strong Work Ethic

7.       Analytical Skills

8.       Flexibility

9.       Computer Skills

10.   Self Confidence 

 

Reviewing the lists helped everyone – employees and management alike – get on the same page. We are excited for the results this new knowledge will produce!

“WIN” has never been a more appropriate name for an organization. The acronym stands for “What I Need” and the company tries to create a win-win situation for anyone involved. Month after month, Mr. Laws seems to hit a bulls eye right on what employees need – emotionally, spiritually, and physically (whether it’s relay races or delicious food, they always have us covered!)  In this particular month, Mr. Laws felt that there was a struggle in the company and there was a support that was needed, “There is a comfort that surpasses our understanding… and in that moment, seek Good,” he shared. So together, not only as a staff, but as a family, WIN Family Services prayed together. We prayed for those we serve, we prayed for each other, we prayed for others around the world…we prayed fervently and reverently!   

Not only did we come together as an organization, but WIN got STRONGER! With a renewed spirit and focus we are ready to put forth our best work for the youth and families we serve. Get ready to see big things from WIN Family Services in the time to come!

 

We're on the Air!

Advice 4 Life 7

 

Don’t forget, Advice4Life airs every Sunday at 9am on Heaven600 AM! Tune in to get your weekly dose of the Family Strengthening Practice – broken down by Al Laws himself so that you can use it in your every day life! Have you been struggling with someone in your life? For the past couple of months, Mr. Laws has been helping every day people from the community improve their relationships one by one. You can be the next one!

Not near a radio? Not a problem! Log into iHeartRadio.com or listen live to Heaven600.com. You can also catch each episode on our podcast.

 

National Foster Care monthNational Foster Care Month is Here!

WIN Family Services is once again celebrating National Foster Care Month! For the entire month of May, we will be taking part in campaigns that shed light on the experiences and needs of children in care. Our own social media campaign will include special stories, parenting tips, and ways to help; just check in with our Facebook page, blog, and Twitter! Take some time to learn how you can help a child in foster care today!

 

May 2015

 

Good News from Those we Serve

Ms. Merritt, one of our prized Direct Service Workers, took time to share with us the great achievements and progress her clients have made throughout their time with WIN Team. Take some time to share in our joy and celebrations and read on for what these wonderful individuals have accomplished!

*All names have been changed to protect privacy.*

“Larry is 18 years of age.... NEVER made honors.... Once I began working with Lamont he made honor roll his senior year of high school, for the first time. And he didn't think he was smart enough, for college. Larry is now enrolled in PG community college.  

Mary is 20 years of age.....  WOW! Angry, homeless, low self-esteem, frustrated, ready to give up on life. Since working with Mary, she has her own apartment, SHE SMILES NOW AND IS HAPPY. She believes in herself now... She has completed a 6month job training program and is working F/T.... this is in fact her first and only job!   

Tara  is 43 years of age.... Depressed, inconsistent, no goals, a runner and homeless....Since I have been working with Tara she is moving into her own place in June, she has much better follow-through, she has set goals for herself and is much more consistent.  

Victoria is 18 years of age.... She had a great amount of un-forgiveness in her heart and would not talk to her mother, and had not talk to her mother in 5 years. Victoria gave up on her dreams and decided she was not going to college. Since working with Victoria she is now enrolled in college and will be leaving to attend Allegany in the fall. She has forgivien her mother who she now is rebuilding a relationship with.    

I believe ALL my clients have showed great progress, however these are the clients I have seen a 180 degree turn around.”

Thank you Ms. Merritt for all that you’ve done and continue to do!

 

Toyota Donations 2 resizedA Special Blessing

This past month, our organization was surprised by an incredible blessing. Toyota Motor Company announced that they had chosen us as recipients of care packages that staff had personally prepared for our youth. Each bag is decorated with an inspirational message, blankets, toys, and other items to bring comfort to children making tough transitions in their lives. May is National Foster Care Month and our goal is to raise awareness for kids in care. We are so excited that Toyota has taken the time to invest their time and care in our kids. We constantly try to find ways to offset the difficult experiences our youth have undergone in their lives and we are entirely grateful that Toyota has joined us in that mission. Thank you Toyota! 

 

 

 Care for Some Strawberries?

WIN Family Services is joining Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church for the 107th Annual Community Strawberry Festival in Catonsville, MD. This fun-filled event will be taking place Saturday June 6th from 5pm-8pm at the Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church on Edmondson Avenue. Take some time with your family to enjoy games, pony rides, food, desserts, and music as well as support various organizations in the community. We hope to see you there!

 

 


 

 

 

 

Healthy Living

logosmall2Healthy LivingWIN Family Services encourages holistic health – mind, body, and spirit! Your physical health is very important to us. Below are some helpful links to help you jumpstart a happier and healthier life style!

 

 

 

 

 Smoking

https://quitday.org/support/healthy-parents/

http://www.lung.org/#

Drug Abuse

http://twotentwice.com/guides/marijuana-and-parenting/

 

Mental Health Practices

Am I depressed? Identifying what’s wrong

 

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

 

Recovering Together: The Benefits of Adopting a Companion Animal While in Addiction Recovery

 

Dual Diagnosis and Recovery

 

12 Ways to Help a Teen Handle the Emotional Challenges of Moving

 

Mental Illness in Kids: The Surprising Warning Signs

 

Promoting Mental Health at Home: How to Design the Perfect Meditation Room

 

What to Do If You Feel Suicidal

 

Diabetes

How cam Diabetes Affect You and Those Around You

 

Healthy Living

Vitamin D Guide

March 2015 Newsletter

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the temperature's warming up! Spring time is finally here! We've dug ourselves out of snow storms, slid our way through ice storms and we're awake, rejuvenated and re-energized! WIN Family Services is at it again - taking on new projects, enjoying new partnerships, and discovering new opportunties to better serve our community. 

We have all the details here so read below!

 

We're on the Air!

Great news! WIN Family Services, Co-Founder and CEO has just recently launched his own, first-ever radio show. Centered on families and relationships, “Advice for Life” is purposed to strengthen the individuals with the tools they need to have happier and healthier relationships with one another. True to the show’s tagline, “Healthy relationships start with YOU. You determine your relationships, so let’s start with you ,” Mr. Laws offers ways and means for listeners to work on their own relationships and communications skills right in their very own home. Audiences can now tune in on Sundays at 9am on Heaven600 AM, iHeartradio.com, or even visit the podcast on our website at www.winfamilyservices.org/takealisten .

 

 

Today's Teens -They're Doing a lot Better

teens

than we Thought They Were

The awesome news just keeps on coming! According to an article posted on Child Trends this past February, youth today are doing much better than we ever anticipated! We’ve spent so many years worrying about our kids and what they’re doing and what they’re getting into, but this enlightening article written by an individual whose job it is to monitor the trends set by today’s kids, shows us that we might not have to worry as much as we think we do. Patterns in teenage drug use, under age drinking, driving mortality, and even pregnancy are steadily declining and leaning toward promising futures for today’s children. So let’s do ourselves a favor and stop worrying so much! Kids today look like they’re making better and healthier decisions.

Read all about these changing trends here:  http://www.childtrends.org/there-are-some-good-trends-on-todays-teens/

 

 

 Committed to Those we Serve

Great news! Our staff works around the clock to provide our clients and their families with the strongest support and best service possible. So it is our pleasure to hear from the people that means the most to us! We are extremely blessed to be working with and for the people that we do and we are ecstatic to hear notes of appreciation from them. Here are just a few highlights…

Ms. Bowman took time to recognize our Parent Compliance Manager, Eva Booth: “I wanted to take the time to really say Thank You for all that you do for me and the rest of the parents.  I've never met anyone who has worn so many hats at one time.  Girl……. You really put the S in SUPER WOMAN and You take the What I Need in WIN to the next level!!!! I must admit you have spoiled me with your Exceptional Customer Service from the start.”

She also took time to commend one of the members of her team – Family Services Coordinators, Pamela Scott:  “Thank You for all that you do for me and my children. I truly feel supported and I feel like we have grown closer professionally. I see that you are very passionate about your job and I appreciate being able to call you at any given time whether it’s during the week or the weekend.”

Robert Tibbs, Family Services Specialist, was also on Ms. Bowman’s radar. Here are just a few words she wanted to share with the agency: “In 2013 I went through a lot. My whole world changed but you didn’t.  There were times I needed a shoulder to cry on and just someone of wise counsel to listen to me.  Mr. Tibbs you are truly a DAD. If I could choose my birth father it would be you HANDS DOWN…. You have such an amazing way with words. Your words paint a picture when speak. It’s an Experience. You’re always professional and never judgmental. I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT…. You are family to me .”

Ms. Bowman isn’t the only life Mr. Tibbs has touched… read this touching testimonial from two of our parents in Prince George’s County – Mr. and Mrs. Rawles: “ I have learned so much through WIN Family Services and therapy sessions with Robert Tibbs. They not only helped me, they helped my entire household. I’ve had my foster child in my home since we was about 15 years old, he is now getting ready to age out in a few months. I won’t lie, the first couple of years were a bit of a struggle. I asked the Lord every night to put the right words into my mouth, to lead me into the right actions, but I turned right around every time He would try to come in and I shut Him out. Finally, I let Him in and I immediately started to see, feel, and hear the difference. Through the Lord and the lessons provided by WIN, the dynamic between my child and I changed – even the dynamic between my husband and I changed! WIN Family Services saved my marriage! Most of all we discovered that not only did these children need us, we needed them. There was such a difference in my home, especially when you learn to let the Lord in. WIN Family Services truly changed our lives for the better.”

We were so touched by our foster parent’s words and have let them instill inspiration in us to continue our mission.

 It’s also quite an experience so receive words of encouragement and recognition from those we work with! Placida Braswell, our Program Director in our Cecil County PRP Office had this to say about her team: When you are close up to a tree, all that you may see is a useful source of wood for the fireplace, a home for insects, birds or squirrels... Or maybe you do see a nice looking (maybe even useful) part of God's creation. No matter what you see, you do not see it all... That, my friends, is not how God sees the tree. When we step back from it and begin to see the value of the tree as a life source that so many depend on (even the very air we breathe is connected to that tree)... you begin to merely scratch the surface of the value of that tree in the community surrounding it.

That, my friends, is how I see each of you:

Life Sources

Pillars of Strength

Roots of Determination

Fruits of Nourishment

Fibers of Hope

The list goes on...you are invaluable!

What we do, we would do for free and many of us have been doing just that for much of our lives by serving others. The hours each of you dedicate to your clients far exceeds the requirement... I know that. The pay you receive is nothing compared to the reward you will receive from your Heavenly Father.I am so honored to serve along side of each of you. Thanks for not quitting when we are in the trenches. When we get to the palace, we will celebrate together!

Let’s not forget the amazing parents that we have as part of WIN Family Services! Family Services Coordinator, Alex Brodt had this to say about one of this special families: “What I want to really highlight most is the fact that Mrs. Sutton has worked hard the last 4 ½ months  to love him as her own son and impart knowledge to prepare him for independence.  She is also prepared to be a resource for him going forward for advice and emotional support.  Mrs. Sutton has welcomed multiple youth she has worked with to lean on her for support in these ways post emancipation which really shows her dedication to ministering to others.”

Great job family! Let’s keep up the AMAZING work!  

 

Project PAYE 3 resizedWIN Teams Up with Project PAYE

Recently, WIN Family Services had the opportunity to facilitate a Family Strengthening Practice training to a team of staff at Project PAYE.  Project PAYE focuses on creating a pathway for youth to follow their dreams in whatever career they may choose. This FSP session featured an introduction to FSP training for this group of professionals. As an added bonus, we learned that there was a common thread with both organizations;  WIN Family Services and Project PAYE provide services for youth who present with some challenges that Family Strengthening training could be  utilized as a tool to offer support.  We expressed that WIN Family Services are looking forward to continuing  to provide further trainings, and prayerfully   building relationship and partnership with their organization!

 

 

Fire and Ice Ball 086

Having a Ball!

WIN staff was honored to be guests at the annual Fire and Ice Ball this past February. With similar goals as the hosting organization, WIN was excited to be part of such a fun event – complete with dinner, entertainment, and dancing! Hosted by Good Cause, an organization dedicated to being the change they want to see in the community, WIN PRP Cecil County was so honored to stand along side them and support the event which benefitted the Good Cause mission. The “Be the Change” campaign puts it work into effect by assessing and meeting the needs of at-risk youth and single mothers in the community. We are so excited for what this partnership holds in store for the two organizations in the future!

 

 

National Foster Care month

Mark Your Calendars!

May 1st marks the beginning of National Foster Care Month! Once again, WIN Family Services will be taking part in the month long effort to raise awareness for foster care and the various needs of the children in our nation. We will be participating in a month long effort to recruit loving individuals who would like to become foster parents and educate existing and future parents on the needs of children enrolled in care. Join us and let’s make a real difference in a foster child’s life today! 

Domestic Violence

hopeline-logo

HopeLine launched a program called " Because Voices Have Power" , a national campaign designed to increase awareness about domestic violence and provide a platform for the public to send messages of hope to victims and survivors.

For each message of hope shared, Verizon has committed to donating $3 to local and national domestic violence prevention organizations.

Please add to the conversation and encourage others to submit a message of hope online at:

http://www.voiceshavepower.com