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February Newsletter



Happy hearts month and welcome to our February newsletter.

Thank you for taking the time to check us out and stay in touch.


 


A Gift from Kinsale Insurance



Diane and Katina, January 27, 2022


Last month, board member Diane Schnupp stopped by the office to drop off a check from Kinsale Insurance, where she serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Thank you to Kinsale for supporting our work and thank you to Diane for the many ways she supports Family Lifeline.

 

Black History Month

Who We're Learning From


Black History Month is a celebration of Black excellence and the contributions of African Americans past and present. This February, we honor Black history and commit ourselves to continuous learning and growth. We recognize the ways Black excellence shapes our community today and every single day of the year.


The Family Lifeline Action Group (FLAG) is dedicated to promoting growth and reflection through ongoing learning opportunities that focus on racial equity, inclusion, and diversity. This month, FLAG has organized two virtual speaking engagements for staff and board members. Read more about our guest speakers below.



Storytelling: A Reading & Discussion


James Warren

Founder & CEO, Share More Stories

James Warren is a storyteller and a strategist, passionate about the intersections of human and digital, and brands, culture and communities. James is the Vice President of Brand Strategy at JMI, a brand strategy and consulting firm uniquely focused on brand community engagement. He is also the Founder and CEO of Share More Stories, a human experience research company that delivers deeper human insights and solutions through storytelling and machine learning, to help brands and organizations create more value for and with their constituents.



Lunch & Learn: Implicit Bias


Sidney Edwards

Association Director of Equity Advancement,

YMCA of Greater Richmond

Sidney Edwards is a cause-driven leader committed to advancing the full essence of the YMCA’s Mission—to truly be for all. After joining the Y for what was originally intended to be a part-time summer job, she now serves as the Association Director of Equity Advancement, ensuring the YMCA of Greater Richmond prioritizes diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist operating practices throughout the organization.



 

Meet the Interns


Abigail Arnold

Virginia Commonwealth University

Master of Social Work, Clinical


"In my time at Family Lifeline, I hope to learn about how to be a better advocate and ally for the communities that we serve, develop skills that will advance me in my professional career, and learn how to live each day with empathy, compassion, and kindness towards others."



Lauren Blouch

University of Mary Washington

Communications and Digital Studies major

"I hope to learn the day-to-day workings of a non-profit. Using my skills from my classes to be able to communicate and reach out to places to get us new connections. As well as keep old connections to create new fundraisers and relationships."




Ja'el Bryant

Virginia State University

Mass Communications major, Marketing minor

"I am interested in the ways this job can help me grow professionally and personally. I am excited to hone more of my collaboration skills by working with others to have the chance to see some glimpses into my future."




Addy Cooley

Virginia Commonwealth University

Master of Social Work, Social Work Administration, Planning and Policy Practice

"I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from so many talented and experienced individuals here at Family Lifeline! I am excited to learn everything I can this semester. I am especially looking forward to learning community engagement, program development, and how non-profits function on a day-to-day basis."



Nicole Strassberg

University of Richmond

Rhetoric and Communication major, Art History minor

"I hope to learn how I can best reach the Family Lifeline audience through social media and other modes of communication. I want to learn how to maximize the involvement of our followers on the Family Lifeline Instagram and Facebook pages."



 

Community Corner


Edwina Linares

Board Member


What is your professional background?


For almost 27 years, I’ve been employed with Dominion Energy (DE). I currently serve as the Director of Customer Service & Strategic Partnerships. While employed with DE, I have held leadership roles to include Supervisor Design, Supervisor Recycle Shop and Manager Construction & Operations. Early in my employment I have served in the following roles: Personal Acct. Rep, Designer, Operations Analyst, Scheduler, Project Manager. I hold an MBA and have my PMP certification.

How did you become involved with Family Lifeline?


Roughly 10 years ago during a DE United Way campaign, Amy Strite was invited to speak. I was very intrigued and wanted to learn more about the organization. At the time, I was working at a DE location in Petersburg and FLL was in the process of building their presence in the area. I had been involved in several other community initiatives/activities and was recommended for board membership with FLL.


Who is a role model that you looked up to as a child?


My mother and grandmother. They always told my brothers and I to hold our head high and believe we could succeed at anything we set our mind to with hard work and dedication. They set high expectations for us but were there as a comforter when we stumbled.


They also set the foundation for giving back and helping others. My mom & grandmother were always helping others. Whether it was buying food, giving clothes and household items to those in need, or even inviting someone to stay while assisting to get back on their feet. I’ve tried to instill that same compassion for others in my children.


What was the last great thing you read or watched?


A few weeks ago I watched a Netflix short series, Maid. It’s based off the autobiography of Stephanie Land written in 2019, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. It chronicles Land in her 20’s & 30’s as a financially-strained single mom, survivor of domestic abuse, and nomad, taking odd jobs to provide for her child. One of the apparent lessons was, no matter the adversities you face, if you stay focused/determined, you can create a better outcome for yourself. A clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most. You take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.


What's your 'Why'?


While attending a leadership class, I was tasked with writing a vision statement. Through feedback from peers, former employees and managers, it was confirmed I was living my vision: To use my strength and courage to lead, mentor, and coach others to achieve their individual greatness. “To be truthful, honest and fair. Help others stay true to their inner self; like the image in the mirror looking back at you!” I like the way Ralph Emerson stated it, the purpose of life is to be useful, honorable, compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.


 



 



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