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Sherry Thomas-Cloud

A message from CEO Sherry Thomas-Cloud

June, 2019

Dear Friends:

The fascinating story of our history, written by Mary Corcoran, continues in this newsletter with the second chapter of Caroline Julia Bartlett Crane and the Women’s Civic Improvement League (see chapter one). In this next chapter, we learn how the League admitted men into its membership, changed its name to the Kalamazoo Civic Improvement League, and expanded its work in the community to include a school nurse and a “bank lady.”

As Corcoran writes: “While exploring the history of the Kalamazoo Civic Improvement League during these years, a picture begins to form not only of League goings-on but also of what life in Kalamazoo was like at this time. … League members learned fast that harnessing the power of Kalamazoo’s social network translated directly into greater outcomes for the entire community.”

It is the same lesson we must remember today: our social connections matter. Our connections help us all by improving the community in which we live.

On Tuesday, June 11, we come together to celebrate the generous support of Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang. Their gift has created a new endowment fund to support children’s counseling services, providing for the mental health needs of children for years to come. We have renamed our Counseling Center board room the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Board Room in their honor.

The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK) is hosting their annual back-to-school fundraiser, the Right Start Auction & Raffle, on July 16. BOCK has partnered with Family & Children Services to raise money to give 100 children the Right Start to the new school year. These children, chosen from F&CS programs, will be given a chance to go shopping with their parents for backpacks, school supplies, and school clothing.

Please join us at the BOCK auction or consider a donation to the auction or a financial gift and help a child walk to school looking and feeling confident.

Finally, we hope you will note—and let others in our community know—about the valuable services we offer to those in need. Depression, even suicidal thoughts, unfortunately plague many, and the signs are not always easily identifiable. We can help, but only if we know with whom to connect. Our counseling services are available to all. Please take a moment to read about our services and spread the word that no one is alone. We are here for you.

Thank you for continuing to be here for us.

 

With Gratitude,


Sherry Thomas-Cloud
Sherry Thomas-Cloud, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Family & Children Services

Caroline Julia Bartlett Crane

Civic Improvement League letterhead

A History of Family & Children Services

June, 2019

In 2023, Family & Children Services will celebrate its 120th anniversary. In each newsletter between now and then we will feature an article exploring some aspect of our history. Ultimately, these articles and others will be compiled in an institutional history book featuring photographs, newspaper clippings, and other archival materials.

Chapter 02: 1912-1916

Kalamazoo Civic Improvement League

Men were invited to attend the annual meeting only, until May 1912, when the doors were thrown open and all were admitted to the regular meetings which had long before come to be held the first Tuesday of each month. At this same time the League took out articles of incorporation and men became a vital part of it. - Mrs. Lydia G. Wood, “History of the Civic League” (1914)

With the admission of men as full members, the Women’s Civic Improvement League (WCIL) changed its name to the Kalamazoo Civic Improvement League (KCIL), and work carried on largely as it had before.

These early and middle years of the 1910s were a critical time for the Civic League. Relationships were cultivated with individual community leaders and leading Kalamazoo families, as well as with established and emerging institutions. A strong network of supporters emerged - many of their family names familiar to present-day Kalamazooans as place names, such as Stetson Chapel, Kleinstuck Preserve, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Read more >

Zhang Financial

 

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang

On Tuesday, June 11, we come together to celebrate the generous support of Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang. Their gift has created a new endowment fund to support children’s counseling services, providing for the mental health needs of children for years to come. We have renamed our Counseling Center board room the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Board Room in their honor.

HANDLE WITH CARE

Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo

The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK) is hosting their annual back to school fundraiser, the Right Start Auction & Raffle. We invite you to participate by attending the event and/or donating an auction item or financial gift. Your kindness will directly support children in Kalamazoo County, by helping them walk into school looking and feeling confident. Together, we make a difference in their lives.

July 16, 2019
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Fetzer Center
Kalamazoo

Learn more >

The Counseling Center

Am I Depressed

June, 2019

Sometimes we don’t realize we are depressed. Many of us imagine depression as always being sad and not wanting to do anything.

While that may be true, depression can express itself in many forms: constant boredom, self-loathing, anxiety, guilt, and/or hopelessness. Depressed people often isolate themselves from others and withdraw from activities that were once enjoyable.

Depression can affect how we think. A depressed person may be constantly self-critical, feel unlovable, have a negative attitude, and see life as pointless. Someone who is depressed may feel tired most of the time, have little motivation and energy, and easily become irritable.

Depression can also express itself in physical ailments, such as headaches and stomach aches, and insomnia.

When someone is depressed, it may seem as if no one could possibly understand how that feels, but a therapist can help. A therapist does understand depression and how it can impact everyday life.

Numerous studies have shown that talk therapy helps people heal. There’s a real reason behind the saying, “getting things off my chest.” When feelings are not expressed in a safe place, they are stored in the body, and the body can only hold those feelings for so long before causing physical symptoms. Feeling bad is the body’s way of sending a message: please release those dark thoughts and feelings.

Does this sound like you? Talking to an objective, non-judgmental person who holds your information in confidence can be that release that can set you free and restore good health.

If you’re seeking a therapist, please call The Counseling Center at Family & Children Services at 269-344-0202. We can help.

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