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