Friday, August 3, 2012

Non-Profit of the Month: Family Scholars House

One of the many things I love about Louisvillagers is their willingness to come together and share ideas. The idea for Non-Profit of the Month sprang from a conversation I had during a lunch with the lovely and talented Robyn Sekula in late May. So next time you see her, thank her.

Each month for the foreseeable future, My Loueyville will feature an ad and promoted content from a non-profit that I believe in and want to celebrate.  On the website, you'll see a prominent ad and throughout the month, the blog will feature guest posts, contests, and/or special posts related to that non-profit.

I am so pleased to announce that this month's Non-Profit of the Month (NPOTM) is a cause that's near and dear to my heart. Mama Lou dropped out of college when she decided to marry my dad. From all accounts, she was kind of a wild child anyway, and maybe wasn't making the most of her tuition dollars. But when my dad passed away just a few years later, Mama Lou suddenly found herself looking to support herself and me with only a half of a BA to show to employers.

We were super lucky. We lived in New England just a couple towns over from my dad's family-- a huge, extended family: half Portuguese, half Mayflower descendants. Everyone truly believed that "it takes a village" to raise a child, and so everyone-- grandparents, uncles, aunts, great-aunts, cousins-once-removed-- helped us however they could.

I still remember the day that Mama Lou finished up her degree at Salem State College. She took her final final exam, we hopped in the car, and we drove to Florida for vacation. When I say that I was amazed by this woman, that she was my hero, I'm saying that Lorelei and Rory (at least until the last season and a half) had nothing on us. (Clicky the click if you need the reference.)

I'd venture to say that most single parents don't have such a good support system (and I would never, ever say that Mama Lou had it easy by any means... she just had help).

But what if you're a single mom or a single dad without a village? What if not having a college degree is keeping you from supporting your children in the way that you'd like to?

That's where Family Scholar House comes in.

And that's where we come in too.

Adam Price (@wapaytick on Twitter), who volunteers for FSH, nominated them for NPOTM and will be joining us later in the month for a guest post. But I'll let his nomination letter explain the FSH program:

Family Scholar House is a unique and extremely effective program that helps break the cycle of poverty. They provide numerous types of support, including housing, to single parents while they complete their college education. This not only helps the parents find the path to sustainability, but also instills a value for education and hard work in their children. They celebrate the academic achievements of both parents and their children. Of late they've added some Fathers to the program, though participants are primarily Mothers. They operate 3 residential sites, two near UofL and one close to Spalding University...

Another unique thing about FSH is the way they choose program participants. They have a very long waiting list, but rather than select the first name off of that list for housing support, they focus on those who have been active and attended workshops with topics ranging from cooking to academic tutoring. In short, they select people who have exhibited commitment and desire to tackle the enormous challenge of raising children and attending college full time in order to make sure there limited resources are utilized to their full potential.

Until August 10, you can help support FSH by dropping off school supplies for the coming school year (for both parents and kids!) at any branch of the First Capital Bank of Kentucky. Here's a list of things that they need to Help Pack a Backpack.

That's just a quick and easy way for you to get involved and help support these scholars. Throughout the month, I'll be posting other ways to get involved. Their website offers lots of opportunities to volunteer, provide childcare, tutor, or support the organization financially.

Thank you so much to Adam for nominating FSH. The ad for FSH will be up all month on My Loueyville.

Thanks too to Theatre [502] to be the first non-profit to try the NPOTM experience. And thanks to all of you who have nominated... we are, as of today, booked through the end of the year!! For information on how to nominate a NOPTM, visit this link.

No comments: