Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, recently honored members of the Northeast Florida region who have gone above and beyond to serve the mission of Better Together.
“Our donors, volunteers, partners and supporters help families to overcome devastating crises and to rise up stronger than ever,” said Megan Rose, CEO of Better Together. “While all of our supporters have a vital role in our success, we were honored to recognize several individuals and organizations for their tremendous generosity and support.”
Better Together recognized supporters for their impact in the Jacksonville area during the Doing Good Together appreciation reception held May 5 at Church of Eleven22. Honorees include:
- Host Family of the Year was presented to the Heflin family. Samantha and Steven Heflin say yes every time a child is in need, opening their home to care for children at every opportunity. Their children also step up to welcome incoming children and show patience throughout the hosting.
- Mentor of the Year was awarded to Brittany Lauren. Lauren is an example of what it means to encourage one another and build each other up. When a mom who had no support system went into labor, Lauren held her hand through every contraction. She has mentored multiple parents and is a gifted sounding board for those who need someone in their corner.
- Church Partner of the Year was presented to Bold City Church. Led by Pastor Jason Masters, Bold City Church has linked arms with Better Together since the nonprofit first started in Northeast Florida. In addition to financial contributions in support of Better Together’s mission, the church also has provided last-minute supplies for families, loaded up moving trucks, prayed over families and connected parents with people who support them.
- Community Partner of the Year was awarded to First Coast Women’s Services. The organization is a pillar community partner, referring families to Better Together and working hard to provide for families in need.
- Department of Children and Families Partner of the Year was presented to Jessica Currey. Currey is dedicated to serving and loving families, and she has been invaluable in connecting Better Together to community resources and partners who work together to help families in the community.
- Doug Campbell Generosity Award was awarded to Richard and Susan Cirucci. Not only generous donors to Better Together, the Ciruccis also serve with their time and expertise as a host family, and Rick Cirucci also serves on Better Together’s community advisory board.
Better Together is made up of two programs – Better Families and Better Jobs – that help parents who are going through a hard time to keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive.
With the help of donors and hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships – such as job loss, substance abuse, homelessness and jail time – and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited. To date, the program has served over 5,400 children and kept 98% of families together, while helping 39,000 job seekers across 22 states find employment.
ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER:
Better Together is a nonprofit organization that helps parents going through a hard time keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. A privately funded and professionally supported organization, Better Together is made up of volunteers who believe helping people help themselves is the best way to restore dignity and bring families together. Through the Better Families program, families are offered a preventive alternative to foster care while they get the help they need. To date, the program has kept 98% of children served out of foster care. The Better Jobs program was created to address the 76% of families that come to Better Together because of economic hardship tied to unemployment. In addition to community job fairs, the program offers job seekers coaching, guidance, support and encouragement through local church partners. For more information, visit BetterTogetherUS.org.