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Review for Communities United for Children & Families, Susanville, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

This non-profit runs two Family Resource Centers in rural Northern California, which has a higher than average unemployment and poverty rate. The centers are in Westwood and Ft Sage, which is comprised of Doyle, Milford and Herlong. These centers have become the catalyst for positive change and activies in their communities. Both Resource Centers help clients navigate through the system if they are in need of public assistance. They give clients referrals to resources they may not be aware of, such as the Heating Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Programs. Soon they will be authorized as "Payees" for clients who are having trouble taking care of their finances. This is important as the county seat is 25 to 45 miles away from these communities, and many of the clients have no transportation, or are too elderly to drive that distance. In addition to the distance, in the winter our county may have as much as 6 feet of snow on the ground at one time. The Resource Centers conduct free Community Dinners on a monthly/bi-monthly basis, Mystery Baby Showers for needy women, CPR/First Aid classes, and social clubs such as crochet, scrapbooking, senior crafting, preschool playgroups, coffe club socials, and free food baskets for those in need. They have resources such as toy lending and parenting books and classes. The Ft Sage Center has a thrift store with nice, quality items. They also have a seasonal Farmer's Market. The Westwood Center has a Natural Foods store which, in addition to making natural foods available at reasonable prices, is helping to educate the community on nutrition and childhood obesity. A Community Garden is in the works for the spring. They also have an annual Children's Fair that is very popular with the community. The Westwood Center also oversees the elementary school After-School Program in which 90+ % of the school is enrolled. The elementary school is kindergarten through 7th grade. This program runs from directly after school until 6 pm. They serve a healthy snack, have a daily homework and physical education time, then special clubs such as drama, chess, cooking, etc. The Center will be starting an After-School Program at Westwood High School next year. This should work well, as many of the students enrolled in the elementary school program that will be going to the high school next year are looking forward to continuing their positive experiences. The Resource Centers work with the motto : If We Don't Have What You Need, We Will Help You Find Where You Can Get It!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way the staff goes out of their way to help clients become aware of, and apply for resources they may not know exist for them. They have created a comfortable, inviting, place where clients are enriched with social events, nutrition, affordable food and thrift store items that the centers provide.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching the positive impact the centers have had on people's lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all kind, caring, positive and nonjudgmental.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

start a Teen and Senior center that would enrich these citizens lives with more activities and stimulation. I would like to see a new soccer field, public library and theater for local productions and concerts.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Board Member & In addition to being a board member I am also a volunteer at the community dinners, after-school program, Mystery Baby Showers, Children's Fair and Natural Foods store.