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Volunteers support SCAN’s vital work each and every day. One such volunteer has made a significant impact working with children in the Family Support Program and raising awareness through the Families Are Magic (FAM) Prevention Program.
Jennifer Gray has been volunteering with SCAN for more than a year. Jennifer is Miss Essence Virginia and recently captured the title of Miss Essence 2012.
“I got interested in SCAN because there are so many kids who are abused or their siblings are being hurt,” she said. “Any form of violence still affects the children and anytime they can get art and play therapy is beneficial.
Jennifer has co-facilitated SCAN’s day-time Children’s Groups. She reads to the children, colors with them, and plays games. She is guided by the Facilitator who ensures she is supporting the therapeutic work with children by offering age-appropriate activities and helping children learn how to express themselves and their feelings.
“I’m not a social worker, I’m just a volunteer who enjoys working with the children and organization,” Jennifer said. “The staff is so welcoming and talented that I know with their direction I am making a difference.”
Jennifer also volunteers her time at public awareness events. She has attended the Vegetarian Festival, Dominion Riverrock and other large community events to share parenting information and lead people to the www.FAMRichmond.org website that SCAN offers, which has many resources for Richmond area families. Jennifer also helps distribute positive parenting tip sheets on talking with children about sexual abuse and on helping children be successful in school.
“SCAN makes a big difference by being proactive at events like this,” she said. “People realize there is an organization that is here to help you.”
Regularly, you can see Jennifer at the monthly Mommy and Me event at Willow Lawn. Once a month, she represents SCAN and the FAM program at this event. Jennifer talks with parents about FAM’s resources and also offers crafts that are designed for parents and children to do together.
“It’s natural for me to do crafts and connect with moms and children because I’m used to having to work with my own four-year old,” Jennifer said. “I know when we work families them there, we are helping to facilitate what they do at home together.”