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Rochelle first joined SCAN’s BYP in 2018 and quickly became very involved. She is always willing to lend her talents to enhance SCAN’s work, reach families and share the mission. From serving on the Executive Committee to creating graphics and flyers to ensuring Santa is ready to meet children served by SCAN, Rochelle jumps right in to help. We are thankful to have her leadership, kindness, and ingenuity as SCAN navigates reaching families and bringing the magic of the holidays to children impacted by trauma during the pandemic.
How did you first get involved with SCAN?
When I moved to Richmond, I was looking for a way to get more involved in the community. In 2016, after brunch at Perly’s one Saturday I noticed the SCAN office downtown. When I got home, I did some research about SCAN and its programs and knew immediately I wanted to get involved. I submitted my application for the BYP soon after.
What inspires you to stay involved with your work at SCAN?
Witnessing the amazing work that SCAN does in the community keeps me inspired and excited to stay involved. The stories I’ve heard from BYP members who previously served as CASA volunteers also has had a strong impact on me. Knowing how their presence changed the lives of the children they work with is truly incredible.
Is there anything you wish other people knew about SCAN?
I would love if more people knew about the broad-reaching impact of SCAN’s work in the community. The staff work tirelessly behind the scenes to support children and families without any expectation of recognition. The work they do is creating a better for community for all living in Richmond and the surrounding areas by supporting the most vulnerable.
What has been the best experience with SCAN so far?
Having the opportunity to serve as the chair for Santa Shop event has been particularly meaningful to me. Seeing the joy of both the families and volunteers is incredibly heartwarming. It’s not about the gifts, but the support and building of community that is amazing to watch.
What are any challenges you have faced in your work with SCAN?
Three things come to mind. First, SCAN exists because of trauma and abuse experienced by children – knowing this is incredibly heartbreaking. I think continuing to turn the heartbreak into hard work is what SCAN does best. They are incredibly informed and make evidence-based decisions to positively impact the community. They also do work to help ensure that less of these incidents happen in the community by proactively educating community members and families. The second challenge is getting the word out about SCAN. I wish it was easier to tell everyone about SCAN and the amazing work they do! Last, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the BYP shift how our events are being held and this had created a challenge, but I know everyone is up for making this year as impactful as ever.
Do you have any goals or hopes for the next year with SCAN?
With COVID-19 my biggest goal is to help run SCAN’s Santa Shop safely for everyone involved while showing support for the children and families. We have shifted how Santa Shop will be structured to ensure the safety of families, SCAN staff, and volunteers. This year, we will be focusing on collecting financial donations to buy gift cards for families, so they are able to purchase gifts.
You can learn more and donate towards Santa Shop here. Please show your support by donating and sharing with your friends and family.
Are you involved with any other community organizations, hobbies, or activities?
The last few years we have regularly fostered cats and kittens in the local area and work with local rescues to find them forever homes. When I’m not working you will find me in the garden or hanging out with our chickens. I also love thrifting and antiquing and have quite the collection of antique jars, stoneware bowls, and other trinkets.
What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
I find and collect fossilized shark teeth at state parks – we have thousands stored in jars all over the house!