SCAN-It PictureSarah joined the SCAN Board of Young Professionals in 2018 after her time as a Richmond CASA volunteer. She’s been a wonderful part of the BYP serving as Engagement Chair in the past and as Program Committee Chair, leading the Santa Shop event, this year. Sarah’s positivity, leadership, and hard work have made a difference these last few years for SCAN’s mission and the BYP!

How did you first get involved with SCAN?

Years ago, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where I felt that I would really make a difference. After some searching, I came across the CASA program, and it immediately sparked my interest. I applied and was accepted, so I went through the training and volunteered as a CASA for about 18 months, which was amazing. By the end of that 18 months, I had started a new job and, sadly, did not have the time to dedicate to another family. My time with CASA always stuck with me, and a few years later, when I was looking into getting involved with local non-profit boards, SCAN was the first one that that I thought of!

What has your life/work experience been that brought you to SCAN? What is your current role?

I’m currently on the Board of Young Professionals, and I’m serving as the Chair for the Program Committee, which is the committee that works with SCAN staff to put on Santa Shop. As far as what brough me to SCAN – I saw how much these children go through during my time as a CASA, and it felt very important to me to stay involved with the organization.

What inspires you to stay involved with your work at SCAN?

I have a young son, and I know how hard it is to be a parent, even when you have the support and resources readily available. I am a firm believer that it truly takes a village – we were not meant to raise children alone, with no one there when we need a little help. Our society needs to do a better job of being there for parents and guardians, of offering guidance instead of judgment, of uplifting instead of putting down, and that’s what SCAN does. SCAN focuses on preventing and treating childhood trauma holistically, which is so important because one of the best ways to help children is by helping those who are caring for them.

Is there anything you wish other people knew about SCAN?

I HIGHLY encourage everyone to go to the SCAN website and read about each of the programs run by the organization. SCAN is not just a reactive organization, stepping in after a child has been abused or traumatized. They are also incredibly proactive and supportive, and work tirelessly with communities to help educate families and connect them with the resources they need.

What has been the best experience with SCAN so far?

I have loved volunteering for Santa Shop! Being able to meet the families puts into perspective how many people SCAN serves and how much the services are needed. The families are always so grateful and excited during the event, and it’s just such a rewarding experience.

What are any challenges you have faced in your work with SCAN?

Really just seeing and hearing about the trauma that kids and families go through. It can be so heartbreaking and jarring to know how often these terrible things happen, but it makes me that much more determined to continue my work with SCAN, so their resources can reach everyone in our communities who needs them.

Do you have any goals or hopes for the next year with SCAN?

Right now, I’m focused on helping plan the 2021 Santa Shop, and I just hope that we can build on the amazing job the committee did last year. We had to completely change the event plan due to the pandemic, and the committee last year did such a great job in pivoting to a COVID-safe event while still providing support to our families during the holiday season. So, my most immediate goal is that I can help SCAN put together another fun and COVID-safe event that will bring happiness to the families that we serve!

Are you involved with any other community organizations, hobbies, or activities?

Yes! I am also on the board for Rebuilding Together Richmond, a local non-profit that repairs and revitalizes homes and community spaces in Richmond and the surrounding counties.

Learn more about getting involved in Santa Shop here.

 

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