“My connection with UMFS started when I was a little girl,” reflected Carolyn Wake. UMFS was founded in 1900 as an orphanage, and local churches helped support the orphans who lived there. Carolyn fondly remembers an orphan named Audrey who often stayed with her family for the weekend. After John and Carolyn were married and started their own family, they continued the connection. The parents of four sons, the Wakes enjoyed hosting boys from the orphanage for weekend visits.
John and Carolyn were active in the civil rights movement, and that eventually led to Carolyn’s service on the Richmond City Council from 1978 – 1990. They continue to be passionate advocates for those in need, with a particular focus on mental illness and providing all children a high quality education regardless of their circumstances.
That brought the Wakes back to UMFS again. Carolyn joined the board, and really connected with Charterhouse School, which provides specialized programs for students struggling with emotional, behavioral, or developmental difficulties and autism or other neurological differences. She particularly enjoyed attending commencement, and seeing the joy on students’ faces as they stepped up to ring the school bell to celebrate their achievement.
Carolyn has retired from the UMFS board, but she and John continue to be faithful donors. Carolyn reflected on her lifelong connection, “I am so proud of UMFS. They have changed as the needs have changed. UMFS gives hope to so many families who are wondering, ‘What can I do for this child?’”
Donors like John and Carolyn Wake make a critical impact in the lives of high-risk children and families. Join them by making a donation.