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Help Empower All Lives: UMFS Campaign HEAL Collaborating with Community to Help Families

Many will remember 2020 as a particularly difficult year, and a year in which some families experienced major disruptions to their day-to-day. The good news? Acts of kindness abound, thanks to the power of caring and collaboration that’s found throughout the greater Fredericksburg community.

Angela Rivers works at the Fredericksburg office of United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), a statewide child and family serving nonprofit organization based in Richmond. As a resource parent recruiter, Angela isn’t just building relationships with current and potential foster parents, she’s also working with donors and partners on a local fundraising effort called Campaign HEAL (Help Empower All Lives).

“UMFS’ goal is to ensure children, teens, and families have the tools they need for success,” Angela said. “Families might need support with things like medical care or education. Campaign HEAL supplements our ability to address the unmet needs of families right here in Fredericksburg.”

One such need recently arose when Angela’s colleagues Christi Daniels, a family support specialist, and Felecia Cook, a resource parent trainer, learned through routine check-ins that a family they serve was in immediate need of a vehicle. “Transportation had become a real challenge for the family,” Felecia said. “They were doing everything they could to find a solution.”

But as Christi and Felecia pointed out, solutions aren’t always easy to come by for families working to overcome challenges. So they enlisted the help of Angela and Campaign HEAL.

“Campaign HEAL pools resources for situations just like this,” Angela said. “And when we shared the story of the family and their need, one of our really great community partners offered to help.” So with the generous support of a Fredericksburg-based business and other partners, Christi, Felecia, and Angela were able find a vehicle for the family.

“The great thing about our community partners is they never make it about themselves,” Angela said. “They’re all really focused on helping where they can.”

If you’d like to learn more about Campaign HEAL (Help Empower All Lives) or contribute to the cause, visit UMFS.org/HEAL or contact Angela Rivers at arivers@UMFS.org.

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