Art credit: ACPS Student: Desi. S.
Families Helping Families works to ensure that each child receives what they need to reach their full academic and social potential while removing obstacles to learning in ACPS.
FHF formed because of an imbalance in funding support provided by outside agencies school by school.
We know that extra resources allow expanded learning opportunities that occur inside & outside the classrooms. These funds will be used to address learning and teaching barriers in support of ACPS’s equity mission.
For more info, visit Albemarle County Public Schools.
We primarily engage with families and staff connected with ACPS.
We started the 2021-2022 school year off with a request for help with housing on the very first day of school. We have learned in the last two years that finding affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges in our area.
During the 2020-2022 school years, we assisted over100 families and raised a total of $37,698.15. We received $13,950.70 via our fund at CACF from 67 donations and $23,747.45 in donations and grants deposited directly to our nonprofit account at UVA Credit Union. Of those funds, $900 was from a parent-run "gnome" fundraiser and additional much appreciated donations were received from Henley Middle School, Stone Robinson Elementary, and Stony Point Elementary PTOs.
The Last Two Years in Review
In the 2021-2022 school year, our Solutions team served families in the following areas:
In the 2020-2021 school year, we sent $6,975 to the following groups to support families in our area and provided the following direct family supports:
In addition to the direct supports offered in 2021-2022, in the 2020-2021 school year, these additional supports were offered to families.
First, we ALWAYS attempt to refer families to organizations already filling the need identified
Volunteered in a week-long summer sports program that offered children a free camp experience
Anonymous gift of car given to mom in need
Anonymous donation directly for lice treatment/laundromat (nearly 1K)
Delivered clothing, food, furniture, hygiene items and diapers to families
Anonymous gift to Woodbrook mom: fulfilling her list of items desired to fill fridge and pantry
Delivered replacement computer cable from AHS to an ESOL student
Teacher & Nurse Appreciation
In May 2022, we honored over 1,000 educators, based on a budget of $5/person and delivered care packages to 25 school nurses.
Monthly Meetings & Resource Guide
We had community booths at the Soul of Cville, Community Day in Scottsville, Back to School Bash and 3 community events/dates leading up to Teacher appreciation week to work on postcards for teachers.
Thanks SO much to the following:
Kelly Eplee, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville
Katie Heroux, International Rescue Committee,
Kristen Clarens, Legal Aid Justice Center)
Daniel Fairley, CANDYD Strategy & Engagement Co-chair
Vernon Liechti, Albemarle Education Association
Student Desi S shared re Black History Month
Samyuktha Mahadevan, One Small Step Project Manager
Margaret Fisher, Unite Us Community Engagement Manager
Ashely Schneider, Stepping Stone Charlottesville
Lauren MacLean, Assistant Director of ESOL, World Languages, and Homeschool, ACPS
James Schempp, Parent, Involved with Operation Allies Welcome
Mary Jo Hollis, Program Assistant for Living Free Together
Nicholas Wright, Licensed Professional Counselor, Wright Group Counseling,
Charlsie Stratton, Program Supervisor, Community Attention Foster Families
John Thompson, Family Service Specialist, DHS/Community
Attention - Community Based Services & Co-Founder of
How U?A Black MENtal Health Podcast
Keshia Washington, Wildrock's Extraordinary Ebony Explorers program
Alex Weathersby, Shelter for Help in Emergency
Scott Guggenheimer, Henley JEDI and Equity Team, African American Teaching Fellows of Charlottesville
Diana Connolly, International Rescue Committee
Sharon Webb, ESOL/AHS
Dawn Monroe, SAP Programs
Kirstan Knipple, Mom2Mom
Whitmore Merrick, Home 2 Hope
Tristan Kabesa, Come As You Are Cville
Scott Williams, owner Camp4Real
Freddy Jackson, Love: No Ego
Miles Nelson, ACPS Coordinator of Mental Health & Wellness
Sarah Harris, Wildrock
Jessica Carter, Her Sports
Ellen Krag, LPC, Director of Child and Adolescent Case Management, Region Ten
Ashton’s Wish (Fran Clark shared)
Daisy Rojas, Loaves and Fishes, Cville Sock Love
Ambha Lessard, ACPS ESOL Family Engagement and
Family Support Liaison
Edgar Lara, Executive Director, Sin Barreras
Cain Turner, International Neighbors Director of Development
Debbie Tuler, ESOL Specialist, NEDP Advisor/Assessor,
Thomas Jefferson Adult & Career Education
Monthly meetings focused on topics such as mental health, military resources, ESOL support, volunteer opportunities and more.
Over the past year, we’ve had 37 community members share about their community work and service to the community with the ultimate goal of ensuring more people are aware and have access to their offerings. These individuals took time out of their evening schedules to attend one of our FHF monthly meetings!
Title 1 PTOs
Over the next 12 months, we’d like to double the items on our resource page (currently at 152) and our contact list (currently at 314 people) to enable us to make connections more easily within our community to solve problems that arise.
We know that there is great need in our community. We also take great pride in the fact that our community is rich in resources and want to make sure that at minimum, everyone has access to them.
We will continue to grow our group in a healthy way that doesn't burn out volunteers and continues to build a strong community to lend support when it is most needed.
We send monthly surveys to our representatives to continually refine our work and we respond to needs as they are identified by families, ACPS employees and community members. We also use the feedback received in monthly meetings and gained via community connections to guide the work.
School Representatives, Board Members, and Volunteers
The gift of time is one that we value greatly. THANK you to our school representatives, board members and volunteers for providing input and support of our mission and projects!
Special thanks to Khalilah for her gorgeous newsletters and always fashionable media representation of our group- we are so lucky to have you as a group leader!!
None of our work would be possible without the generous financial and help from community supporters and donors.
We sincerely appreciate your faith in our work and mission!
A huge thanks goes to Sarah Harris for her support from the beginning and advocating for Henley to be the first school to contribute to our fund.
She also used her “stress crafting” abilities to raise $900 for FHF by auctioning off these adorable gnomes.
THANK YOU for your support, Sarah!
Miles Nelson and our AMAZING Solutions TEAM
In the last two years, over 100 families have been assisted by our team in ways that we weren't able to find available elsewhere in the community. The Solutions Team, led by Miles Nelson who along with his job responsibilities as ACPS’s Mental Health Coordinator has gone above and beyond to reach out to families and connect them with all existing community resources. Our team has obtained material goods via local Buy Nothing groups and sent funds when no other resources were available.
We also noticed a special need in the summer months when other agencies were out of funds for the year and Miles and his team (Latara, Fran, and Amanda) worked tirelessly all summer long. We also appreciate the help of volunteers Christie, Kate and Michelle for helping with Buy Nothing needs in their neighborhoods!
We thank you for your 47 years of service (30 years with ACPS) and your direct support as we got this group off the ground.
FHF didn’t just spring into existence in the Fall of 2020- it was the result of years of conversations that took place with the guidance of Dr. Hairston within the capacity of his role within Community Engagement. There aren’t enough words to express our gratitude but thank you, Dr. Hairston!
Heidi Gilman Bennett
We’re still in awe of the campaign that you coordinated to honor 1,000 educators in Albemarle County. A parent at one of our schools called you a “force of nature” and we have to agree.
THANK YOU for doing such an amazing job - it was a pleasure to work and learn from you in the process! Your team of parent leaders that included Radhika, Mary (Strong Schools Movement), Lynette, Julie, Angie, Khalilah and Amanda were also SO instrumental in recognizing the amazing work of ACPS educators!
THANK YOU ALL.
Special thanks to Angie who decided we needed the ability to respond more quickly to emergency family needs and single-handedly filed all the paperwork for us to become our own nonprofit and became FHF’s first treasurer.
She also handled the separate streams of donations for our teacher appreciation campaign last year. We know this was a huge task and are so thankful for all of your hard work!
Our volunteer who took tons of WORDS and simplified them with images and charts to produce a gorgeous impact report.
THANK YOU so much for you time and effort on this project. It was such a pleasure to work with you on it!!!