Hello HFS supporters and families! It’s not a stretch to say that 2020 has been an incredible year; incredibly difficult but incredibly fruitful as well. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Both as a community and personally, we have faced many challenges, overcome obstacles, and hopefully found we have greater resilience than we ever thought possible.
Long before the pandemic and the polarizing issues of this year, HFS has been engaged in creating loving families for all, while embracing diversity and inclusion. This Gratitude Report reflects our shining stars, the “heroes” of HFS. I am grateful for their stories, service, and dedication.
With thanks to our exiting Board of Directors Heroes, the Rev. Jenifer Chatfield and Marti Farley, board members for 6 years, both past Treasurers; Carolyn Barnes, a board member for 3 years, who offered her legal expertise; and John Thies, a board member for 6 years, and long-time supporter of HFS, who brought his “youthful enthusiasm” to the table. We recognize Retiring Staff Heroes, Linda Shirley, LCSW, who worked tirelessly for over 29 years in various positions with HFS, ending her career as our Infant Program Supervisor; and Linda Cota-Kumagai, our Outreach Coordinator, who for the last 18 years was HFS’s link to the wider community. We welcome New Staff Heroes April Rushing, our Communications and Development coordinator with her focus and determination to create more community connections, and Roxana Alarcon, a clinical social worker, joining the Infant and Adoption Program. And last but not least, our Community Heroes, The Adoption Guild of Southern California, who have supported HFS over the last 59 years so we can continue to support our families.
I would also like to acknowledge our active Board of Directors and welcome our newest board members to the team and extend our thanks to our staff who serve our organization demonstrating our mission in full. We invite you to be a part of HFS by serving on our board, supporting us with your donation, or through volunteering.
Part of HFS’ mission is to create loving families. The family pictured on the front of this Gratitude Report is the Desloge family, Armando Skye and Elizabeth. Their wonderful story is on our website and as Armando says, “my Mom is the best one for me.” This year our plan is to bring more focus to our Fost-Adopt program and throughout the year you will see more information and updates about this wonderful program.
Do you have a hero story to share with us? We would love to hear from you!
Susan Chakmakian, LMFT
Top photo: Armen, Gabriel and Susan Chakmakian