this moment 

  A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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140 years ago…

zach Author: Zachary Cedruly, SPCC Intern from St. John Fisher College

The Society for Protection and Care of Children will be celebrating its 140th Anniversary this year. As we are planning for this grand celebration, we took a look back at not only the agency’s history, but its place in Rochester’s renowned history as well.

SPCC was established in 1875 – at a time when organizations existed to protect abused animals but none to protect children. A group of concerned citizens recognized this need in the Rochester community and thus the Rochester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded (changing its name to The Society for the Protection and Care of Children in 1995).  SPCC has always been a champion of children’s rights. It was SPCC volunteers that advocated for the creation of the first Children’s Court, now known as Family Court, here in Monroe County. SPCC was the first to provide child protective services and to organize foster care for abused children.  Rochester in the 1870s was a hub not only for children’s rights, however, but women’s rights also.

The 1870s were an important decade for human rights. Susan B. Anthony was making strides for women’s rights and their right to vote. In November 1872 one of Rochester’s most esteemed leaders, Susan B. Anthony, had been arrested for casting her ballot in the presidential election. “Well I have been & gone & done it!! – positively voted the Republican ticket – strait…” Anthony wrote in a note to her friend and fellow suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Anthony was later arrested on November 18, was tried and convicted. She was fined $100 which she ultimately never paid. Women and children were both fighting for their rights and Rochester was in the thick of it. Three years later Rochester SPCC would be formed, showing that Rochester was and remains, after 140 years, a very caring and genuine city.

As we look towards the future it is important we pay homage to the past. With the help of some determined individuals, Rochester was able to claim its stake in human rights history. As we continue to assist victims of abuse in Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Yates and Seneca counties, we remember Rochester’s rich history in the human rights movement.

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Creating our Ring of Hope

Lisa headshot with borderAuthor:  Lisa Butt, CEO of SPCC

With SPCC’s 140th celebration coming up next month, we have been in full swing reaching out to community members who are passionate about the work we do.  Many of our SPCC friends have been incredibly generous in helping us make this a memorable event that honors the many, many years SPCC has been helping children in our community.  Using our blog as my platform, I’d like to take a moment to highlight one of these amazing “do-gooder” folks…

This past week, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down for coffee with Jeff Walker and his wife, Mary.  Jeff is local jeweler who graciously committed to creating 11 custom made necklaces to commemorate SPCC’s 140th Anniversary Celebration.  I learned that Jeff first heard about SPCC and the work we do through his friendship with one of SPCC’s dedicated Board members, Mary Drechsler.  Jeff explained that creating jewelry for worthy causes that are suggested by friends such as Mary is his way of giving back.  Jeff identifying us as a “worthy cause” was flattering, and I couldn’t help but agree.  You see, while I am clearly biased, I can honestly say that I am constantly inspired by the work done at SPCC; I hear over and over again from families that are healed, children who are now safe, and parents that feel supported in parenting their children.  Helping bring awareness to the important work being done by our talented and skillful staff is crucial to us being supported by the community.

Jeff

As I spoke with Jeff, I quickly learned that he is a very interesting guy!  Jeff started making jewelry at age 17, when he created his first piece of jewelry (for a girlfriend) in Shop Class at Pittsford Sutherland High School.  Jeff went on to graduate from RIT’s American School of Craftsmen and started his career in creating jewelry.  I noticed that this theme of “creating” came up again and again as I chatted with Jeff and Mary.  They had a vision for their carriage house home when they purchased it, which they described as having had a dirt floor and needing a lot of work.  The property also has two barns for Jeff’s many projects, so they remodeled and created something new.   Jeff not only has an interest in flying planes, but he and a friend built an airplane together on the kitchen floor of his carriage house, and Jeff has also built 2 sports cars!  My first thought was that Jeff must love to collect these vehicles, however to my surprise, he explained that he does not get attached to the items he creates, but rather he enjoys the details and process of creating.  I was lucky enough to see pictures of his most recent endeavors and I could clearly see the passion in the beauty of his work!

necklaceWhen Mary opened the velvety black box that held one of the necklaces Jeff created, I was blown away!  Mary Drechsler’s daughter, Clara Kittrell, is the artist that created the “Ring of Hope”, SPCC’s signature logo for our 140th Anniversary Celebration.  Jeff then took Clara’s “Ring of Hope” and created this beautiful and intricate piece of jewelry.  As I was looking at the piece, and sitting in Jeff and Mary’s company, I couldn’t help but feeling overwhelmed with honor that SPCC is the recipient not only of the actual necklaces, but of this newfound friendship.

The notion of creating really resonated with me and connects so strongly to what SPCC is all about.  We create relationships with families, help kids and parents create emotionally healthy relationships, and we partner with families to create new opportunities for growth.  In whatever way we are all “creating”, I’m exceedingly inspired by the “creations” of our collective Rochester community.

I so enjoyed taking some time out to meet and get to know Jeff and Mary.  They are genuine people who clearly care about the children and families in our community, something they demonstrate through creating and sharing beauty as often as possible.  It really is through the support of people like them that SPCC is able to continue to do this work for children and families… hopefully for another 140 years!

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

…more loved than you can imagine.

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author: LaChanda Mills, Health Educator in SPCC’s Teenage Parent Support Services Program (TAPSS)

Parents of our TAPSS Parent Coalition are still radiating with pride after completing a community service project in February. Some 40+ persons at The House of Mercy’s Sanctuary Village received care packages for their Valentine’s Day from SPCC’s parent coalition.

As Valentine’s Day honors couples and loved ones, the parents of the coalition wanted to remind homeless people that they too are loved and celebrated on this day. Many members of the coalitionare able to empathize with residents of the shelter and wanted to give their personal touch by adding some of their favorite messages and quotes. Attached with the Kandee John quote, “you are more beautiful than you know, more talented than you think, and more loved than you can imagine”, the parents assembled over 40 care packages in heart shaped gift bags for the shelter.

After developing a plan to deliver the packages before holiday season, the coalition team leaders went to The House of Mercy’s Main site located at 725 Hudson Ave to deliver the supplies. To their excitement they were met by Sister Grace Miller, founder of the House of Mercy.

“I was so nervous and excited to meet her. She kept thanking us and it made me want to cry. It made me feel so good knowing I could help someone out when they needed it.” Exclaimed one of the parent leaders.

Sister Grace Miller opened The House of Mercy in 1985 which services over 5,000 people monthly. In January 2015 the new shelter was donated, holding up to 50 people. This new shelter, the new Sanctuary Village is supplies with mattresses, a heater and more importantly, a roof.

The teen parent coalition was formed in October 2014 to serve as a means to build leadership and empower parents. Though service learning, the parents have been able to give back to the community and create a safe space for them to be teens and develop into self-sufficient adults. “This group is my family”, said another one of the parent leaders. The members support each other in and outside of the group and are always excited to see what they can get into next.

As members brainstorm new ways to give back they are determined to change how teen parents are perceived in the community. They know this will not be an easy task, but this is one they are willing to try.

Do you have questions about the parent coalition? Contact LaChanda Mills at LMills@spcc-roch.org or 585-325-6101 x237.

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