Aurora Family Service celebrates milestone moments of 2012

afs-130On September 19, 2012, the Aurora Family Service Board of Directors met for its 130th consecutive annual meeting.

When the organization formed as Associated Charities in 1882, there were no “horseless carriages,” no airplanes overhead, and no electric lighting to illuminate the streets.

Times have changed over 130 years, but the importance of families persists.

This week, we’ll be celebrating 10 milestone moments from 2012 — and looking forward to serving Milwaukee’s families in the New Year and beyond!

Moment #10:  On October 12, Dr. Bryant Marks of Morehouse College challenged 200+ attendees at the 6th Annual Race, Families, & Milwaukee Summit, including City of Milwaukee Mayor Barrett,  to make diverse youth leadership a priority in Milwaukee’s future.


Ann Marie Starr, exiting director of the Family Therapy Training Institute, poses with Jane Pirsig, executive director of Aurora Family Service

Moment #9:  Former students and colleagues gathered in June to celebrate Ann Starr’s amazing career as teacher, therapist, and friend.  Ann served as the director of the Family Therapy Training Institute from 1999 to 2012.  Hear Ann’s philosophies about the changing nature of families at our July 16 feature story.

Moment #8: Volunteers from Caterpillar, Inc. gathered supplies for over 300 backpacks distributed to children at our United Way Day of Caring neighborhood celebration.

300 BackpacksMoment #7: Volunteeers from Miller Coors spent a full morning scrubbing  chairs, cleaning conference tables, and preparing over 700 books insuring that every child visiting the agency can go home with their own book to read.

Moment #6: Aurora Family Service caregiver Linda Kasun becomes part of the onsite health team at Aurora Sinai Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center.

As a parenting nurse educator, Linda reinforces our commitment to providing strong prenatal care to “at risk” pregnant women at the doctor’s office and in their home.

Our Family Enrichment Program now serves almost 1,000 local mothers with prenatal care, child care coordination and parenting education every year.

“We meet with people to provide information, encouragement and support,“ said Linda. “I love doing home visits, because you’re with the family. You serve as an important resource, a sounding board. Together, we’re working for a common goal: to save babies.”

AFS in Aurora's Women's Health Clinic

Linda Kasun, parenting nurse educator, is a critical bridge between the Aurora Sinai Women’s Center team and new mothers in the community.

Moment #5:  On November 19, the Pabst Mansion hosted a fundraising dinner for AFS Family to Family.

The event honored the century-old relationship between the Pabst family and the agency, dating back to 1914 when Gustav Pabst was on the Board of Directors of Associated Charities.

John Eastberg, senior historian of the Pabst Mansion, shared the history of the grand home and the generous nature of the Pabst family.

IMG_7058 (1)“Now that AFS is continuing the work of providing holiday meals to families facing hardship, a partnership between the Pabst Mansion and Aurora Family Service is a natural thing. I know that Captain Pabst would be very pleased to see everyone here in his home tonight.”

Moment #4: On June 17, Jan Kwiatkowski launches our wellness blog, reflecting on the challenges, conflicts and celebrations of family relationships.

Jan Kwiatkowski

Jan Kwiatkowski

The weekly blog connects readers with insightful dialogue, inspiring caregivers, and even qualified support services when needed.

Throughout three episodes of shocking and senseless gun violence, Jan’s blog encouraged open, honest and healthy dialogue between parents and children about these local and national incidents.

We encourage everyone to subscribe to the blog and join the conversation!

Moment #3:  For Mother’s Day, families in the Family Enrichment Program gathered together to celebrate their connections and successful completion of the program.

With support, information and guidance, the Family Enrichment Program offers a full range of services for new parents, babies and families.  The staff teaches families to build on their own strengths in order to help set a healthy pattern for their baby’s future.

FEP Graduation FamilyParents are encouraged to seek support from family, friends, other parents, community centers and Family Enrichment Program staff to fully utilize the benefits available to them. Our innovative approach  teaches families to build on their strengths and their home environment. We apply this approach equally across all Aurora Family Service programs.

We are privileged to help families achieve their goals and build a healthier community for us all.

Moment #2:   Gathering around a holiday meal is a tradition that every family should experience. Aurora Family Service Family to Family Thanksgiving, now celebrating its 16th year, preserves these sacred family traditions in times of economic or emotional crisis.

2012 Small Boy Big Turkey RevisedF2F basket fixinsOn November 19, over 150 volunteers delivered 3,100 turkeys and the “fixins” to families who otherwise would have had liittle for Thanksgiving, making the holiday tradition special for all.

Learn more about our program at our website  — and consider a secure online donation today!

And presenting our proudest moment of 2012…

Moment #1: Aurora Family Service achieved a perfect “10” on all national standards from COA (Council on Accreditation,) attesting to the quality services the organization brings to its families and the community.

In our current outcomes-oriented environment, organizations are increasingly called upon to demonstrate the impact of their services.  Earning accreditation reinforces an organization’s strengths and helps it achieve better results in the community. COA currently accredits over 45 different service areas, including substance abuse treatment, adult day care, services for the homeless, foster care, and inter-country adoption.

ph23otoWe are proud to receive such high honors from this organization, and look forward to serving Milwaukee families, now and forever, with the highest level of care!

Aurora Family Service achieves stability and strength for families through counseling, parenting, elder care, financial, career, health and community services. 

For more information, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or call 1-414-342-4560.

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