Moving the Needle on What Matters in Social Services
By Adam Schwartz
I have been a part of The Child Center over six years, after having met Dick [Jay] at a “friend-raiser” in Manhattan in June of 2012. After hearing about the agency and the work it does for low-income and economically diverse children and families with little to no greater community supports, I knew I wanted to become involved in its work and its mission.
My father was a social worker and my mother was a teacher, so I come from a family dedicated to helping people. It is not a surprise to me, then, that I married my wife, Nell, who spends every day helping people as a social worker with families experiencing loss.
As a board member, I consider myself a representative of the agency and hope that my involvement and engagement inspires others to make the same kind of commitment— in all ways, and even those ways that may not be altogether comfortable. Despite my feeling far less than confident in asking people for money, I happily accepted the task when the gala committee asked me to be an auctioneer at the 2018 gala. I knew it was in support of a cause that has become near and dear to my heart.
This said, what I love most about being a board member of The Child Center is the opportunity I have had to meet the clients we serve. Although many of the stories are heartbreaking, it is important and rewarding to see how beneficial our work has been to families with far less than I could have ever imagined.
Beyond this, I can’t begin to communicate how important and transformative it has been to have Traci [Donnelly] as our CEO. Since her tenure began, we are operating at a higher level— from the quality of the meetings to the caliber of the staff. I am honored to partner with her around the current work and the goals for the future. I’m looking forward to many more years of board service.
In terms of my own family, my wife, Nell, and I have three children— Jonah (8), William (4), and Hannah (2). They too have been involved in the Center’s work, most recently bringing toys to the Escalera Head Start location that our eldest decided to donate. Needless to say, there’s so much more to be done, but fortunately, for those who become involved, the work is truly transformative, both to the clients and to us, as supporters of its work and mission.