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Reflections From Our Executive Director

My name is Nancy Sawle Knobloch, and I became the Executive Director of Family Service of Lake County this spring. I’m not new to the organization, having served on the Board of Directors for seven years, and three years as Board Chair. I became Executive Director one day, and COVID-19 hit the next day.

This organization means a lot to me, and it should to you too. Why?

OUR THERAPISTS ARE ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU

A few days into my tenure, we moved all of our Counseling services to Telehealth, and we haven't missed a beat. We continue to meet the counseling needs of anyone over the age of 8, and for all income levels.just as we did before COVID-19.

Our therapists will be here for you throughout the pandemic and beyondThey have seen it all. Their skills and experience run deep. During the pandemic, our therapists hear three things most often from their clients—they are lonely, they fear the unknown, and they miss their routines.  Counseling in the time of COVID-19 utilizing Zoom Healthcare has proven to be effective and helpful to our clients. Some clients actually are starting to prefer Telehealth to face-to-face sessions. 

If you need someone to talk to, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us now at 847-432-4981, Ext. 200. Just remember, we are here for YOU.

OUR LATINO TEAM SUPPORTS OUR FAMILIES AND OUR NEIGHBORS

In March, April, May, June, July, August—ongoing, they meet the basic needs of Highwood and Highland Park families through the Emergency Fund many of you helped build. Each week they provide essential support for families and individuals in our Latino programs, plus for many other community members. To date, they’ve organized over 2,000 deliveries of groceries, household products, and PPP like masks and gloves. They’ve covered medical, dental and counseling bills, supplied gift cards for children’s clothing and shoes, and much more. To maximize impact, they’ve teamed up with other groups for food prep and delivery, food pantries, volume quantities of hand sanitizer, clothing, and other supplies.

As if that were not enough—this team ran our Nuestro Verano summer camp virtually for our Latino students, worked with volunteers to build a successful Pen Pal Program where volunteers and students write each other letters, distributed books and project material and, how fun is this—did virtual tours of museums like the Frida Kahlo in Mexico. 

This summer we learned how to “do remote” better. A key learning from summer camp is to make remote learning more activity based using art and expression.  Once we have engagement, we sneak in the academic support (please don’t tell our students our secret). We are ready to support our families and students this fall as we build strong connections to our District 112 and 113 partners. 

OUR SENIOR & CAREGIVER SUPPORT IS STRONG AND GROWING

Through telephone outreach, Zoom group sessions, and senior counseling, we’re supporting seniors and caregivers across Lake County at no out-of-pocket cost.  Our Caregiver Resource Center continues to support caregivers with respite, gap filling and legal assistance connections and funding. Please call 847-432-4981, Ext. 4 for more information. 

THE QUALITY OF OUR SUPPORT IS BETTER THAN EVER

With so many headlines and memes that have written 2020 off as a lost year, I’m afraid I disagree. We have learned so much and made so many strides in service delivery that we have leaped decades. We continue to provide the same high level of support to our families, individuals, and seniors, but just in a slightly different way that seems even better. 

 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

YOU made all this possible—and more. We remain fully staffed. In fact, we hired four people in the midst of a pandemic to meet the growing need. With your continued support, we can do so much more to strengthen lives with our programs. We can do so much more to help our neighbors and to restore hope across our communities.

I will be in touch soon with updates about our Fall plans, including new additions to our Counseling team, remote learning programs for our Latino students, and the kickoff of our Annual Appeal.  In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me and our team at nknobloch@famservice.org

Nancy Sawle Knobloch