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The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation Announces Community Champions for Second Quarter FY18

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce its Community Champions for the second quarter of FY18. These employees were nominated by their colleagues and are being recognized for their work with local non-profit organizations, where they donate their time and energy to improve quality of life for their neighbors. The Champions’ chosen nonprofits will receive a $500 grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation.

Margaret Buono-Turchiarelli

Quality Improvement Director, Hastings Child and Family Services, The MENTOR Network

Giving back to her community is second nature to Margaret. She volunteers her time by serving on the Board of Coast2Coast Financial Credit Union and is an active member of The Krewe of Pair O’Dice. She has served as a Board Member for the credit union that maintains a low-income CU certification which allows them to assist financially higher risk individuals and families to help them build their credit, increase their credit scores, and to secure home, vehicle and personal loans. On the Board for seven years, she is responsible for assisting the President and CEO in establishing policy, approving lending, establishing interest rates, employee management, and ensuring compliance.

“There is a small sandwich shop owned by a local couple who wanted to expand their business,” said Margaret. “We were able to help them with a small business loan. With the success of the business, they came back to us because they were ready to buy a home. It was rewarding to help a family on their journey both professionally and personally.”

As a member of the nonprofit social organization, Krewe of Pair O’Dice, Margaret and her fellow members are dedicated to supporting three charities in the Tampa Bay area including The Good Samaritan Mission. The Mission is dedicated to a holistic approach to enhancing the spiritual, emotional and physical quality of life for those living in poverty. They serve the community by offering a food pantry, post-secondary scholarships, and Back to School and Christmas Outreach Events. The Krewe supports The Mission through volunteer activities including maintenance, skills development teaching, and providing transportation. They also hold fundraising events to benefit The Mission including a pre-Thanksgiving “College Sports Night” event in which participants donate non-perishable food and money, while enjoying college sports themed games and dinner.

“I am a social worker,” said Margaret. “It is important to me that I support our community, and volunteering gives me the opportunity to make friends and have fun, all while helping those in need.”

To learn more about The Good Samaritan Mission, please visit their website at gsmission.org.

Wesner Dorce

Assistant Program Director, South Shore Haitian Adult Day Health Center

Wesner left his home country of Haiti in 2006 to move to the United States. The obstacles he encountered when he arrived have inspired him to work to increase the availability and awareness of resources in his community for fellow immigrants.

Wesner was a founding member of Haitian Community Partners (HCP) in 2013 with a group of friends. It is a Brockton-based nonprofit that works collaboratively with community-based organizations to improve access to comprehensive, integrated and culturally sensitive social services, immigration resources, youth leadership and health care. As a member of the Board of Directors, Wesner oversees its administration and program activities. He also volunteers with programs such as Youth Leadership, Good Grade Awards, Community Soccer Tournaments and ESL/Technology skills.

“I supervise the Youth Leadership Program,” said Wesner. “I organize ways, such as spending the day shadowing a nurse at the Brockton Hospital, for students to explore a career before they choose their education path. I want them to understand why they are choosing the field and what they like about it before money goes toward education.”

“Wesner wants to lead by example to teach his children to also give back to others,” said Toni Goncalves, Director of Business Development and Contracting, Adult Day Health. “He is committed to volunteering to help open doors to resources for education, health services, immigration needs and other assistance for social justice.”

To learn more about Haitian Community Partners, please visit their website at www.hcpfoundation.org.

Nicole Lynch

Program Supervisor, REM Iowa

Nicole caught the theater bug in high school, and a few years ago she auditioned for Agatha Christie’s “Unexpected Guest” at Marshalltown Community Theater and landed the lead role. That was just the beginning of her time with the community theater, where she now serves on the Board of Directors. The nonprofit is dedicated to bringing quality, live theatrical productions to the community, and Nicole is instrumental in ensuring this happens.

The group meets monthly to discuss finances, their upcoming performances, and any fundraising ideas to raise crucial funds for the theater. During the theater’s performances, you can find Nicole backstage doing hair and makeup for all of the actors. “I love being a part of the shows,” said Nicole. “It is a family, and I have made some of my best friends at the theater.”

The theater has a long history dating back to 1932 and is still enriching the community of Marshalltown today. This past holiday season Nicole helped the theater put on Elf Jr., which had a cast of 30 children from throughout the community. Corralling all of the children presented its challenges, but the joy that the children experienced by finding something they were good at made it worth it.

“Nicole found enjoyment in acting in her own life, so she loves to help others find their passion in the same way,” said Nora Byers, Program Supervisor, REM Iowa. “She also feels strongly about theater being something that all people should have accessible to them, and it gives people in our community an opportunity to experience something they may not otherwise have the chance to experience.”

To learn more about Marshalltown Community Theater, please visit their website at marshalltowncommunitytheatre.org.

About The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is committed to transforming the delivery of human services through the generation of new ideas and best practices. We seek to advance an agenda based on quality, accountability and respect for the individual. The focus of our giving is on organizations that take a fresh look—through research, innovative thinking, direct care and programming—at how people with disabilities and youth and families facing emotional, behavioral and other challenges are cared for in our society. The Foundation also works to expand opportunity for the people we serve through employment and educational support.