In episode nine, Christine Nikolich interviews Emily Neal, Mercy Home's Vice President of Organizational Development, and Dana Firmin-Murray, a therapist at Mercy Home. Both Emily and Dana have spent years working with young people, helping them heal from trauma they've experienced while growing up. For Child Abuse Prevention Month, I sat down with them to discuss the signs a child may be experiencing if they’ve been abused, how that abuse affects them, and steps we can all take to prevent it from happening.

To learn more about the impact our coworkers make on our kids, please visit our website. #AroundOurHome #ChildAbusePrevention

Our guests today are Joe Wronka, Vice President of our Advancement Department and Mark Schmeltzer, Director of Communications. In this episode Joe and Mark discuss the importance of our March for Kids campaign, how it impacts our kids and families and other ways you can support Mercy Home for Boys & Girls throughout the year. 

To learn more about the impact members of campaigns like March for Kids have on our kids, please visit our website. #AroundOurHome #MarchForKids #Campaign #Nonprofit #Donate

 

 

In episode seven, Christine Nikolich interviews Marc Velasquez, Mercy Home's Milieu Support Specialist who specializes in spiritual development. Marc helps our kids encounter spirituality, something he views as connection--to other people, to the world, and what makes you want to a better person.  In his role, he facilitates spiritual retreats for our kids and orchestrates events that help them connect to their own culture and the cultures of others. He plays a major role in helping our kids heal from trauma and build brighter futures. In this episode Marc tells stories about his experience at Mercy Home and how spiritual development impacts the lives of our kids. To learn more about the impact our coworkers make on our kids, please visit our website. #AroundOurHome #Spirtuality

In episode six, Christine Nikolich interviews Phil and Beth; two members of Mercy Home's philanthropy department and Flo; one of our amazing donors. Our philanthropy department works to raise money for Mercy Home by building relationships with donors and encouraging them to deepen their support of our Home. We receive all kinds of gifts, including cash, donor advised fund grants, charitable gift annuities, wills/living trusts, real estate, and more. These major gifts are generally facilitated through our philanthropy department. It is through this department and our generous donors that we are able to change so many lives at Mercy Home!

My guest today is Damien Douglas, a maintenance engineer at our West Loop Campus and a member of our facilities department. The coworkers in facilities have countless responsibilities that keep our campus clean and safe, but the most important aspect of their job most recently is maintaining cleanliness at Mercy Home during the pandemic. To learn more about the impact members of our facilities department make on our kids, please visit our website. #AroundOurHome #Facilities #Essential

 

 

My guests today are three of Mercy Home's therapists. Our therapists work with our kids to help them heal from trauma and other difficulties through psychotherapy and other interventions that support healthy regulation. Their role is key to helping our young men and women maintain good mental health, especially in the times of uncertainty we are experiencing right now. To learn more about the impact our therapists make on our kids, please visit our website. #AroundOurHome #MentalHealth #Therapy

Our guests today are three coworkers who have been instrumental in our emergency task force initiative. Our Director of Planning & Evaluation Patrick Needham, our Manager of Community Partnerships & Marketing Juan Medina, and Mario Tamayo, the Manager of Youth Program Operations. When COVID-19 hit, Mercy Home acted immediately and made sure we were taking the correct steps to provide basic necessities for our kids and families. Today, the task force is still working hard and playing a vital role in making sure our kids and families get food and the care they need every week. There are plenty of ways to help the task force, including donating non-perishable food items at Mercy Home’s drop-off site, located behind 1100 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago. We'll be accepting donations on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. You can also make a donation by visiting our website.

Our guest today is Sarah Juarez, the nurse at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. Sarah manages our kids’ entire medication system and works with Mercy Home’s contract psychiatrist, acting as an advocate for our kids. She also provides health education and trainings, as well as works with our youth if they have acute injuries or illnesses. In this episode, Sarah talks about ways to stay healthy during a pandemic and gives us an insider look on being a nurse in a residential environment. You'll also hear us discuss our AfterCare program, which invites all former residents of Mercy Home and their families ongoing support, encouragement, and resources. If you'd like to learn more about both of our campuses you can take a virtual tour on our website.

Our guest today is Alban Fisher, the Clinical Director at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. Alban works with both our young people and coworkers, acting as a mentor to our clinicians and supporting their professional development. In this episode, Alban gives advice on how to talk to kids who are dealing with doubt and anxiety during this time, ways to cope with the crisis, stress management during the stay-at-home order, and gives an update on how the kids of Mercy Home are doing. For more resources surrounding Covid-19, please visit our blog.

 

 

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