On behalf of the Kim Foundation, I recently had the privilege of attending the Lutheran Family Services Annual Faith in Action Dinner. Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) is a faith-based, statewide human care organization which impacts more than 35,000 individuals, serving from 32 offices in 18 cities in the areas of behavioral health, children services, and community services. Each year, LFS pays tribute to those whose actions demonstrate a commitment to faith-based values and principles.
The Douglas E. Parrott Faith in Action Award was presented to our friends Howard and Rhonda Hawks in recognition of their tremendous commitment to advance behavioral health and human care for children and families. The Hawks Foundation supports, for example, the RSAFE program which is dedicated to emotionally healing children and families affected by sexual abuse. The new North Omaha Center for Healthy Families will provide early childhood mental health and parenting therapies, as well as incentive based programs promoting healthy behaviors for young parents in high risk environments. The Kim Foundation is proud of the work the Hawks do and congratulates them for receiving this much deserved honor.
LFS selected as its Community Partners of the Year Omaha Yahoo! Employee Foundation for its service and support of refugee families in the community. The Omaha Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) collected everything needed for a new refugee family of five to fund and furnish their apartment in Omaha. They met the family at the airport (at midnight!), drove them to their new home, and since then have helped the children start school, develop their English skills, and learn such complicated tasks as using a stove, reading a bus schedule, counting change, and shopping for food. Thanks Yahoo! for being such awesome neighbors!
The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to another Kim Foundation friend, Scott Anderson, for his leadership and commitment to military personnel and their loved ones. Scott has been the driving force behind the AT EASE program. AT EASE is a confidential trauma support and counseling program for returning veterans and their loved ones. Scott credits a government report revealing that fewer than 40 percent of returning soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ever receive treatment as his reason for starting the group. Stigma, something we hear time and time again, often prevent soldiers from seeking treatment; soldiers fear of being seen as “unmilitary”, “cowardly” and fear of losing their benefits. The AT EASE program contracted with LFS to provide counseling services for families. We think Scott made a wise choice in starting the program, and so did LFS in awarding him with this honor.