08 Jun Round of Applause-Florence Oregon Community Lead, Suzanne Mann-Heinz
Suzanne Man-Heinz is a retired teacher and child advocate who is involved in several volunteer organizations that benefit children and families. In January of 2019, she helped organize Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students, a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation whose mission is to develop and provide emergency temporary housing and support for students and their families. Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students began its search for a partner organization early on.
In March of 2019, Suzanne had a meeting with Angela Albin, who introduced her to Safe Families and a plan was worked out for the two organizations to work together to address a common need in the Florence area. Suzanne shared, “My husband, James, and I have lived in Florence for 20 years and love it! Between them they have three grown children and four grandchildren who all live in Oregon (lucky for us!)”
Why did you choose Safe Families?
The research we considered in looking for a partner organization indicated that families in need are hesitant to reach out for assistance because they fear intrusion into their lives, losing custody of their children if they don’t have a place to live, etc. Safe Families’ commitment to keeping families together and their proven record of the same, matched our goals and hopefully reduces anxiety on the part of students and/or families that need assistance. Also, the spiritual principles of hospitality, compassion, and friendship are foundational to creating the peaceful society that has been the aim of religions throughout the ages.
What do you wish other people knew about Safe Families?
I wish others come to know that Safe Families is truly a trustworthy organization, without hidden agendas, that wants to aid parents and children through tough times and strengthen family bonds of affection.
I would, and do tell others who are thinking about volunteering with Safe Families that there are many roles to assume and many levels of time and involvement. Each volunteer has lots of flexibility in choosing their path of service and everything is based on mutual consent. I would also want them to know how very good it feels to see a family overcome difficulties and know that you played a part in their success.
What is it like to be a Safe Family Community Lead? How many hours per week does it take to be a Community Lead?
I’m just beginning to develop teams in Florence, so I can’t predict what it will be like to be a Ministry Lead, but I am willing to find out!
What is one of the best things you have seen happen in your circle of influence because of Safe Families?
In the presentations I’ve done to community groups and individuals, the best thing I’ve encountered is the enthusiasm in people’s responses to the concepts.
Knowing someone who could use or could have used a system like Safe Families offers seems universal. Touching hearts and giving hope are wonderful!