Serving the community: Student-led club serves the public through many events and projects

To love is to be considered. To serve is to make oneself available and open. To grow is to listen with a willingness to hear. Within the walls of DeMoss Hall exists a club with the mission to intermingle these attributes and impact the community of Lynchburg: This club is the Family & Child Development Association.

Sarah Kenthack, the president of FACDA, sections the club’s overall objective into three subcategories: fellowship, giving back and development.

FACDA provides a place of belonging for its student body. The club works to cultivate a sense of community during club meetings hosted for FACDA majors, minors and prospective students. Within these meetings, students are provided with snacks, learn from experienced guest speakers and receive an opportunity to do crafts with their peers. Kenthack explained that the club has provided her with close friendships and a renewed sense of confidence.

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Kenthack described the club’s mission as a desire “to learn the needs of the community and provide students with the resources to meet them practically.” 

Each semester, FACDA hosts a service project that aims to meet the community’s needs. In the past, students have been able to come alongside organizations such as the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center and the Isaiah 117 House.

Through the pregnancy center, students served women in crisis and grew in empathy toward the hardships of motherhood. Both the previous and current semester’s service projects have been dedicated to the Isaiah 117 House. This facility serves as a go-between for foster children who have just been removed from a dangerous home environment.

“The  Isaiah 117 House provides a safe haven between the home a child is taken from and the foster home they are placed in,” Kenthack said.

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Children spend anywhere between one to five days in this home and receive a personalized suitcase to take to their new foster home.

“Many of the children who are gifted a suitcase at the Isaiah 117 House are overjoyed and filled with gratitude to receive their own things,” Kenthack said.

FACDA’s next service event, a shoe drive for young boys, will be held April 8 from 5-6 p.m. in DeMoss 4152. This event is open to all and carries out FACDA’s mission of supporting the community.

The association helps students gain leadership skills through its emphasis on professional development and community outreach. Through this club, students are presented with an opportunity to hear from and interact with leaders within their fields of study.

These guests explore a wide array of topics such as conflict resolution, mediation with parents, leadership skills and struggles within the sphere of FACDA career paths.

For more information about the club, follow FACDA on Instagram @liberty.facda.

Callaghan is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion 

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