Family Trust Grant Expands Winthrop’s Place for Hope Outreach Program
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Family Trust Grant Expands Winthrop’s Place for Hope Outreach Program

February 23, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Family Trust Federal Credit Union contributed $1,000 to expanding the APFH Eagles Program
  • The grant will help expand afterschool programming, resources to the Blackmon Road Community

family trust grantROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – A new grant will continue to develop the A Place for Hope (APFH) Eagles Program, aimed at helping Winthrop University students build connections and offer resources to low-income communities.

Family Trust Federal Credit Union recently contributed $1,000 to expanding the APFH Eagles Program, established in the fall of 2019 by Jeannie Haubert, chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology, and APFH board member. The service-learning program provides afterschool programming focused on strengthening families in the Blackmon Road Community.​ Winthrop students ​provide​ homework support and longer-term ​educational​​support,​ nutritious snacks, healthy​ ​recreation and ​cultural​ ​experiences.​ ​However, the impact of COVID-19 severely limited APFH’s outreach throughout 2020.

"The credit union motto is people helping people, and we wouldn't be who we are without the people in our community. It was imperative that we continued the Community Partnership program during such an uncertain time. With different programs, incomes, and other necessities being canceled due to the pandemic, we wanted to make sure the community knew we would still be there for them," said Janet Hadjar, vice president of marketing for Family Trust

Winthrop students have been able to see the potential of the APFH Eagles Program despite challenges due to the pandemic.

“I learned the importance of community and how through unity it creates a safe space for everyone to connect through shared experiences,” said Zaria McBride ’20, a sociology graduate who still volunteers virtually from her home in Ohio. She is hopeful the APFH Eagles Program can continue “to use their resources as a way to pay it forward.”

COVID-19, however, has changed how resources are offered. For instance, an online homework clinic was created to provide virtual tutoring to elementary, middle and high school children. AFPH is also partnering with local restaurants to provide free, weekly meal delivery to families working hard to make ends meet.

Amanda Sanchez ’21, a senior studying human development and family studies, said her eyes were opened and she learned a new perspective on communities facing health, educational and economic barriers due to poverty. She now understands the importance of helping others “because the smallest things have a huge impact on their lives and hearts.”

APFH Board Co-Chair and Political Science Department Chair Jennifer Disney, who has served APFH since 2005, said the Family Trust community grant will also help re-establish in-person, socially-distanced programming to the Blackmon Road Community. Disney, as well as student volunteer Lexy Elliott ’21, believe face-to-face interactions are more beneficial.  

“It builds a kind of trust and sense of community,” said Elliott, a political science major. 

The APFH Eagles Program has recently hired an internship coordinator who is supervising Winthrop interns. There are also plans to re-establish an APFH summer camp.

“Community grants like the Family Trust Community Grant and partnerships between Winthrop University and local area non-profits like APFH will allow us all to continue to survive and work to thrive during these difficult times,” Disney said.

For more information, visit: https://placeforhope.weebly.com/ 

For more information on how you can support this program or for more information on giving to Winthrop, please contact University Advancement at 803/323-2275 or giving@winthrop.edu

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Last Updated: 2/23/21