The power of existing community resources

Pictured left to right: Dave Plantier, President & CEO of MassMutual FCU and CCUA Social Responsibility Committee member; Shavon Powell, Bed for Every Child recipient; Stephanie Sanabria, City Connects Coordinator – Springfield Public Schools; and Lynn Liquornik, VP of Lending at MassMutual FCU and Pioneer Valley Chapter President.

At City Connects, our coordinators implement our innovative model: a system that brings the right services to the right child at the right time.

On a normal day, this can mean working with our community partners to connect children to tutoring, dental and health services, after-school programs, and counseling.

But on some days, coordinators spring into action when there’s an emergency.

That’s what happened recently when the Powell family had to deal with an apartment fire.

As the damage from the fire was being repaired, a City Connects Coordinator in Springfield, worked with community partners to coordinate a response.

“We delivered the bed we constructed at last evening’s Pioneer Valley Chapter meeting to Shavon Powell, with assistance from Stephanie Sanabria, City Connects School Site Coordinator,” explains David Plantier, President and CEO of the MassMutual Federal Credit Union.

The bed was for the Powell family’s young daughter.

“We just want to thank everyone involved,” Shavon Powell says. “You guys are truly appreciated.”

The community partners who helped are: the Pioneer Valley Chapter of Credit Unions; the MassMutual Federal Credit Union; and A Bed for Every Child, a partnership between public schools and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.

This joint effort highlights a key component of our work: mobilizing existing community resources – especially in emergencies — is crucial.

It is one of the ways we respond to the ever-changing circumstances of children’s lives and help them focus on learning and thriving in school.

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