Parental Compass Podcast
Shelly Willis, Executive Director

Dear friend,

Is it actually December? How is that even possible?!

Hanukkah has passed, Christmas lights are up, and folks are trying to finalize preparations for the holidays. We have had a strange year and it will end with a unique holiday celebration like no other. 

While it has not been an easy year, it has been one that has highlighted incredible acts of courage, humanity, and compassion. I know all of us have struggled this year at one time or another.  

As I reflect on the good and the challenges of  2020, I am left with a thankful heart and hopeful outlook. Yes, we have all experienced trauma, but we have also worked together to ensure the well-being of others. We have been RESILIENT!

In a year filled with incredible ups and downs, please congratulate yourself on your own resilience.  We have learned so much and gained respect for some who, at times, had been taken for granted.  We are proud of what Family Education & Support Services has accomplished this year to help protect, serve and support our community.  We could not have done it without your support.  Your continued belief in children and families  - and Family Education & Support Services, has quite literally transformed our communities. Our innovative staff have shown their remarkable skills, courage and dedication to our mission.

Thank you for your endless kindness, generosity, compassion, and support of our team here at Family Education & Support Services.  We hope to continue to serve as a source of strength and comfort - as long as our community needs us. 

Take care, 

Shelly Willis,  Executive Director
Family Education & Support Services is on a mission to prevent childhood trauma, heal children and families, and build resilient communities.  

Remaining Resilient through the Holidays

We all know that the holiday's are going to look different this year and with changes come so many emotions. Stress affects everyone, including children, who deal not only with their own problems, but absorb the anxiety from the caregivers in their lives. 

Scott Hanauer, Clinical Director at Family Education & Support Services, talks about the issue, the signs and ways to combat Stress.  Read More...

Create holiday cheer together

School's out - or at least not piping into your house via the internet - and everyone is looking for ways to brighten the holidays and feel less cooped-up. Think together about your family traditions related to the holiday (the way you celebrate may change, but the meaning behind the holiday does not). This year may be the year to establish a new family tradition; writing letters to first responders and teachers or going on an evening drive to check out light displays. (I personally suggest the OlyLightstravaganza)

2021 is the year to think outside the box. Why not try an outdoor candy cane hunt (like an Easter egg hunt) one afternoon or a game of "Santa Says" (similar to "Simon Says") to channel some of that holiday energy?

Click here for resources that provide inspiration and ideas for families. 

Your gift will be matched. 

When COVID hit, we understood that families would be hurting, and that many would need our help more than ever. In response, we worked quickly to transition to virtual programming so that essential services would not miss a beat. 

Donate between now and December 31st and a portion of your gift will be matched by our Community Support Circle Members!

You'll love going into the holidays knowing you've already helped a family that is counting on the guidance and resources we provide, including virtual home visits, parenting education groups, trainings for family support professionals, and other extensive online resources. 

Your support is critical so that we can remain connected to vulnerable children and families during these challenging times. Thank you for your generosity!

QUESTIONS? Contact Heather Antanaitis at 360.878.1016 or heather@familyess.org.

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Family Education and Support Services
Mailing Address:
PO Box 14907  I  Tumwater, WA 98511

Thurston County Office:
6840 Capital Blvd. SE, Bld. 3  I  Tumwater, WA 98501

Mason County Office:
Mason Transit Center Building  I  601 W. Franklin Street  I  Shelton, WA 98584

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