Lauren Oakey Chairs SCAN Progressive Dinner Fundraiser
Lauren Oakey has been involved with SCAN for several years and is serving as the 2020 Progressive Dinner Chair. We are so thankful for her leadership, kindness and flexibility. She has brought an incredible grace and passion for our community's children to this position in a year when it is much needed. 

How did you first get involved with SCAN?
 My husband and I discovered SCAN’s work through the United Way, and I was instantly drawn to the message. I had worked in various nonprofits since graduating from college - all of which focused on making the lives of children better - and I really wanted to get involved in a more hands-on way in Richmond. I went to visit the Child Advocacy Center in Henrico, and one visit there was enough to make me want to jump right in and help. I had actually hoped to become a CASA volunteer to work with the children directly, but I knew that my life - very busy with three children of my own - wouldn’t allow me to throw all my energy into it like I would have liked. So I reached out to help with the Progressive Dinner.

What inspires you about your work with SCAN?
I am inspired to work with SCAN on many different levels - the staff is clearly driven by the mission, and that kind of energy is contagious. My visit to the Advocacy Center also inspires me - it was during that visit that I was able to spend time where children come and share their difficult stories. It is very powerful to spend even a small amount of time in those spaces. You can feel the weight of it all. I am also inspired on a personal level, having had a loved one experience abuse in her own family. Both of these types of experiences are pivotal in our growth, even as adults, and for me, it was a call to action.

Tell us about the upcoming Progressive Dinner Fundraiser and Auction and the transition to a virtual event.
When we realized that the May 2nd Progressive Dinner event was going to be cancelled, it took me a week or so to really process what that meant for SCAN, and to think about how to switch gears. Flexibility is something I struggle with. Luckily, the staff at SCAN, the Board members and the Progressive Dinner committee really came together to move forward with a plan that we could all feel good about. It was important to everyone that we honor the restaurants, chefs and small businesses that are so kind to SCAN each year by paring down our auction, and asking that friends of SCAN consider donating the cost of their tickets, or making a special gift instead. Having said that, we were hoping to give people the opportunity to bid on items that we felt could be enjoyed at home, or things that we could look forward to doing - like artwork, bottles of wine, jewelry and a limited number of outings.

How can people get involved with the Progressive Dinner Fundraiser and Auction?
The online auction and donation platform will open up on Monday, April 27th, and close on Saturday May 2nd. You can get to the donation page by visiting SCAN’s website, or using the link in Monday’s email. Be on the lookout! The children that SCAN serves really need SCAN now more than ever, and it is important that these programs keep running. It takes an army of people to meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable children, and it is SCAN’s platforms that give both professionals and trained volunteers the opportunity to keep Richmond’s children safe and supported.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
I have a children’s book coming out this fall! It’s called Waiting for Adeline, and the illustrator is local artist, Britt Van Deusen. It’s a story about a little girl who struggles to speak, and her older sister’s journey to understand and connect with her. It is based off of my own experience as a mother of a child who was slow to speak and process language, and it took me years to write. A true labor of love.

Mobilizing the Greater Richmond
Trauma Informed Community Network
SCAN's Community Program Coordinator and TICN State Coordinator, Melissa McGinn was recently featured in the article " Mobilizing ACEs, Trauma and Resilience Networks to Support and Strengthen Pandemic Response Efforts" on ACES Connection.

As the world shudders through an unprecedented crisis, networks are stepping up to gather and share information, create opportunities for virtual connection, remind people about the science of toxic stress and build on community efforts to foster resilience in the wake of trauma and uncertainty.

“This really is an opportunity,” says Melissa McGinn, co-coordinator of the  Greater Richmond Trauma Informed Community Network  (GRTICN), one of 26 such coalitions throughout Virginia. “This is why we have these networks, for times like this. We’re all in this, and we need to use each other right now to mobilize our resources.”

For McGinn’s network, that mobilization began in mid-March, when Virginia’s schools closed and the reality of COVID-19 set in. The GRTICN had a regular meeting scheduled, and leaders decided to hold it, on Zoom—but instead of the usual agenda, they planned a 30-minute session of guided meditation, chair yoga and stretching. “It was an opportunity for people to connect and be present,” McGinn says. Sixty people tuned in.

Shortly after that, McGinn—who also serves as state coordinator for Virginia’s TICNs—began sending weekly e-newsletters (see right column of  this page ) to all of the state’s networks, including mental health access lines, links to sites for food distribution and free Internet, and resources for talking with kids about COVID-19. They are hosting a virtual meeting of community members, and another with representatives from the police department, health care system and the school district.

“We’re trying to be the convener of these forums…not to figure out what people need, but to create a space for people to have a voice, to listen and get that information out,” McGinn says.



There's Still Time to Get Involved During
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
The pinwheel is a happy, uplifting symbol of childhood and can be used in a 
number of ways to draw attention to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Pinwheels are the national symbol for child abuse prevention and the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign focuses on positive efforts to ensure that all children have the safe, stable, nurturing families they deserve. By promoting positive parenting and healthy families, EVERY child will benefit.

Plant your own pinwheel garden:

-Color a pinwheel to place in your window! Download this coloring sheet template or design one of your own.

-Get creative! Draw your own pinwheel garden with chalk for your neighborhood to enjoy or make pinwheels out of items around your house. Check out this make your own pinwheel project template for an idea.

- SCAN has pinwheels available for no contact pick up at our office or drop off (in the local Richmond area only). Contact Kasey Brach to order pinwheels . A $1 suggested donation is appreciated.

Share your pinwheels and pinwheel gardens by tagging SCAN on social media to show your support during April!
Thank You SCAN Volunteers!
This week, SCAN is celebrating National Volunteer Week!

We are feeling grateful to have such an amazing community of caring volunteers. This year, our volunteers collected snacks and toys, helped with special events like Santa Shop and the Blue and White Ball, and more. We’d like to especially thank our amazing committed volunteers who keep the CAC, CASA, Circle Preschool and Family Support Program running smoothly. Thank you for everything you do to support our children and families. We couldn’t do this work without you!

Check out the Greater Richmond SCAN GRTICN Resilience Week VA website now for more information, flyers in Spanish and English, a social media kit, trainings and more about how you can get involved!  
SCAN Staff Rally to Support the Community Virtually
SCAN's Community Programs Staff quickly pivoted to support caregivers, families, teachers, school staff, and others through virtual trainings and conversations during the current crisis. Check out SCAN's YouTube channel to view recordings of past trainings and be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities. Trainings and conversations provided have included:
*Engaging Families
*Self-Care for Families
*Weekly Meditations
*Wellness Check for Educators
*Supporting Adolescents and Young Adults
Staff have also introduced a new series on the SCAN YouTube Channel called Take 5. These quick videos will introduce easy ways to support yourself and your family. Join Margo, SCAN's RPS Trauma Informed Specialist and CAC Trauma Focused Treatment Therapist as she kicks off this series with a quick breathing technique that can be used to pause and reset. Check back weekly for new videos from SCAN Staff.
First Caregivers Graduate Family Support Program Virtually
SCAN's Family Support Program staff has been working hard to continue to provide vital support to caregivers in our community. In March, they began offering virtual groups through zoom and provided individual case management support as needed to careigvers. Last week, seven caregivers graduated the first 20-week caregiver support group through zoom! All the caregivers demonstrated significant growth and commented on how much they learned through the group process.

FSP Clinical Coordinator, Natalie Clavon, shared that "gratitude has been a central coping mechanism for me during this pandemic. I am grateful for many things but to name a few: 1) technology, which has allowed us to stay connected during a time of social distancing 2) engaged, motivated, and committed clients who quickly adjusted to the changes and 3) creativity, which helped me to present the content in new, innovative ways. 

Thank you to the Family Support Program staff and all our committed clients for continuing to work to build resilient communities, strengthen families and protect children!

Protect a Child today with a gift to SCAN's Annual Fund.
Greater Richmond SCAN | 804-257-7226 | www.grscan.com