Hand in Hand October 2019

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Community Newsletter

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Community Newsletter

Turning Challenges Into Solutions Your gift provides children living with mental health challenges a connection to a brighter future. Donations to Alexander Children’s Foundation help support the skill building techniques and coping skill solutions children learn to manage their behavioral and mental health.

Challenges to Mental & Behavioral Healthcare

The Alexander Children's Foundation Solution: Your dollars help provide care

16.5% of children in the U.S. have at least one mental health disorder. In North Carolina that equals 380,000 children.

You helped more than 10,000 children and families across 71 counties in North Carolina access behavioral health services in 2018. Alexander Youth Network provides services to children ages 5 to 21, at home, in the community, and in the clinical setting.

North Carolina ranks 35th among states with the highest prevalence of mental illness and lowest rates of access to care.

You provide a safety net of professionals our kids love and trust as a part of their healing. Our extensive staff includes:

The number of youth needing services is consistently growing. 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.

• 26 Licensed Professional Counselors (fully licensed and provisional) • 5 Licensed Psychologists • 2 Medical Doctors / Psychiatrists • 27 Registered Nurses Your gift has allowed Alexander Youth Network to provide a comprehensive array of services to meet the growing needs of our community.

At Alexander In 2018 In 2018, we have expanded through our merger with Youth Focus, to offer 2 Psychiatric Residential Programs, 15 Day Treatment Programs, 6 Therapeutic Foster Programs, 8 Outpatient & CommunityBased programs as well as Substance Use programs, Intensive In-home, and Multi-Systemic Therapy.

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Community Newsletter

Jack’s Journey to Healing Imagine feeling lonely, trapped, misunderstood, frustrated, and afraid. No one gets you or wants to be your friend. Your teachers are frustrated with you because you can’t sit still, take your turn or follow multi-step directions. Your peers don’t want to be around you because you can’t keep your hands to yourself and you don’t share well with others. It’s hard for you to read and you feel stupid in class - your brain just doesn’t function like the other students. Why is everyone out to get you in trouble? Life feels so hard and you don’t think it’ll change. This is exactly how Jack, a young man who was in our Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program, felt when he came to stay with us. That all changed once he entered one of our therapeutic programs called Bark and Heal. Jack was a little reluctant to join the Bark and Heal program, but after learning more about it and hearing he could make a difference for a dog he decided to give it a shot. When he walked into the gym on the first day, Jack saw a couple of strangers with 6 dogs on leashes. He wondered, “What are we going to have to do with these dogs?” Jack was then introduced to Sam, the dog he was going to train. Sam was big and clumsy, not very social and hesitant to engage.

THANK YOU! Due to the generosity of donors and supporters like you, we are able to offer children the opportunity to participate in many different extraordinary therapeutic programs at Alexander Youth Network, such as our Bark and Heal program. Bark and Heal, pairs youth at Alexander with rescued dogs, who need skills training prior to adoption. The 8-week training program of rewarding positive behaviors, redirecting undesirable ones, and creating a structured learning environment for the dogs mimics the skills children are learning in their own treatment programs.

We are so fortunate to have this program where healing and a connection is happening.

Sam was abandoned on the streets, living off of scraps and trash. Sam didn’t trust people and would often run away. It took several sessions of working together for Sam to trust Jack, but Jack was sold after the first day. He got to be a dog trainer! He realized he had an opportunity to help save Sam and make him lovable. Jack understood and loved Sam in a way that no other child could because he had also had a rough start to life. As Jack started to train Sam, he was also able to heal and calm over time with the sweet licks to his face and the unconditional attention that Sam gave to him. Jack developed patience and kindness. He began to understand how to interact with his peers and discuss his feelings in a positive and appropriate way. While Jack mastered the skill of being a dog trainer, he also gained confidence in the classroom. Jack started to believe he was good at something, that he had value and was lovable. The experience of Bark and Heal, enabled Jack to learn valuable coping skills and identify the tremendous support Sam was for him during treatment. Jack is now the proud owner of his own dog, Tru, who is an emotional support animal for him. Jack and Tru are now working with one of our volunteers to train Tru to continue to be a lifelong support for Jack.

The connection between dogs and kids is undeniable, but the benefits of pairing the two in a therapeutic atmosphere are playing out in our Bark and Heal program.

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Community Newsletter 2019 #GivingTuesdayCLT Campaign #GivingTuesday, is a global campaign for communities, individuals and businesses to come together for one day for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. This year, on December 4, 2019, Alexander Children’s Foundation will raise awareness and increase funding for children’s mental health. We will be joining more than 200 local nonprofits to participate in improving our communities. Please consider making a gift or your pledge payment during #GivingTuesdayCLT to be a voice for children living with mental health conditions!

JOIN US FOR LUNCH & A TOUR • November 12, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. • November 21, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. • December 3, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Our campus tours are a free introduction to Alexander Youth Network and are held on our main campus located on Thermal Road in southeast Charlotte.

Tours are also offered during the day and by request. Please visit our website to register and for more details.


Join the extraordinary team of volunteers at Alexander, and become a champion for our kids. Individuals • Individual volunteers must commit to a minimum of 6 months of service • Complete the application process • Attend a volunteer orientation Groups • Plan an interactive activity • Connect and schedule with our Volunteer Engagement Officer For more information: Contact Ashley Nieves at 704.227.9115 or anieves@aynkids.org.

SAVE THE DATE! Sunday December 8, 2019 Alexander Youth Network - Annual Tree Lighting Our Annual Tree Lighting event is a great way to get to know the kids of Alexander and spread the holiday spirit. Join us as we light the holiday tree and host a winter festival for the children in our residential program.

For more information contact, Kaitlyn Coppadge, at kcoppadge@aynkids.org or 704.227.9159.

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Groups Make a Difference Trust is something many of our children at Alexander struggle with. Being let down by the adults in your life who are supposed to keep you safe can understandably cause a child to have a hard time trusting others. Thanks to our amazing team of volunteers, the children we serve are learning how to trust again and are realizing that there are people out there who care about them and will show up to spend time with them. Friends in the community such as Wells Fargo, Sardis Presbyterian Church, King and Spalding, the Junior League of Charlotte and Bank of America, just to name a few, have given the gift of time by coming to campus and creating fun memories with our children. Thanks to the generosity of these volunteers, our kiddos are able to enjoy many wonderful experiences like playing kickball, visits from ice cream trucks, pet therapy, yoga, singing and dancing, arts and crafts projects, and so much more. They even have the opportunity to learn how to fish thanks to a recent partnership with My First Cast. My First Cast is an organization created by two teens to share their joy of fishing with children who may not have had the same opportunity to learn this hobby. These activities bring smiles to our children’s faces while helping them practice skills such as positive interactions with peers and appropriate social skills. Volunteers can also help with behind the scenes projects. Our friends at Randall Reilly recently helped get our classrooms ready for Fall by decorating bulletin boards. Other groups have helped with campus beautification projects, organizing donation drives for high priority items, and assembling welcome baskets and back to school bags. There are even opportunities to help on an individual basis. Our lunch/ dinner buddy program allows us to pair a child with a volunteer who visits on a weekly basis to spend time with that child as his/her mentor. Buddies play an important role in our children’s treatment. Through this program, our kids learn to develop healthy relationships and heal through past trauma. Our buddies are often just as grateful for the visit as the child. For an hour a week, they can leave behind the stress of adulthood and play like a kid again! Just a little time out of their week is a highlight for our kiddos and makes a big impact on their life. Volunteer groups and individual volunteers play a huge role in the healing process for our children. Thank you to our generous volunteers who truly brighten the days of our children with their gift of time! For more information on volunteer opportunities, and ways to get your group involved: Contact Ashley Nieves, Volunteer Engagement Officer at anieves@aynkids.org, 704- 227-9115.

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Thank You To Our 2019 Champion & Hero Sponsors!

Interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor? Contact Crissy Humble at chumble@aynkids.org or 704.227.9133 Alexander Youth Network Board of Directors

Alexander Children's Foundation Board of Trustees

Anne Schleusner, Chair Community Volunteer

Bill Fuller, Chair King and Spalding, Chair

Al Lindemann FCA Partners

Rick Beckman, Treasurer Community Volunteer

Alan Lochridge NTT Data Services

Gaither Deaton, Secretary Community Volunteer

Linda Lynch Community Volunteer

Lynn Crutchfield, President Alexander Children’s Foundation

Darden Matthews Wells Fargo

Chris Adams Wells Fargo Advisors

Virginia Molan Wells Fargo Securities

Mark Arizemendi Northwestern Capital Partners

Bryant Owens Wells Fargo Securities

N. Craig Bass, CEO Alexander Youth Network

Sarah Pearce Community Volunteer

Will Barr Bank of America

Meg Peebles Global Endowment

Wendy Bilas Community Volunteer

Chuck Price Bank of America

Carla Carlisle TIAA

Jim Ratchford Wells Fargo Advisors

Jennifer Cory Womble Bond Dickinson

Allan Schmitt Wells Fargo Securities

Jen Dyer Community Volunteer

Anne Schleusner Community Volunteer

Shannon Grant Wells Fargo Securities

Jeremy Swinson Wells Fargo Securities

Matthew Greer JLL

Kevin Thalinger Bank of America

Greg Hill Tartan Builders Group

Fidel Toney Wells Fargo

Deborah Hullinger Community Volunteer

Charles Watson William Blair

N. Craig Bass, CEO Alexander Youth Network Ed Cross Wells Fargo W.T. (Bill) Crowder, Jr. Crowder Construction Dawn Davis Wells Fargo Kelly Koeninger Robinson Bradshaw Thomas Korona Keeneland Capital Scott Poole Ridgemont Group Debbie Reynolds Community Volunteer Wendi Scheiger National Board for Certified Counselors Jeremy Swinson Wells Fargo Curt Shaw Novant Health

Andy Young Morgan Stanley

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