Introducing Chief Executive Peer Circles

The Campus of Caring has been bustling with summer events! In June, we had the privilege of hosting GS Connects events, featuring organizations dedicated to supporting individuals at different stages of life.

First 1000 Days focuses on connecting parents with vital resources for newborns in their early stages of development. On the other hand, Senior Friendship Centers provides essential services and provides a place of community for older adults. Through these events, we gained valuable insights and discussed resources to meet the needs of diverse age groups.

Janice Houchins and Siena Kelley getting ready to present at GS Connects

First 1000 Days

On June 6th our campus welcomed First 1000 Days Relations Coordinator, Janice Houchins, and Community Support Specialist, Sienna Kelley, to tell us about how their service referral system works to connect new parents with the help they need.

Attendees discuss during the First 1000 Days presentation for GS Connects

It Takes a Village

First 1000 Days uses their partnership with various nonprofit organizations and healthcare providers to help parents get care for the early stages of their child’s development. When looking at problems facing professionals and parents alike, First 1000 Days found that one of the biggest challenges was simply navigating the systems and services available. So, their team helps coordinate and support people navigating the system and those working within it. In addition to these imperative service connections, First 1000 Days empowers parents through a weekly text subscription that sends out activities parents can do with their children. This convenient service not only fosters quality bonding time between parents and children but also provides a network of support for the families.

Everyone brought their curiosity with them as always and our presenters engaged staff attendees with icebreaker introductions and a raffle, setting the stage for a dynamic event. The attendees were able to get to know one another while also getting into deeper discussion with the presenters and fellow campus staff. Incorporating these interactive elements not only provided a memorable experience, but they provided a learning opportunity for future GS Connects events.

Senior Friendship Centers

On June 27th Julie Ann Barowski, the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator of Senior Friendship Centers came for the next GS Connects presentation. The event provided an engaging opportunity for staff members to learn about the organization's mission, services, and impact on the lives of older adults within our community. Attendees gained valuable insights into the organization's efforts to promote active and healthy aging, fostered a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by older adults and highlighted the importance of community engagement in enhancing their well-being. Through this session, staff members were inspired to explore potential avenues for collaboration and support.

Coffee, Doughnuts, and Humble Beginnings

Senior Friendship Centers started very small in 1973 with a humble idea of a doughnut and coffee social for local older adults – a group that often faces isolation. To everyone’s surprise, over 400 people showed up that day. These people were eager not just for the food and drink, but the human connections there. You couldn’t ask for a clearer sign of how important this kind of organization is to the communities they serve.

Original Senior Friendship Center building

Senior Friendship Centers is a safety net providing community and support for 10,000 older adults as well as the caregivers that love them. The services that the centers offer include adult day care, activity centers, caregiver resources, healthy meals, exercise classes, volunteer opportunities, lifelong learning, support groups, economic assistance, and more. These services give enrichment to daily life and help to avoid the issues of isolation that so many people face as they get older. These activities and services are tangible benefits but also come together to provide something that is difficult to achieve - a community. Our own campus also strives to forge a community with our partners both to collaborate efforts and to provide support for the incredible staff that put missions into action every day.

Campus Connection events are sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation logo


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Glasser/Schoenbaum is an integral part of our community. They not only provide critical commercial space for non-profits but also build networks within our community to meet the needs of our most vulnerable.

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Dawn Sakes, MSW Executive Director and Mentor More Too Life
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The staff at Glasser/Schoenbaum have done a great job of connecting the many organizations on campus and creating a space that sparks collaboration. This sense of community extends to staff and clients alike, helping to break down barriers and leading to innovative ways to serve the community as a whole.

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Katie Becker Executive Director Parenting Matters
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Real estate is one of the greatest costs in a business budget. Our partnership with The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center allows more money to go towards our mission. And what better place to house our office than on a campus with nineteen other outreach agencies.

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Janet Kahn Executive Director Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
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