From:                              Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc. <>

Sent:                               Thursday, January 7, 2016 1:28 PM


Subject:                          A Time of Giving Thanks





Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc.                   Newsletter Issue #12 - October 2015




"To do all things necessary or proper to 

aid in improving the education, economic opportunities, living 

environment and general welfare of the people........"







CEO's Corner



"Be present in all things and thankful for all things."

- Maya Angelou

As we approach the Holiday Season, I can't help but think on how time flies. It seems like we were just here a few months ago.  I often wonder if it has anything to do with age, but I choose to credit the fact that my life has been extremely busy and consumed with my career and being the mother of a VERY active 2-year old. Regardless, somehow this time of year forces me to slow down - even with all of the hustle and bustle associated with holidays.  It's a time to stop and reflect on the many reasons to be thankful.  As Maya Angelou said, "Be present in all things and thankful for all things." All things meaning the good, bad, and indifferent. It is truly difficult to be thankful for the bad and indifferent, but as I once heard someone say, "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger."

Even in those situations, it's important to find the lesson learned and be thankful. 

 Since I typically write a gratitude list around Thanksgiving, I thought it would be a good idea to start here by listing 10 thoughts. I encourage you to do the same so that when life presents challenges, you are reminded of what really matters and take heart in how blessed you really are. I am thankful for:

1)    A God that loves me unconditionally

2)    A husband that accepts me for who I am

3)    A daughter that already understands love and loves her Mommy

4)    My parents being alive and supporting my decisions, even when I'm wrong

5)    Challenges that didn't break me, but instead built me

6)    Being  chosen to make a difference

7)    Being blessed to help others

8)    Nights that turn into morning

9)    Friends that turn into family; and

10)  Dreams that become a reality


The Mission Continues.......

Ericka J. Whitaker, M.S.A., C.E.O.







Theme: Thanksgiving


      This month we celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving. This holiday gives us an annual opportunity to give thanks, as a nation and individually within our families, for all the good things that have been made available to us as Americans. We can give thanks because, since this nation's founding, we have had the opportunity and the challenge to promote, to protect, and to defend the most basic, fundamental, and inalienable of human rights: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for all people.

      The Founding Fathers recognized that those rights are from the Creator and that they exist before, and independent of, any and all governments; that government exists only to promote and to protect those rights for all citizens. Those rights, as we know, are always being threatened either from outside by those who despise our way of life, or from inside by apathy and ignorance. Since the founding of the republic those threats have been met and defended on the battlefield many times.

       Every generation since 1776 has had its citizen soldiers who found it necessary to sacrifice their comfort, to leave home and hearth, and to go into the field of battle to potentially give their all in defense of the Constitution and of all those they left behind at home. Each generation has done so willingly. We can be especially thankful that there have been such men and women among us. They have made the celebration of Thanksgiving possible. We thank all those who are serving today and all those who have served in the past. We owe so much to so few. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


© 2015 The Veterans Site and Greater Good. All Rights Reserved.





Board of Director's News


Working Hard for Higher Education


Davian Ellison was elected to SCFS, Inc. Board Chairperson this July. Since being elected Ellison has visited Capitol Hill to advocate for Head Start teachers.  Since the original Higher Education Act (HEA) was created in 1965, the sweeping law governing

 federal financial aid programs has been rewritten eight separate times. The current HEA was set to expire at the end of 2013 but has now been extended through 2015 while Congress prepares for the next re-authorization. Among the issues that likely will be included in the final bill are affordability and college costs; access, persistence and completion; better information for consumers; student loan programs; accreditation and oversight; innovation; and the burden of federal regulations.

With the Higher Education Act to be reauthorized, she requested that along with other teachers who benefit from the Higher Education Act, that Head Start teachers be counted among those who receive loan forgiveness for furthering their education.  Currently, Head Start teachers are not explicitly included in the act and are not eligible for federal student loan forgiveness programs.

G.K. Butterfield represents North Carolina's First Congressional and is Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.  His priorities include growing our economy, expanding opportunity and ending poverty.  Ellison is photographed speaking with the Congressman about what can be done at the federal level to improve Head Start.


"I think it should be a priority as improving educational opportunities for our teachers will add value to our already strong program.  Providing increased professional development for staff is essential for improved teaching strategies.  Our goal is for students to achieve and maintaining a highly qualified teachers is imperative".









Quote of the Month


"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."


- Oprah






TUE | NOV 10

SCFS Board Meeting

WED | NOV 11

Veteran's Day



Thanksgiving Day

SUN | NOV 22

NAACP 40th Annual 

Freedom Fund Banquet




Just to make you smile....


Welcome to the 12th edition of our newsletter!

Each month we select a new theme as the main topic of our newsletter. Since we are now in November and close to the end of another calendar year, we thought it fitting that this month's theme be "Thanksgiving - the Season For An Attitude of Gratitude". Below, we have some great articles showcasing the many reasons we have to be thankful and grateful. While some often try and succeed in totally skipping over this season in a mad rush to Christmas and on to the New Year, we want to take a moment to ponder all of the things that have happened, good and bad. Although some of our trials may have been, or may still be, difficult to bear, we are still here and are able to push forward and soldier on. We still have life; and we can all at least be grateful for that!



SCFS in Action


Gibson Cancer Center Outreach


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In recognition of this important campaign, the administrative staff of Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc. (SCFS), volunteered their time to the patients at the Gibson Cancer Center.  From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we greeted patients entering the facility and provided them with snacks for the day ahead.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, no matter their race or ethnicity.  Also, while breast cancer affects 12 percent of women in the United States, many remain unaware of the risks and steps necessary to combat it.  SCFS uses its resources to help families in our communities to help themselves.  Therefore, we took this time to raise awareness and to provide support and encouragement to those in our community who are fighting this disease and may feel like they are fighting alone.  Through this outreach, SCFS hopes awareness of the risks and the preventative steps necessary to lower said risks are raised.  We also want to remind those in our community who are being adversely affected by this disease that we care and that they are not alone.







Employee Spotlight


Head Start Director - Tonie Brite


I'm Tonie Brite the Head Start Director for Southeastern Community and Family Services, Inc. in Lumberton, NC.  I have worked for Head Start for 25 years in various positions.  My first job with Head Start was a teacher for the St. Pauls' location and later promoted to Center Manager for Sandy Grove Head Start and transferred to Duffie Head Start which is now Hoke Head Start as Center Manager. After 5 years at Duffie Head Start I was promoted to Career Development Program Specialist and served there over 15 years. After a long journey I am now the Head Start Director.  I also worked at NC Central as an instructor for Child Development Associate and Robeson Community College as English as Second Language instructor.

I have served on the North Carolina Head Start Association (NCHSA) Governing Board and have been Cluster "B" Chairperson for over 7 years and now the secretary for the NCHSA. I also serve on the Robeson County Partnership for Children Board of Directors and North Carolina Pre-K Board of Directors.  I am an Elder Panthersford Presbyterian Church as well as Stated Clerk of Session.  I am a member of Rho Alpha Omega Sorority and Kappa Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society.

I received my Bachelor Degree in Education from Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC and my Master's Degree in Early Childhood from NC Central University in Durham, NC.  I am married to Aldon Brite and have two wonderful sons and eight grandchildren.






Programs in Action


Head Start Safety Education


In the month of October all of the Southeastern Community & Family Services Head Starts under the leadership of Tonie Brite began a campaign to raise awareness on various important focuses. These special activities will occur each month through the program year. To begin this initiative each of SCFS' Head Start locations held a special day(s) concerning Safety Education in October. From our Piney Grove center all the way to our center in Red Springs, all 15 Head Start centers had morning of educating our students on the importance of safety. Many centers invited their local firefighters, policemen, etc. to talk to the children and to teach them even more about safety. Having these types are events are very important. By providing our children with this type of information we hope to have a positive effect on their lives and that of the surrounding communities. It is the hope that through the education of topics like these and others we will raise community awareness in our parents and especially children.   





A Special Thanks to our Veterans from Southeastern Community and Family Services!!!



Pictures from Tabor City


Children's Reading Session







Important Notice: Holiday Closures



WED | NOV 11



THU | NOV 26


FRI | NOV 27



MON | DEC 21


TUE | DEC 22


WED | DEC 23


THU | DEC 24


FRI | DEC 25






Connect on Social Media


Yes, we are on Facebook and you should follow our page for the latest news and information, tips, and pictures, success stories of our staff clients, and so much more. Also, tell a friend!



Twitter: @OfficialSCFS





        Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter     


Thank you for subscribing to your newsletter.  If this newsletter was forwarded to you, you may subscribe by clicking HERE or visiting our homepage at





Cynthia Foskey, Executive Administrator
Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc.




Forward this email

This email was sent to by |  

Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc.
| 405 N. Elm Street | Lumberton | NC | 28358


This email was sent by the author for the sole purpose of testing a draft message. If you believe you have received the message in error, please contact the author by replying to this message. Constant Contact takes reports of abuse very seriously. If you wish to report abuse, please forward this message to