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

Sent:                               Thursday, January 7, 2016 1:32 PM


Subject:                          'Tis the Season to Give





Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc.                   Newsletter Issue #14 - December 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



     Do you ever actually stop to think about the real meaning of Christmas or do you become inundated with the commercialization of gift buying, decorating and eating, and all the traditions that come with Christmas? 

How much time do you spend on marveling in the root word of CHRIST-mas? If you paused to think about it, how amazing it is to revel in the birth of Jesus Christ, as it is the most unique story in history. Here you have an infant child, who had a heavenly pre-existence, who was born, swaddled in cloth, and gracefully placed in a manger, in a barn, in Bethlehem. He was incarnated in the flesh, to bring light to a lost world in the name of LOVE.  

Any mother who has a child believes that he or she will be great, but never could one imagine that their child would be the Savior of the world. Pause for a minute and focus on the message of Jesus Christ and how it can indeed bring hope to all.

         Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, but there are so many people that deal with depression because they do not have the money to buy gifts for friends, family, and even their children. It's especially difficult to look into a child's eyes and tell them "no" at Christmas-time.  Even a meal may be a wish for some and a hope for many. Let us remember that Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus Christ, and loving one another without conditions. We should truly give from the heart and not from the wallet. Yes, it's nice to be able to give (and receive) a gift, but if you give, remember not to give it with the spirit of receiving. Someone asked me what I was giving my daughter for Christmas, and I mentioned a few items, but I made it clear that she would be giving for Christmas. Whether it's serving a meal to someone or giving a gift to a child in need, she (or I should say we) will give. It's important that we instill in our young people that Christmas is about more than receiving the coolest toy or clothing item. Perhaps, we as adults need to be reminded of this concept as well. 

          As I think about the population our Agency serves, I believe that many of them would be happy to know that others care. That we are cheering them on and here to help them succeed. A simple call of concern to a client could have a huge impact on their day and perhaps motivate them to keep going. This should be our mantra all year long, not just during the holidays.

           As you are giving this season, remember to give from the heart and to those who least expect it. It's the small "things" that count the most and usually they have not cost associated with them.  The gift of love keeps on giving. It never depreciates, and in fact, its value increases over a period of time if it's consistent. In all that you do, it is my hope that you are also fulfilled. Merry Christmas from our Southeastern home to yours!



The Mission Continues.......


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





SCFS's Notice of Intent






Community Outreach


7 Ways to show Holiday Kindness to the Less Fortunate



     While many of us will be home enjoying our families company, those less fortunate will be on homeless, spending time in the hospital, or struggling to provide their family a holiday that everyone deserves. Here are some ways to show true holiday spirit to those less fortunate than yourself:

  1. Organize a coat and essentials drive for the homeless.
  2. Sponsor a Christmas fun day for kids in foster care.
  3. Coordinate home-hosted community dinners.
  4. Provide a free gift-wrapping station or hot cocoa station at the local mall.
  5. Adopt a family
  6. Provide meals, cookies, gift baskets and other treats to families at homeless shelters
  7. Serve healthy snacks to patients of different hospitals in need.







Quote of the Month


"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."


- Maya Angelou




Just to make you smile....



Important Notice: Holiday Closures



MON | DEC 21


TUE | DEC 22


WED | DEC 23


THU | DEC 24


FRI | DEC 25






Welcome to the 14th edition of our newsletter! During this holiday season it will be easy to focus solely on one's self and no one else. That is why this newsletter's theme is focused on Community Outreach.  There are many who won't have a place to eat or any food to eat. We live in an amazing country, however there are still too many people who suffer from poverty and homelessness. So, during this season we encourage you to help those less fortunate than yourselves. Happy Holidays!










Board of Directors Meeting

January 19, 2016

09:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Brunswick Community College,

Leland Community Center,

Bolivia, NC

Click Here to See Post



SCFS in Action


A testimony from one of the many we've served


       This Program has been a BLESSING for my family. Fortunately I came up on the waiting list at a time in my life where I really needed the help. The services the Program and it's staff members have offered me, allowed my family to overcome obstacles. I am very thankful for the tremendous help the program has given me to get back on my feet.


Thank You,

Heather Lamb









Employee Spotlight


Kathy Nicoulin


It all started during snow storm in Cleveland Ohio....December 9th, 1946.  My mother said they barely made it to the hospital in time, so I guess I was a snow baby!

My families were all musicians so I grew up listening to music all the time, but I never was able to master an instrument. I did learn to dance to the music and that is what I love to, dance and dance (And play the tambourine).

After taking Business Administration, typing, shorthand, etc, in High School my dad said I had to get a real job as dancing was not going to pay my bills. I took classes to use IBM key punch machines and spent time in Ohio working at various companies. When my children came along I began working in the evenings so I could stay home during the day.  Later on I started my own Service Bureau, had the machines in my home, and worked 2 shifts.  This was the beginning of the computer age.

We moved to North Carolina in 1973 when my husband took a position with a company in Oxford, NC.  I lived in Durham for 9 years and worked at Duke Eye Center in the Photography Dept.  We again were transferred to Laurinburg, NC where I began working at St Andrews Presbyterian College as an Acquisitions Librarian. I loved working in the Library.  Again my husband was transferred to Troy, Ohio and we all moved with him and I worked with many companies part-time while I stayed home with my children.

Then...we moved back to Laurinburg, NC and I started working with Mega Force and Manpower who sent me to Four County Community Services in 1990. Because of my background in computers they had me set up their computer system which wasn't too much back then.  We put employee information on the new system and started generating payroll off the computer instead of typing checks.  We in the Accounting Department were more typing checks!  I also help set up the Section 8 Accounts with Lindsey Software. My other functions in the Accounting Department were keeping the actual BOOKS for Administration and Section 8.  We progressed to our Accounting System we use now, GMS.  Four County eventually hired me full-time to do Accounts Payables and Section 8 bookkeeping.  So here I am, working at Southeastern for 25 years now and I feel like this is part of my family.  It's been a long enjoyable journey and I hope to continue this journey for many more years.

I enjoy spending time with my children, a son in Myrtle Beach, SC another son in Troy, Ohio and my daughter is in Charlotte, NC. I have five grandchildren which I don't see often enough.  I am very proud of them all as they have grown into wonderful adults.







Success Story


Jennifer's Success


Jennifer stated that life for her has never been easy. Her current struggles are so that her son will have a bright and safe future.  When she came to us, she was working part-time at a local supermarket because her hours had been cut and she was falling behind on several bills.  Her electric bill was high due to the

 old wiring system that had been checked by the electric company several times in the area in which she lived.


Seeking assistance with finding stable full time work, Jennifer enrolled in our FESS program and began to seek employment.  We completed a resume and she began to job search.  During this time Jennifer's electric bill was high and she strug

gled to keep her lights and heat on during these cold months.  As an agency, we were able to assist in getting her bills under control. 


Jennifer was soon able to land a job with Wal-Mart.  But her life got a bit more difficult when her only means of transportation broke down during her first few weeks of employment. Afraid she would lose her job, Jennifer came to us for assistance. Not only were we able to fix her vehicle and put her back on the road, we were able to provide her with transportation to and from work until her vehicle was repaired and returned.    


Due to her background of employment and experience, Jennifer soon earned two raises which meant that her household income exceeded the poverty guideline since acceptance into the program. Nonetheless, during this time she was losing control over her house and would have to move because she could no longer pay the rent. Previously, due to the high cost of her electric bill and the poor wiring, the landlord had verbally agreed to forgive the past due rents owed to him for several months. 


SCFS suggested a referral to Housing Authority to check on an old application she had put in for Section 8 housing.  To our surprise she was able to get a voucher and we began to search for a residence that would take her voucher.  We made several phone calls and visited area but nothing concrete.  School would be back in session soon and Jennifer wanted to ensure that her son was stable before that.  Her desire was to stay where she was but she felt unfortunate because of the money she owed and the fact that her current residence was not a section 8 property. 


SCFS suggested the customer talk with her landlord about the situation and informed her that SCFS do whatever we could if she called on me.  Several days went by and Jennifer happily notified SCFS one day that her landlord had agreed to turn the property into a section 8 home.  He agreed to make any cosmetic changes needed such as screens in the windows, repairing floors, walls & doors.  He also agreed after talking things over with the housing authority to forgive the monies owed for past due rents. 


Two weeks ago customer began signing her contract for section 8.  She will remain in her current residence, her son is back in school this year and she just got her third raise with Wal-Mart.  


We are proud of her endurance!





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Cynthia Foskey, Executive Administrator




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