Many cultures, one purpose: changing families, changing communities. Muchas culturas un proposito: haciendo la diferencia en las familias, haciendo la diferencia en las comunidades
Un Mensaje de Nuestras Directoras:
Las participantes del programa de Familias en Acción (FIA) son mujeres latinas que han trabajado incansable y creativamente durante más de una década para construir una organización inclusiva, diversa y acogedora. La declaración de nuestra misión, tal como la escribieron nuestras mismas participantes, refleja nuestros valores: “Unirnos como mujeres y familias para promover la salud, el bienestar, el conocimiento y ser modelos a seguir para nuestros hijos y la comunidad”.
Ser modelos a seguir tanto para los hijos como para la comunidad en general, ahora es más importante que nunca durante este momento desgarrador en nuestra comunidad y país cuando la injusticia racial y la desigualdad para las comunidades de color sigue siendo una realidad cotidiana; desgarrando el tejido social que debería unirnos. Debemos reconocer que el racismo es real. Hay más para aprender unos de otros. Hay mucho trabajo que hacer. Estamos aquí. Estamos escuchando. Estamos aprendiendo.
En FIA, nos comprometemos a solidarizarnos con las comunidades de color contra todas las formas de racismo y a denunciar las desigualdades raciales que nos afectan de manera persistente. También renovamos nuestro compromiso de elevar las voces latinas, para facilitar oportunidades de voluntariado que promuevan el aprendizaje intercultural respetuoso y mutuo. Los programas de FIA continúan siendo diversos e inclusivos donde las voces y visiones de las familias latinas y nuestra comunidad del sur de Omaha permanecen en el corazón de nuestra organización.
Juntos continuaremos haciendo el trabajo vital, humilde, importante y necesario para lograr la misión y visión de las familias participantes de FIA, el cuál es: un futuro seguro, saludable y vibrante para todos.
Lillian Miranda y Virginia McGill, Familias en Acción
A Message from Our Directors:
Families in Action (FIA) participants are Latina women who have worked tirelessly and creatively for over a decade to build an inclusive, diverse and welcoming organization. The mission statement written by FIA participants reflects our values: “To come together as women and families to promote health, well-being and knowledge, and to be role models for our children and community.”
Being role models for both children and the greater community is more important than ever during this heart-breaking time in our community and country when racial injustice and inequality for communities of color remains a daily reality; tearing at the social fabric that should bind us together. We must acknowledge that racism is real. There is more to learn from one another. There is much work to do. We are here. We are listening. We are learning.
At FIA, we re-commit ourselves to standing in solidarity with communities of color against all forms of racism and to denouncing the racial inequities that persistently affect them. We also renew our commitment to lifting Latina voices, to facilitating volunteer opportunities that promote respectful and mutual cross-cultural learning, and to continue offering diverse, inclusive, responsive and welcoming programs where the voices and visions of Latino families (and by extension our South Omaha community) remain at the heart of our organization.
Together, we will continue to do the vital, humbling and important work needed to achieve the mission and vision of FIA participant families: a safe, healthy and vibrant future for all.
Virginia McGill y Lillian Miranda, Families in Action
Families in Action continues following state and national guidelines regarding preventive measures as related to the Coronavirus.
Currently, FIA programs are suspended until further notice. Until all FIA programs return, FIA supports our staff, team, volunteers and participants in following the recommendations of local and national health authorities as the best way for us to care for each other, our neighbors and our community.
FIA team members continue reaching out to families to check in and remain responsive during this time. Please connect with FIA’s Associate Director to update any contact information.
FIA’s team is posting regular information to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/familiesinaction; please check in for updated information.
FIA is also hosting free, weekly mental wellness talks (Mondays, noon) open to the community.
FIA is offering Free ” instructor led” remote zumba classes 6 times each week–morning and evening in real time using the Zoom app.
Regular mental wellness tips from participants are posted regularly to continue building on the community participant Vision Board, WRAP program and the Guia para la Vida Saludable projects until programs resume.
We look forward to resuming all FIA programs when appropriate and safe to do so. Our thanks, The FIA Team
Our Families in Action Board of Directors and team is pleased to welcome Lillian Miranda in the role of Associate Director, Families in Action. Lillian brings a wealth of experience in mental wellness, community programming, and leadership. She is a certified WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Facilitator; and a certified Mediator with the State of Nebraska.
Families in Action has undoubtedly touched my life. Although my schedule has become exceedingly hectic with work and academics, I can truthfully say that my time volunteering has become the highlight of my week. It makes all the difference in my ability to reflect upon my week with a pure sense of joy and fulfillment.
Each week, I look forward to the precious time I get to spend with the beautiful children of the community and with the staff members of Families in Action, and each week I am reminded of the meaning of my life: to impact the lives of those around me in a positive way and to learn from them in the process.
Not only is it a stress relief from college life to run and play outside with the children, other volunteers and FIA adult leaders, but also, it continually reminds me of what I am most passionate about in my own life. It is easy to foster my desire to become a nurse by observing and participating in the health education that Families in Action provides, and even easier to integrate my desire to learn Spanish while conversing with Martha,Carmen or others on site.
However, for me the most meaningful part is the people who make up the program. Virginia, Gema, Alma, Consuelo, Irma, Martha, Kaela and the others in the community look out for each other on such a deep level. It is obvious how much the women and children care about each other as they go out of their way to welcome new guests and, as staff does, facilitate carpooling each week for those who do not have cars.
There in an undeniable sense of community within Families in Action and I leave each week with a full heart knowing I am unbelievably lucky to be welcomed into such a loving group of people.
Creighton University Graduate,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Families in Action was pleased to host Methodist College Mobile Clinic and nursing students last month at our 32 and K site. The eight nursing students, accompanied by Nursing Professors, provided blood sugar screenings, height and weight measurements, bmi, and blood pressure checks. FIA’s literacy students, along with our Families in Action participants and staff, were honored to work with such a dedicated group of students and faculty.
FIA’s participants, men, women and children credit regular participation in educational, nutritional and exercise programs conducted via FIA with meeting their health and wellness needs. Additional information was requested by participants concerning elevated blood sugar levels in children and FIA facilitated a brief question and answer forum on this topic with one of our Creighton physician volunteers and Dr. Cristina Fernandez (Board member).
Recently, Virginia D. McGill received the Tri-state area Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Latino Community.
This award recognizes a non Latino(a)/Hispanic individual or business who has exhibited outstanding leadership in improving the lives of Latinos/Hispanics in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.
Congratulations and a huge Thank You to Virginia for her work in the community!!!!
Families in Action Fast Facts 2020:
What is Families in Action?
Founded in 1997 under Interfaith Health Service
Mission: Promote education, health and well being for children and women
Programs include: Health and wellness education and activities, Sewing, Micro-business, Youth mentoring, Academic support, Art, and other services based on identified and documented needs of participants
Partners include: Elementary schools, high schools, universities, colleges, health providers, churches, neighborhood associations and community organizations
Annual Budget: $160,000; low overall budget is possible because In-Kind donations of programming spaces, office sites, technology, volunteers and internships which comprise approximately 50% of organization’s structure.
Supported by: The William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation, The Lozier Foundation, The Sherwood Foundation, The Weitz Family Foundation, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, FIA Board, FIA participants and others
Whom does Families in Action serve?
At-risk Latino families (men, women & children) in South Omaha
over 17,000 contacts annually
25% of program participants are teens with a 92% graduation rate
85% of adult participants work outside the home
90% of participants have more than one child
What are some of the important demographics that make Families in Action so critical in our city?
The rate of increase of the Latino population in NE over the past decade was 110%
Nearly 14% of Latinos in the Omaha metro are younger than 5 years old
The median age of Latinos in NE is 23 years old
The Omaha Latino population remains concentrated in zip codes 68105, 68107, and 68108 where Families in Action programs are housed and available
Poverty rates in these zip codes range from 25% to almost 43%
Needs assessment data indicates that the majority of respondents desire access to programming and information on education, health and nutrition
Some of the barriers to health and wellness cited by Latino families in South Omaha include: poor eating habits, lack of transportation, lack of motivation, limited safe places to exercise, social isolation and depression. Families in Action strives to remove these barriers
By 2040, the Latino population will make up more than a quarter of the metro area population
What are some of the successful outcomes achieved by Families in Action?
Program attendance is at an all-time high and all sites are at-capacity
More than 90% of participants who visit once continue to participate
Each year new community partners are requesting collaborations with Families in Action
100% of returning core participants report at least one positive life change due to program participation
Youth participants stay in school, graduate from high school, earn
With a 17-year history, Families in Action builds long-term, supportive, inter-generational relationships with participants that foster success in families in an at-risk part of our city. The trust we have built up, and continue to expand upon, is the cornerstone of our organization
“I joined Families in Action because it has programs where I can spend time with my mom and sister and brother. I made friends with the other participants my age who are now like part of my family. The staff takes a real interest in how I am doing each week and that makes me feel at home. Families in Action is a big part of my life and a big part of my family’s life, too.” Theresa, age 16, Families in Action Participant
Interfaith Health Service dba Families in Action
1326 South 26th Street – Omaha, NE, 68105 Tax ID No: 47-08326633
FIA is delighted to share that Families in Action via Interfaith Health Service received a grant again this year (2017-2018) to address Childhood Obesity with our partner, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
According to the 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment, co-sponsored by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, childhood obesity ranked as the number one concern of parents in the greater Omaha Metropolitan area. Childhood obesity is a health crisis on the national level, as well, affecting 17 percent of children and teens in the United States. Obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is committed to preventing childhood obesity through proactive programs focused on education. Children’s dedication stems from its mission—“so that all children may have a better chance to live”—and its responsiveness to the health concerns of Heartland families. Children’s is uniquely positioned in the area to be an effective leader for change on this critical issue. By providing leadership and support to the community, Children’s hope to achieve the vision of eliminating childhood obesity.
FIA is deeply grateful for the support of the Children’s Learning Collaborative, Dr. Corinne Hanson and Dr. Barb Braden for their assistance in this endeavor, and the commitment and dedication of Children’s in working with our organization, participants and community to address childhood obesity. Without their efforts, FIA’s work and the differences demonstrated in the lives of our children (and their parents), would not be possible.