David Duea, President and CEO, of HopeSparks Family Service Agency, described the agency as a family service organization that has four core programs: Healing Hearts Therapy; Tacoma Learning Center (for early learning); Relatives Raising Children (10% of children living in Pierce County are being raised by a relative); and Family Support Services.
HopeSparks is all about early intervention. Through their evidenced based practices, they are able to heal children and families from traumatic experiences. “We partner with UW and Harborview in Seattle – making us more effective in how we serve the community” Duea said.
“ Our mission is – ‘We Strengthen families by inspiring courage and confidence to make a lasting change’. This is our main focus.” He explained that the success stories are incredible. “We have seen kids diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder or ADHD and after 12 or 15 session leave symptom free. We are building improved attachments between parents and children by teaching parenting skills. If the parents can implement what they have learned and apply it to the everyday life, it will have a really positive effect on the child.”
David discussed the history of HopeSparks Family Services, “We have been around since 1895 and are one of the oldest nonprofits in Pierce County. We have been through some name changes over the last century, but our mission has stayed the same. Currently, 80% of our families are considered low income. There is a lot of fundraising and grant writing involved to make sure our services are accessible to people who typically can’t afford them.”
The annual breakfast takes place on Wednesday, May 15, from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, at the Greater Tacoma Trade and Conventions Center located at: 1500 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402.
David talked about their 5th annual breakfast event, “There is no cost to attend. It is for for friends of HopeSparks who want to learn about our mission. This breakfast is under an hour. It’s an informative introduction of what we do; you’ll see a video and feel inspired to hear stories of clients we’ve helped.” At the end of the presentation, donations are accepted but no one is obligated. It is done in an anonymous way, by filling out available forms on each table. HopeSparks has had great success in getting volunteers through that process. It’s a really good event and people leave inspired.”
When asked what is the best part about the breakfast, he responded, “Hearing from the clients, how they succeeded despite adversity, is really the best thing. People can relate to the stories. We hear about kids that are in difficult situations…and how they have healed gives us hope.”
David wanted to mention two unique things about the program: “One, we provide a real commitment to everyone, especially those who cannot afford our services; and, second, how proud we are to have embraced evidence based practices. They take less time than the traditional therapy services and are much more effective in helping children and families.”
When asked who he recommended attend the event, David replied, “Community members; leaders; people that really care about kids and families. I think they should attend, not only to get involved, but sometimes people know someone who maybe in need of help.”
For more information about HopeSparks Family Services, please visit: www.hopesparks.org
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com