In an old community center across from a barren field in Fredericksburg, Virginia there’s kinetic energy flowing through every part of the modular space.
It’s a warm August day, weeks before the start of school year.
This space is filled with possibility.
School supplies waiting to be packed into carefully selected backpacks.
The buzz of hair clippers and squirmy children who sit, albeit impatiently, for their clip and cut.
“You have to heal the family before you can really help the child.”
- Carrie Evans, Executive Director – Stafford Junction
And, preparations for another year of helping some 200 children and families manage the logistics of a new season of learning.
“Kind of how Stafford Junction began was afterschool tutoring for kids in low income families and at-risk youth,” said Carrie Evans, executive director of Stafford Junction. “We are very focused on Stafford because we consider ourselves a hub of resources for families who couldn't afford it elsewhere.”
Years of providing critical services in this county, about an hour south of Washington DC, have taught the dedicated team that they have to focus on more than just the children whose faces beam with joy as they enter Stafford Junction.
“You have to heal the whole family before you can really help the child,” Evans said.
One significant way this organization provides that help is through transportation.
But, their wheels aren't spinning quite as frequently as they should to truly carry out their mission.
“It’s just not in the budget to put $6,000 into a van from 92,” she said. “We typically have three. We have two vans and one bus and they run constantly.”
Greg Minor, a program manager at Stafford Junction, is often in the driver’s seat.
“It’s everything to us. We can’t get em out to the field trips, we can’t get em to the school, we can’t get em to the practices, we can’t get em to the doctor, we need it.”
"Without these, we are really dead in the water,” Evans added.
When WUSA9's Impact team got to Stafford Junction, they had a problem -- and they were hoping we could help them fix it.
To give you an idea of what those vans mean, here is the story of four lives that are forever changed because of this non-profit.