Churches impact lives on Nationwide Day of Second Chances

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Spring hiring event offers opportunities for job seekers and churches

 

Man standing in industrial setting
Gavin

For seven months amid a pandemic, Gavin couldn’t find work. It strained his family and his marriage. He got sick, and it all triggered mental health issues. A church saved him—not by preaching but by connecting him to employers who understood his value, understood the value of second chances. The church had hosted a Better Together second-chance job fair where Gavin connected with a Fort Myers company whose owners have been praising his hard work ever since.

“If I hadn’t found the Better Together job fair, it’s hard to imagine where I’d be right now,” Gavin told us. “I’m certainly in a much better place mentally, and it’s just helped me out tremendously.”

We’re asking churches in Florida and across the country to join us in a day of second chances. April 20 is Nationwide Day of Second Chances, and we’re organizing background-friendly job fairs at churches across the country—all simultaneously giving hope to dads like Gavin and other job seekers in their communities.

Our mission is to end the foster care crisis. We started the Better Jobs program because for 76% of the families we help, their crises can be traced back to job loss.

It’s an excellent opportunity for churches to put Christ’s teachings into practice, to strengthen their community and to connect with neighbors.

“Our Nationwide Day of Second Chances aims to help job seekers overcome barriers by providing job coaching and resources to help them succeed in their search for employment,” said Megan Rose, CEO of Better Together. “The first step is connecting with churches in regions across the country who can host these inspiring in-person hiring events.”

To date, Better Jobs has helped 34,000 applicants connect with employment opportunities across 21 states.

The job fairs bring churches, volunteers, businesses and nonprofits together to support job seekers and help them rise above their challenges. These challenges, or barriers to employment, can include incarceration, homelessness and lack of transportation or child care.

The church-based job fairs not only connect job seekers with local employers who offer on-the-spot job opportunities, but also provide resources to facilitate stronger connections and more hires. Free one-on-one job coaching sessions are made available to job seekers to review resumes and interviewing skills, and additional services, such as free haircuts and clothing, are also often a part of the supportive event.

Nearly all job seekers leave with hope in their hearts as the Better Jobs model encourages celebration. One way that’s done is through the opportunity bell, which rings whenever anyone gets a job offer or interview.

The Better Jobs ministry provides churches step-by-step guidance to host these impactful job fairs. It’s designed for success. Two-thirds of attendees get a job interview, and nearly half receive a job offer on the spot.

Gavin certainly considers his experience a success. He even credits it with saving his marriage. “I have something I can be proud of. At the end of the day, I can come home and I’ve pulled my weight.”

Churches interested in hosting a Better Together job fair for Nationwide Day of Second Chances can visit BetterTogetherUS.org/Better-Jobs for more information.

Our next training session is January 19, 2023, in Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Posted December 27, 2023

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Cammara OvertonBetter Together Team

Cammara Overton
Collier County Family Care Coordniator

Cammara worked in the international nonprofit sector and served as a missionary overseas for 10 years before joining Better Together as the Collier County Family Care Coordinator. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has a heart for building relationships and serving women, children and their families and sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with everyone she meets. Cammara is passionate about coming alongside those seeking life change and helping them achieve all that they desire to do for themselves and their families. Cammara is very excited to be a part of the Better Together family by providing recourses and extending love and compassion to families in crisis.

Cammara and her husband, Dan, enjoy spending time playing volleyball and hanging out with friends and their Italian pup, Harley. They both have a passion for serving the Lord and being the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.

Jennifer MoffittBetter Together Team

Jennifer Moffitt
Tampa Bay Region Home Study Specialist

Originally from Massachusetts, Jenn moved to Florida in 1993 to be closer to her parents, who had left the snow behind the year before. In 1996, she graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Jenn started her career working in private adoptions as a birth parent worker. After two years she was drawn to child welfare. For the next 19 years, she worked as a child protection investigator for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In 2019 she began working for the Office of the State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit, as a child abuse specialist. She assisted prosecutors with interviewing child victims of abuse and neglect and served as a liaison with the Department of Children and Families and their local community providers.

Jenn and her husband, Shawn, were married on Christmas Day in 1999, and they have two boys, ages 12 and 20. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, taking day trips, visiting the beach, and vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina.

Katie MalloyBetter Together Team

Katie Malloy
Northeast Region Home Study Specialist

Katie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and attended the University of Mississippi, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Katie has been working with children and families in the foster care system in Duval County since 2015. Her passion is advocating for children in care and helping build strong and healthy families. During Katie’s childhood, her church community was a great support system for her and her family. She’s a firm believer that the more people who love a child, the better.

Ruth DavidsonBetter Together Team

Ruth Davidson
Southwest Florida Church Engagement Director

Ruth has a passion for serving others. She believes strongly in giving back to the community and paying it forward. She loves to share her personal story of how, with God’s help, she was able to overcome past hurdles. Growing up in rural Kentucky in a large family that faced many struggles, she knows firsthand how God’s love can heal and restore broken families. She has the gift of hospitality and enjoys communicating with others with the hope that she is never meeting strangers, only making friends.

Ruth comes to Better Together with over eight years of ministry experience. After moving to Fort Myers from Fort Lauderdale in 2016, she served as an outreach coordinator for a nonprofit faith-based recovery program for more than five years. She was also an administrative assistant to her directors, scheduling events and successfully developing and establishing relationships with several businesses and churches in Southwest Florida. She has a relaxed way of making others feel comfortable, possessing a servant’s heart and loves outreach and missions.

Ruth currently resides in Naples and enjoys traveling, dining out, cooking, entertaining and serving in her community. She has two grown children, Martin and Annie, and one grandson, Drew, who loves to visit with his Nana.

Amanda ColafrancescoBetter Together Team

Amanda Colafrancesco
Sarasota/Manatee Home Study Specialist

Amanda was born and raised in Rhode Island and moved to Florida in 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in administration of justice from Salve Regina University. Upon graduation, she began a career in child welfare, specifically toward a goal of preventing children from entering the foster care system. Amanda brings diverse experiences in serving children and families in their home environments to her work with Better Together as a home study specialist. She is also a certified child welfare protective investigator through the Florida Certification Board and has over six years of child welfare experience. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys visiting with family and friends.

Better Together Team

Yohana Resto
Southwest Florida Executive Director

Yohana brings to Better Together 15 years of experience working in child welfare. She has served in various roles, including case manager, clinical services specialist, relative search specialist, foster family recruiter, and most recently a role conducting comprehensive assessments for children in foster care or relative care. Yohana has a heart and passion for serving children and families, and she brings to the organization a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. A graduate of Southeastern University and Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor’s in psychology and Master of Science in counseling, Yohana has a caring and compassionate heart to support families in need.

Yohana loves spending time with her husband, Miguel, and their four children—Isabela, Natalia, Jaxon and Jayden. You can frequently find them at a soccer game, as their girls enjoy playing competitive travel soccer. Yohana credits her relationship with God and personal salvation as the motivating force behind her desire to continue to serve her community.

Dawson JordonBetter Together Team

Dawson Jordan
Creative Director

Dawson is an exciting addition to the Better Together Team. Since graduating college in 2015 from Florida Gulf Coast University with his bachelor’s degree in Business Management he has managed to create a successful career for himself as a self-employed freelance videographer/photographer. He has recently relocated back to his hometown in SWFL and is excited to join the team as the Creative Director to help us tell the Better Together story. Dawson is passionate about telling stories through a creative lens, especially when it comes to seeing families stay together and for individuals to thrive and become the best version of themselves. When Dawson is not in the office he likes to hang out with his friends, workout, and watch sports.