Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting with Ray Ratke and Lisa Morgan of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia. This was the first interview in our Virtual Café Conversations video series. In this series, we will meet with business and technology executives to learn how their organizations are continuing to operate during these unprecedented times.
We’ve been working with Lutheran Family Services of Virginia for many years. In fact, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia was our first customer. We view the team at LFSVA as an extension of our Synergy Technical family and try to support their efforts in any way that we can. These services are critical to so many here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially now.
LFSVA provides services to the families of Virginia, including helping children in foster care find temporary or permanent families, adoption counseling services, and community-based services and supported employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, through their Minnick schools, LFSVA helps students age 5 to 22 find success in the classroom. LFSVA works with public schools in the Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Wytheville, Wise and Bristol regions to help their students achieve academic, behavioral and developmental goals so they may return to their home public school or pursue a path to meaningful work.
60% of LFSVA’s students qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch — meaning their families have little or no access to the internet or a computer/tablet they can use for at-home learning. LFSVA’s schools don't have enough equipment to distribute to each student. This school year 43% of the students are non-white or multi-racial. Just over 28% of the students have autism, with another 28% having emotional disturbances which affect their ability to learn and grow. LFSVA simply don't have technology equipment to distribute to all students.
Please take a few minutes to learn from Ray and Lisa how they are leading LFSVA during this crisis. If you’d like to support a student in their distance learning, you can donate here.