Tell us about yourself.
My name is Margaret Nimmo Crowe, and I am the Executive Director of Voices for Virginia’s Children. I have worked at Voices for 11 years, first as a policy analyst and now as the director for the last two years. Our mission is to champion public policies that improve the lives of Virginia’s children.
What is the focus of your work and the need you are addressing?
Decisions are made every day in Richmond that affects the lives of children and families across Virginia. As a statewide child advocacy organization, we are the ones who speak up for kids when those decisions are being made. In particular, we focus on the issues surrounding early childhood, mental health, foster care, and families in poverty. We educate the public and policymakers about the problems children face in these areas and the laws and budget decisions that research shows can improve these children’s lives. We empower the citizens of Virginia to speak up along with us.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
Convincing legislators to change laws for the better can be a long-term effort, but when it happens it is incredibly rewarding. Our work has given thousands more children access to mental health treatment, for example, and improved safety of the thousands of children who are cared for in home-based child care settings every day. Knowing that our work makes a positive difference in the lives of kids and families is highly motivating.
Tell us about your biggest accomplishment in this position.
I am very proud of the incredible team of staff members and board members that we have here at Voices. As a statewide organization with a staff of seven, we are always under pressure to do more with modest resources. We are continuing to build on our strengths and prepare ourselves for growth by assembling a strong and diverse board that can help us achieve our goals. As executive director, I have had a crash course in accounting and finances, an essential area to master but one to which I’d had limited exposure in previous positions.
What’s coming next for your organization that really excites you?
We are very excited about our fourth annual Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Award Reception on October 7! We have the opportunity to honor a very dedicated child-serving organization, Family Lifeline, and individuals who have made a huge difference in the lives of Virginia’s children.
Elly Lafkin is a mom-turned-advocate who has fought successfully to improve the safety of child care after losing her own infant daughter. Grace and David Gallagher have worked to raise awareness and reduce stigma of teenage depression following the death of their daughter Cameron. This event is a great opportunity for Voices to highlight how individual efforts make a difference, and working together we can improve the lives of all kids.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
ConnectVA has helped us recruit high quality candidates for job openings, learn about professional development opportunities, and stay connected to our nonprofit community. The job listings have made the biggest impact on our organization, and we are so grateful that this resource exists for our state.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would encourage folks to visit our website, www.vakids.org, to learn more about what we do at Voices for Virginia’s Children and how you can get involved. We would love for you to join us for the Making Kids Count Awards on October 7th! Also, sign up for our emails to stay in the loop!
Know someone who should be a ConnectVA Spotlight? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!