SPOONER, WI -- Lakeland Family Resource Center (LFRC) has served Washburn County for 20 plus years in a number of locations across the county. When the old Spooner hospital building was revamped into the Spooner Business Center, LFRC moved into a new and spacious location at 819 Ash Street.
LFRC is well known for their early childhood playgroups and community events, but they do so much more for our community. Below is a thank you letter from an individual on how LFRC has changed their life.
"I would like to thank Renee, Jacquie, and Kortney at Lakeland Family Resource Center for all they have done to support my kids and me. They have helped to bring my family back together, and we are in such a better place, and I owe a lot of it to these three people.
Each of them has supported my children and me in different ways. Jacquie has helped me during this year and a half through parenting, connecting with my children, problem-solving, and necessary life skills. Renee has been there for me and helped me get whatever was needed to be done completed, pushed me, and was always there to listen. Renee has created a welcoming environment for my children and me to spend time together. Kortney has offered support to my kids by helping ease the transition to a new school. She was always there to listen, be a familiar face, and encourage them to be the best that they can be.
When I didn't want the help and gave the Lakeland staff a hard time, they were always there the next day greeting me with a smile. I don't have family and friends to offer me support through these hard times, and if it weren't for the help of Lakeland staff, I would not be where I am today.
Thanks to LFRC and their staff for making Lakeland a welcoming, loving, safe place that feels like home to us. They have gone the extra mile more than I could imagine. My children and I have been able to experience birthday parties, pumpkin carving, holiday meals, movie nights. The LFRC staff even set up Christmas presents left by Santa.
I look forward to welcoming my children home soon.
Thank you for being there for every challenge I was faced with and helping me work through them all.
Our relationship with Lakeland doesn't end here. I plan to seek their help and guidance through all the struggles a parent can face in the future.
I would recommend other struggling parents to Lakeland Family Resource Center.”
Their business motto is simply, “our doors are always open.” And it says it all.
This non-profit organization thrives on fundraising, donations, and grants to offer free programming, support, and events to all.
New to Lakeland Family Resource Center is their School to Home and Community Response Programs.
Through partnerships with Washburn County Health and Human Services and School Districts in Washburn County, they were able to create and implement a School to Home Liaison program. The program has taken off with such success that they were able to expand to offer services in each school district in Washburn County.
The primary role of the School to Home Liaison is to assist students, families, and school systems by overcoming barriers that interfere with learning through the use of assessment, school planning, parent engagement, consultation, and coordination of school and community resources. The beauty of these caseloads is they range from teen pregnancy to truancy and anything in between with unique support that the school or county is sometimes unable to provide.
These include tutoring, a calm-down space, listening ears, goal setting as a family unit, life skill building, family meetings, parent education, transportation, resources, healthy living, and much more.
Another program that works hand in hand with the School to Home program is LFRC’s Community Response program.
LFRC just recently received funding to bring back it's Community Response initiative. Community Response was developed to provide support, direction, and useful tools to parents and their families to overcome roadblocks and obstacles that are affecting their life. Community Response is a service designed to strengthen and support families. Areas of support include housing, food assistance, parenting, transportation, advocacy, financial aid and education, employment, education, and benefits, to name a few. Community Response is referral based and completely voluntary. LFRC works with the families to empower them to accomplish goals and get back on track.
Through these programs, LFRC was able to help provide support to a family. Below is their story.
"For my family, Lakeland Family Resource Center started out as a place for our young kids to connect and play with other kids but turned into so much more. LFRC holds space for children and adults alike to come as they are and receive support without judgment. When my six-year-old daughter begun to experience some mental health and behavior issues, LFRC provided us with support and advocacy. They met and continue to meet with my daughter individually at school and participate in school meetings. LFRC staff is everywhere, in our schools, and at community-wide events. Just their presence often provides my family with comfort and support, when things become overwhelming. From activity booths at Hunt Hill Sanctuary to painting pumpkins at Jack-O-Lantern Fest, to helping my upset 6-year-old calm down at school. We are so very grateful to have this truly unique organization in our lives.”
LFRC spends occasional evenings and weekends immersed in the community through playgroups, storytimes, quarterly family nights, Santa's visit, Jack Pine Kid's Dash, Lake Run, Jack o Lantern Fest, school events, and much more.
They can bring teambuilding exercises to local businesses, babysitting classes during summer school, and other safety-related training for local daycares.
Below is a story of how Lakeland changed their lives through LFRC’s family events and playgroups.
“Our family moved to Spooner from Duluth, MN, about nine years ago. My in-laws had a lake place in the area, and we really enjoyed the community when visiting. When my husband and I were able to work from home while still commuting to Duluth occasionally for work, we decided to make the big move. We came with a 20month-old child, and I was pregnant. We did not know anyone and we did not have family in the area could have been isolating, but it wasn't, thanks to Lakeland Family Resource Center. I found a listing in the newspaper for playgroups hosted Monday and Wednesday mornings that sounded perfect for my daughter and decided to attend. I was intimidated by walking into this new environment. Parents I didn't know were chatting with each other while keeping an eye on their little ones. The staff were warm and inviting. This was a new experience for my daughter and me with projects, education, and activities. For me, it was a sanity break from being home with a toddler all day, and there was always coffee. Soon I became one of those chatting regular attenders of nature excursions, family nights, and my children made lifelong friends. I had found a network of support and friendship from fellow parents. I was asked to join the board of directors for the Lakeland Family Resource Center as a parent representative. Today, I am now the board president and feel a greater connection to the community than I ever would have without Lakeland Family Resource Center."
Lakeland Family Resource Center is incredibly passionate about Washburn County. "We love seeing new families and participants. We hope that this article will reach out to all who are interested in supporting, partnering, learning more, or participating in all the things we offer.
If you would like to donate to LFRC, please contact Renee Luell at 715-939-1283. "Our team is working hard to meet the needs in our community, but to truly make a difference, it takes so much more." Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or their webpage, you won't be disappointed - www.lakelandfrc.com.
Meet the Lakeland Family Resource Center and their Staff
- Renee Luell, Executive Director
- Jacquie Buchmann, Program Coordinator, Parent Educator, and Community Response Case Manager
- Kortney Strunk, Family Support Coordinator and School to Home Specialist, Shell Lake
- Amy Lang, School to Home Liaison, Birchwood
- Jennifer Hartling, School to Home Liaison, Northwood and Spooner
- Jenni Hughes, Program Assistant