We are a community-based organization dedicated to providing help and fostering hope to individuals and families in the communities of Springfield, North Springfield and Baltimore.
Trisha Paradis is a Vermont native who grew up in southern, Vermont. She graduated from Castleton University where she studied psychology and education. Over the past 18 years, Trisha has had experience working in both medical and human services fields. She began her career working in clinical research, assisting individuals facing cognitive impairment. During her time there, she worked in several capacities including business management and clinical research coordination; it was in this setting she realized her passion for working with people. Later, she shared her passion at a non-profit organization that provides care to people with intellectual disabilities. She again served many roles and provided clinical direction, supervision and quality assurance. Most recently, Trisha service as executive director of a small non-profit social services organization. Here she collaborated with community organizations, fostered programming, and secured funding opportunities. Trisha is delighted to be continuing her passion for helping others as a part of the team at the Springfield Family Center.
James Harris, a Military Veteran comes to Springfield Family Center with an extensive background in managing shelters. James brings several years experience in non-profit work. His career includes working for St. Vincent dePaul in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for 6 years, managing their community kitchen and shelter programs as well as working for an advocate for the Groundwork's Collaborative in Brattleboro, Vermont for a year before coming to Springfield, Vermont. James is a member of the VFW and served a year on the Springfield Family Center Board before becoming a Springfield Family Center staff member. He is a world traveler and brings many creative passions to his work
Steffanie Baker grew up in a military family, living in many areas across the country. She found her home in Southern Vermont home 14 years ago and loves all that Vermont has to offer. While her career has been varied, the past decade found her operating her own business, to which she incorporated providing in-home care to local residents. It was during this time she discovered her passion for helping others. For nine years, Steffanie was actively involved with a local snowmobile group at which time she discovered the world of community service and volunteer work. In 2020, Steffanie began volunteering with another local non-profit group, focused on hunger relief, and later became a member of their Board of Directors. Helping promote community-oriented organizations has blossomed into a beloved career. In her down time, Steffanie enjoys gardening, cooking, preserving and canning food, and crafts of all kinds. She truly enjoys finding creative ways to connect services to community members facing adversities and is eager and passionate about sharing her many talents in her new role as Program Director at the Springfield Family Center.
Springfield Family Center welcomes a new Food Shelf Coordinator, Keegan. We are thrilled to have her on as part of the team and look forward to celebrating all she brings to this role. Before working at the Springfield Family Center, Keegan regularly volunteered and helped with food drives and maintaining the food shelf. She also started a hygiene resources program that added a great extra service for our community members. Outside of work, Keegan loves reading and traveling. We are excited to have Keegan as a part of the Springfield Family Center team as we work together to offer support to community members facing adversity.
Alexandra Mushinski is the Americorps VISTA at the Springfield Family Center. She grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She went on to study Fine Art and Creative Writing at California College of the Arts in the Bay Area. Since graduating, she has experience as an art gallery intern at ProArts Gallery in Oakland; a work trader at The Art Monastery, a buddhist art residency center in Vermont; and recently served on a trail conservation crew in the California State Parks. She is interested in community health and wellness, and the use of creativity and nature to create community healing and wellbeing. Alexandra is delighted to be serving at the Springfield Family Center and hopes to offer positive support to help the community thrive.
Lindsy Mack, President
Jeanne Neal, Vice President
Paul Cioffi, Treasurer
Tara Chase, Secretary
I have been working in Springfield for the last 8 years. During that time I have been a case manager, a community health worker and now am a behavioral health and substance use care coordinator. I joined the Springfield Family Center (SFC) board in 2015. My partner and I purchased a home here in Springfield and have been residents since 2019. I felt it was important to live in the community I spend so much time to support.
When I first joined the SFC board, I learned through research that 1 in every 3 Springfielders live at or below the poverty line. This altered my perception of the community as I began viewing the lines at the grocery store cash register differently. I always knew there were people who utilized public assistance to afford food, but, I was recognizing for the first time that if I wasn’t living at or below the poverty line it was very likely that the person in front of me or the person behind me likely was. I started doing the math every time I was at Shaws in Springfield and I began to really see how prevalent and pervasive food insecurity is. It is difficult to reason why in one of the richest first world nations on planet earth food insecurity exists in our country. There are many, many factors that contribute to this. I know there is no one answer that will solve this dilemma. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is leading the way toward reducing the impact of food insecurity in Springfield (and beyond) as we have all been faced with novel challenges throughout this last year.
Unfortunately many people who receive a 3Square (food stamp) benefit experience feelings of shame due to the stigma and judgements placed on them by others. I encourage every Springfielder who is curious to learn what its like to live on 3Squares or “food stamps” to take the 3SquaresVT Challenge. https://www.vtfoodbank.org/2013/11/3squaresvt-challenge.html The Average 3SquaresVT benefit is $30 per week or 1.72 per meal for a single person. This makes it difficult for many to purchase nutritious food on a consistent basis. As we know humans can live without many things, but, food is not one of them. I think of the survival rues I learned as a young person. In general humans can live 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
I am insatiably curious and I hope to continually grow my awareness and hopefully to impact the Springfield community in a way that reduces the implicit and explicit biases that many of us carry in regard to individuals living at or below the poverty line. I would also like to live in a community that values and empathizes with all of its citizens regardless of socio-economic status. I’m excited and I’m proud to live, work and play in Springfield.
Springfield Family Center could not do what we do without the wonderful volunteers who are committed to helping us carry out our mission to the community!
We are very excited to shine the spotlight on our wonderful and dedicated volunteer, Stephanie Lage! Stephanie helps at our front desk carrying out clerical duties and greets all that stop by with a very enthusiastic and genuine, HI!!!
A labor of love! The Springfield Family Center works hard to combat food insecurity in our community! We could not carry out this important mission without the help of our amazing volunteers!
We are thrilled to shine the spotlight on our wonderful and dedicated volunteer, Cin Smart !
Cin is our right-hand woman in the kitchen; working tirelessly to help make meals for our community!
Couldn't make it, but want to support our services? You can make a monetary donation through our PayPal link online.