Better Together honors Northeast Florida community partners at Doing Good Together Reception

Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, recently honored its Northeast Florida community partners who have made a significant impact on the organization and its mission.

“Our Better Together team is so grateful for the donors, volunteers, partners and advocates who support us in fulfilling our mission of helping families overcome crisis,” said Megan Rose, CEO of Better Together. “These groups and individuals are the reason we are able to change lives and help our community flourish. It was an honor to recognize them for their generosity and unwavering support this year.”

Better Together recognized several honorees for their impact during the reception held May 7 at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville. Honorees include:

· Host Family of the Year was presented to Jessica Downard for her heart for helping families. In the past year or so, she has hosted for three families and shown love and compassion for children and parents alike.

· Champion for Strong Families was presented to Kate Williams for her tremendous support. Williams has served the most difficult situations with Better Together, and she always answers the call.

· Community Partner of the Year was presented to Clay County District Schools Social Workers for their partnership. The social workers of Clay County District Schools work hard to support vulnerable children and their families and have been a valuable partner in sharing the mission and services of Better Together.

· Church Partner of the Year was presented to CrossRoad Church for being a faithful partner since 2017. CrossRoad has hosted Parents’ Night Out, served as a training site for new volunteers, invited Better Together to speak during Mission Sunday and collected nearly 3,000 diapers for families in need.

· Department of Children and Families Partner of the Year was presented to Waynesha Wright for being a wonderful partner in referring families to Better Together. One homeless mom who had recently given birth is on the path to a bright future with her son because Wright not only referred her to Better Together, but also provided support during the hosting until mom secured housing.

· Mentor of the Year was presented to Robin Meade for her support. Having raised three children as a single mother, she is a strong mentor who holds parents accountable while surrounding them with love and support.

· Super Volunteer of the Year was presented to Jason Reid for his support. In addition to letting Better Together share its mission with his church, Gardenview Baptist Church, Reid has also volunteered at other congregations’ events, led job fairs and hosted children alongside his wife, Jana.

· Staff Appreciation Award was presented to Barbara Mendez for having a heart of gold. She works hard and puts her entire spirit into her work as a Family Support Manager for Better Together. She has had a great impact on families in Northeast Florida.

This year’s Northeast Florida Doing Good Together reception was presented by Facility Automation Solutions and sponsored by Kairos Digital.

Better Together helps parents who are going through a hard time to keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. With the help of donors and hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships – such as job loss, substance abuse, homelessness and jail time – and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited. To date, the program has served over 9,000 children and kept 98% of families together, while helping 42,000 job seekers across 22 states find employment.

To learn more about Better Together and its mission, visit


Better Together is a nonprofit organization that helps parents going through a hard time keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. A privately funded and professionally supported organization, Better Together is made up of volunteers who believe helping people help themselves is the best way to restore dignity and bring families together. Through the Better Families program, families are offered a preventive alternative to foster care while they get the help they need. To date, the program has kept 98% of children served out of foster care. The Better Jobs program was created to address the 76% of families that come to Better Together because of economic hardship tied to unemployment. In addition to community job fairs, the program offers job seekers coaching, guidance, support and encouragement through local church partners. For more information, visit
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.