Musing – Advocacy = Love from Michelle Avaroma

In celebration of Valentine’s Day and in honor of our upcoming Florida Network Hill Day, I wanted to discuss something I love: advocacy and education.

Each year our member agency executive directors visit the state Capitol and schedule meetings with their local legislators to highlight the services they are providing to their communities and to advocate for the needs of the youth and families they serve. When I attend these meetings with an executive director, I am often in awe of how they speak of the dedicated staff in their programs, the youth they are supporting, and the change they are creating in families with so much LOVE. Advocacy is love. We all know that when you are in a happy relationship it feels like you want to tell everyone and shout it from the rooftops! I believe the same energy and love exists when you are passionate about your job, your organization and your cause. Our members want to educate legislators, the community and stakeholders about their services because they want to help youth and families succeed. They call, they email and they meet with policymakers to ensure they know how to best serve Florida’s vulnerable youth and families – that is love. I am so proud to work with so many individuals who love the work we do, they are what makes #TheNetworkWork.