Whether she is setting up a karaoke birthday party or taking a child on a special outing, Lauren Smith, 24, goes out of her way for the children at Mississippi Children's Home Services.
"Many of the kids come from neglected homes and have never been treated special," says Smith, the development coordinator for Mississippi Children's Home Services. "The kids get really excited. Most of them have never had special treatment, and it means a lot just to know someone cares about them."
In addition to planning activities for the children, Smith also coordinates fundraising efforts for the nonprofit through marketing and event planning. Currently MCHS provides health, counseling, adoption and foster care services for more than 11,000 children and families statewide, with campuses in Jackson, Vicksburg and Hattiesburg.
Originally from Vicksburg, Smith obtained a marketing and economics degree from Mississippi State University in 2008, then moved to Jackson where she got a master's degree in business administration from Millsaps College in 2009. After working briefly on strategic planning at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Smith joined MCHS in August 2009. She currently lives in Belhaven.
In her spare, time Smith enjoys attending local concerts, art exhibits and other cultural events.
MCHS began as an adoption agency in 1912, but later expanded to provide its current services. The agency offers many programs for needy children and families, including adoption services, therapeutic foster care, children's shelters, psychiatric treatment and substance-abuse treatment.
MCHS will host its sixth-annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction fundraiser April 30 with all ticket sales and donations going toward funding for the children of the MCHS. Buy $50 event tickets ahead of time on MCHS's Web site or at the door. To find out more about sponsorship opportunities or donating an item to the silent auction, contact Lauren Smith at 601-709-1251 or [e-mail missing].