Mike Schafer and his wife Holly have been married for 14 years. They met as volunteers through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Summit and Medina County, an organization that mentors local children. A few years into their marriage, they determined that adoption was the right path for them to grow their family. They are now the proud parents of eight children, all fostered and adopted through Summit and Franklin counties’ Children Services.
“Mike and I feel that adoption is the best gift you can give a child, but it is hard work to take on the responsibility of eight children. It is comforting to know that an agency like the JCC helps to provide educational and recreational opportunities and financial resources that our family might not otherwise have afforded.” Through Families Supporting Families, the Schafer family enjoyed a scholarship towards membership and Camp JCC. “Receiving this scholarship has meant the world to our family. It has afforded our children the opportunity to grow socially...Our family has also become more familiar with the Jewish faith. Providing this diversity for our children is very important to us.”
The Schafers love being a part of the Shaw JCC family. They enjoy the year-round swimming, Camp JCC, the sense of diversity at the Shaw JCC, and learning about the Jewish faith. Most of all, they appreciate the warmth and attention from staff, the safe environment that the J provides, the friendships their children have found, and the structure and consistency experienced at Camp JCC.
“Children who have suffered from neglect or abuse in their early years are often bruised with social and emotional delays. The JCC has offered many different resources to our families to help our kids’ special needs. Our kids need love. The Shaw JCC staff has embraced our kids from the moment we walked through the door. This has made all the difference to our family and to our overall positive experience at the Shaw JCC”