Local Children in Crisis Founder a ‘Hometown Hero’
Rayn Boncie has devoted her life to helping children in need, providing clothing and essentials to them through a non-profit foundation she started, Children in Crisis. The Scotia mother of four sacrifices much of her own time to help between 4,000 and 5,000 children per year.
Boncie is this week's "Hometown Hero."
As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste and Latham Ford to celebrate local unsung heroes for their good deeds and honorable work.
We asked Boncie a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What inspires you to help the local children through your organization?
A: When I was 14 years old I entered the foster care system. There I witnessed firsthand the debilitating effect that the social services system had on children and families. My foster sister was one such victim. A few days after meeting her, I made a silent promise that when I grew up, I would do something to help children like her and I in the world.
Starting the organization was my way of fulfilling that promise. Years later I am inspired by almost every person that walks through the door. Everyone has a story of courage and of strength. It is my job to ensure that each child is given a chance to believe in themselves and to know that what they have endured does not define who they grow up to be.
Q: What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?
A: We often see people after they have hit rock bottom. Our clients are often without food, shoes or any sense of hope. About 90% of the time that someone walks into the Crisis Intervention Center, that individual has been treated poorly by someone at another agency or someone else that they turned to for help. Part of the mission of the organization is to treat everyone that walks into the center with dignity and respect. We are there to serve them. Once you convince someone of their worth, their capabilities are limitless. That moment, the first time you tell someone that they are worth everything and they believe you is one of the most beautiful moments one can ever see. Aside from basis necessities, being able to serve those living in emotional and fiscal poverty is perhaps the greatest gift one can receive.
Q: What are some challenges?
A: Funding is always an issue. It is up to me to convince corporations, individuals and grantors that these children and our programs are worthy of funding. If I do not succeed, 5,000 children will suffer annually as a direct result of my failure. Every time I walk into a meeting I know that thousands of individuals are depending on me. It's not easy and it is an incredible weight to bear.
Storing a week's worth of aid for 5,000 individuals in 2,200 square feet is not an easy task. We outgrew our Crisis Intervention Center a month after moving in. Currently we do not have finances for a new building. Securing funding for a new building is one of our top three goals for the year.
Q: Do you consider yourself a "hero?" Why or why not?
A: No, I do not consider myself a hero. Heroes, to me, are those who risk their lives to save the lives of others or who give up everything to do such. Janusz Korczak and Mother Teresa are my heroes. While I may not agree with some of what they did or said, their work is admirable.
I am a mother who struggles each and every school day to find matching shoes and socks for four children sixty seconds before the school bus pulls up in front of the house. I am fortunate to be able to be a part of something so magnificent, but I cannot imagine being someone's hero.