For Judith Fischer Wollack, passion turning reality runs a long history within their family.
In talking about the history of the agency and how it has evolved to where it is today, Mrs. Wollack notes “I believe that, at least for myself, this started with my father, Clarence Fischer. In 1969, he helped found Homes for Black Children in Michigan, the first specialized African American adoption agency in the United States. During my summers in high school, I would deliver mail between Lutheran Children’s Friend Society and Homes for Black Children, with both agencies on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. I got to view firsthand the passion that not only my father brought into this project, but also the deep passion of all the staff. Within the first year, they placed 100 children into adoptive homes. I learned that there are many different types of families and children, all with very different needs. At Wolverine, we try always to fulfill that reality with the many different programs we have, serving all children and families.”
Mrs. Wollack continues by sharing the background of her father, his dedication to foster care and adoption services for all children in Michigan and core family values that are established throughout Wolverine Human Services today. “My father, Clarence Fischer, was born on Oct 11, 1929, in a farmhouse in Alma, NE. He grew up on a farm on a Winnebago Indian Reservation and his closest friend was the Chief’s son. He was the youngest of 11 children.
In his own writing, family values were primarily taught by example. My mother always worked extremely hard and we all saw the time and energy put into everything she would do. My father had died when I was 5 months old, leaving 8 children at home. Values were also taught by being active church members and involved in constructive community groups and activities. My mother demonstrated that this was an opportunity to assist those in need.
After serving two years as a First Lt in the Army, he moved his family to Detroit in 1956. He worked for Lutheran Child and Family Service for 33 years and joined WHS in 1990. He received the National Social Worker of the Year Award for his founding of Homes for Black Children.
He wrote about his beliefs, ‘I believe we are all here for a purpose. We only have each day to use once. We can make that day beneficial and productive or we can waste the time or even have it be destructive. We will never pass this way again, so we must look for our opportunities and use them.’
Our mission of Helping Children to be Victors is driven by compassion, from my father’s dedication to positive change and values, and behind every person that supports the agency and everything it stands for. Our staff, board of directors, donors, volunteers, vendors, advocates; every single decision made for our clients, the agency and its longstanding commitment of providing stability, care, compassion, support, and love aids in our mission and to help all children be successful.”
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