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Supporting the Work of Memphis Family Connection Center

July 27, 2020 / Trent Erwin

Giving back has always been a priority here at Ryan And Rose. To date, Ryan And Rose has given more than $285,000 to local charities—with one of those being Memphis Family Connection Center (MFCC). 

We’re highlighting MFCC today to share the great work they do every single day and why we love partnering in their service to the community. 

Today’s post is a collaboration with their team to share about their founding and mission in serving families here in Memphis.

What is MFCC?

Memphis Family Connection Center is a holistic, integrated care center that serves children and families who have been impacted by complex developmental trauma or ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) by empowering them with healing support. 

Why was MFCC Founded?

Mark and Tona Ottinger launched MFCC out of what they saw and experienced as parents, and that was a lack of affordable therapeutic resources for their family. As parents of six children, it was exhausting finding the resources, and once finding the resources, it was even more exhausting driving all over town (and sometimes to other cities) for those services. 

So the simple idea to create a center with a team of therapists under one roof was birthed. 

Families and children are served through holistic attachment centered counseling, connection based play, occupational therapy, speech therapy, art therapy, nutrition plans, sensory care, resources and educational support. 

Who Does MFCC Serve? 

MFCC was created initially to serve the adoptive, foster, and special needs community, but due to a demand for their services they are now serving any child and family that has experienced ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).

MFCC serves families and children in the greater Memphis area (primarily) in two ways: 

  1. Clinical services: holistic attachment centered counseling, connection based play, occupational therapy, speech therapy, art therapy, nutrition plans, sensory care, resources, and educational support.
  2. Community trainings: we provide training for nonprofits, churches, schools, and various organizations that serve thousands of families and children in our community. We help them establish programs and policies within their organizations that address mitigating the far reach impacts of ACEs, trauma and toxic stress. 

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We actually sat down with co-founder, Mark Ottinger, last fall (2019) to talk about MFCC and Red Tub Day. Watch that conversation here:

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What Are the Specific Needs in Memphis that MFCC is Addressing?

The unofficial motto of Memphis is “Grit and Grind.” It really captures the essence of this river city. There is a lot to love about Memphis’ entrepreneurial spirit that helped give rise to companies like Holiday Inn, FedEx, AutoZone, and Ryan & Rose (just to name a few), birth rock-n-roll music and has the best BBQ in the world. 

Just as there are two sides to every coin, there is the side of Memphis with some of the most vulnerable families and children who have been deeply impacted by ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), trauma and toxic stress. Their ability to access quality, affordable mental health care is limited. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Many of the most common adult life-threatening health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, and drug use, are directly related to childhood trauma. A child who has experienced trauma is more likely to have learning and behavioral issues and the effects can be felt for generations if the traumatic experiences are not addressed and healed. The cost to individuals, families, and communities is enormous.”

MFCC does its part to stand in the gap to help bring healing hope for the most vulnerable. 

During this Pandemic, How is MFCC Working & What Are you Addressing? What are You Seeing on the Frontlines of Working with Families?

First, we launched a podcast called Empowered To Connect: https://empoweredtoconnect.org/podcast/ 

We get a lot of questions from parents and feel like in this stressful season full of so many questions, it would be fun to get resources out. 

Second, we have continued with all of our services during the pandemic. We have actually seen a 20% increase in the number of families we are serving. We have been forced to 100% online during the pandemic but our team has been super creative in service families online. Our team is seeing heightened stress, anxiety, fear and racial trauma surfacing in families. At the end of the day, our work is really about the mental health of families and children. 

Memphis’ mental health experts are already warning community advocates to be prepared for the long-term impact of this incredibly stressful time. In fact, our community mental health facilities have hit full capacity and many patients are being sent out of town for care. Shelby County will be experiencing the impact of this season for generations. Our prayer is that our work at MFCC will bring healing in the midst of this crisis. 

Share About Red Tub Day - How Did it Start & What is the Mission? 

Red Tub Day supplies Christmas for children in foster care in the Midsouth (West Tennessee and North Mississippi). It started 10 years ago by providing Christmas for 28 children in foster care, and has grown to now almost 1,000 children annually. 

As much fun as we have providing Christmas presents each year, about five years ago we felt the burden for serving children and families year round, not just at Christmas time. SO along with filling a red tub with Christmas presents, we ask people to make a donation to MFCC to help us provide affordable holistic care. MFCC turns no family or child away, and needs to raise almost 40% of the cost of seeing each family. The money we raise through Red Tub Day allows us to serve thousands of families each year. 

(Volunteering at Red Tub Day 2017)

How has Ryan & Rose as a Company Come Alongside MFCC as a Partner?

Lindsey, Bret and Ryan & Rose have been involved in one way or another since MFCC launched. Lindsey, Bret and the girls have filled a red tub for a child in foster care for years. In each of the rooms at MFCC we have magnet boards and metal signs that were all donated and hung by Bret. As Red Tub Day has grown and the services MFCC provides has broadened, the need for sponsors has increased and Ryan & Rose has jumped in to be our Premier Sponsor in 2019 and again in 2020 for our 10th Anniversary Red Tub Day. 

Lindsey has gone above and beyond to introduce us to people to through her social media platforms. In fact, many in the Cutie Community came onboard and have partnered with us. We get to do the work with families and children because of the Ryan & Rose team and you! 

We are super appreciative and humbled to serve families and children through MFCC in our community with the Cutie Community!

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We’re proud of the restorative work happening at MFCC and their continued efforts to help families and children. We work hard to support them in everything they do to make our community brighter. 

To learn more about the incredible work that is happening at MFCC and to become a partner yourself, visit https://memphisfamilycc.org/



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