Submitted by Michael B. Chutz
The Kiwanis Club of St. Bernard-Arabi meeting held on October 27, 2020, had Jen Scharfenstein, Executive Director of Savannah Smiles speaking about her journey creating this Non-Profit Organization.
Kiwanis meets every Tuesday at 12:00 in the famous Rocky & Carlo’s Sicilian Room.
Savannah Smiles was named after a sweet little girl, Savannah Kaye Scharfenstein, who went to heaven on December 10, 2006. Jen Scharfenstein stated, “God has given us a beautiful way to continue to honor her life by helping other hurting families”.
Savannah Smiles’s primary mission is to reach out to parents who have experienced the untimely death of their child. The organization also provides financial and emotional support for those on this difficult road.
This year 160+ families have been helped. Since 2007, Savannah Smiles has helped to honor over 1,550 children. Funeral Homes, Hospitals, and Individuals refer families to Savannah Smiles.
Support comes from many sources, all donations are welcome. Contact Jen Scharfenstein at www.savannah-smiles.org, P.O. Box 2103, Slidell, Louisiana 70461, Phone 504-450-3306
The 2020 Budget is $206,500.00
Savannah Smiles strive to be an outreach for the Southeast Louisiana Community first then go wherever God leads us primarily serving in Greater New Orleans, St. Tammany and Baton Rouge, with many other Families all over Louisiana and Mississippi.
Springing from Savannah Smiles comes:
Camp Savannah – A place where kids 9 to 14, can come to be around the other kids, in the camp setting, who have experienced the loss of parents, guardians, or siblings. Started in 2018
Savannah Manor – Two apartments for families in transition. Traditional housing for families moms, dads, and kids. Structured to help families break the cycle of bad choices so that the children can have different lives: We come alongside and do life with them but they are required to meet with the managers weekly to stay on track with their case plan. We assist in family, financial, and biblical counseling. (Separate from the grief ministries of Savannah Smiles) started in 2009.
Kiwanis wants to thank Ms. Scharfenstein for speaking & sharing this incredible journey her family is on. Michael B Chutz, Kiwanis Board Member, was touched by Savannah Smiles when they stepped in with the support of his niece when she had a miscarriage. Michael Chutz is requesting everyone to please donate to this incredible organization.