Today, we shine our spotlight on Cynthia Ramey, the Executive Director of Family Promise of Pulaski County, a non-profit organization. With affiliates across the country, Family Promise focuses on meeting the needs of families on multiple levels. Through its prevention assistance and homelessness diversion efforts, the Pulaski County affiliate assists families with utilities, seek ways to help families avoid going to homeless shelters, by developing customized services to meet their specific needs. For unhoused families, Family Promise helps to provide shelter for up to ninety days. The organization also advocates for many underrepresented people who are often unserved due to inequities that exists around them. Family Promise can help others through gifts and donations. They just received a generous donation from Second Baptist Church for which Cynthia expressed gratitude.

A native of Indiana, Cynthia is the youngest of four girls, who moved to Arkansas as a child when her parents decided to return to their home state. She was raised and still lives in Pine Bluff with her husband. Their daughter resides in St. Louis and is planning her upcoming wedding.

Describing herself as having a “servant’s heart,” Cynthia feels that she is driven to help people with the love of Jesus. She feels that people can see and feel His love through the interactions she has with them. When asked if she felt “called” to work with non-profit organizations and the homeless, she responded, “Calling is where your heart leads you. Your calling is hard to back away from.” No matter what you do, that purpose or reason for being is a part of you. Cynthia went on to say that there can still be frustrating and emotional moments, but you cannot let go. We cannot judge the impact of what we are doing just by the numbers that we see. As she so aptly puts it, “Even if the imprint is small, it is still making a difference in someone’s life. If it is for God’s glory, you know that you cannot go wrong.”

Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in organization management from John Brown University and attended the Master of Business Administration program at Webster University. While in school, she never endeavored to work with non-profit organizations. Somehow, they have been at the center of her career and her heart when she began her career as Field Director for the Arkansas Post Girl Scout Council. Her job was working in 15 counties in Southeast Arkansas to recruit, train and manage Girl Scout leaders and help them to form their Girl Scout troops. And…we cannot leave out the cookies. She worked closely with leaders to have successful sales, too. During that time, the Council had the highest grossing Girl Scout cookie sales in this region of the U.S.

Dedication, hard work, and perseverance paved the way for Cynthia’s promotion to Girl Scout Membership Director, where she supervised the field staff. Cynthia remained in this position for several years, until her daughter graduated from high school, and the Girl Scout program was restructuring. This provided the opportune time for Cynthia to take time off and spend the summer with her daughter before she went to college.

With her daughter in college, Cynthia re-entered the workforce as the Director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program in Pine Bluff. There, she worked with children in the foster care system who were matriculating through the court system. She also mobilized volunteers who helped to advocate for the children in the foster care system.

Cynthia has also been a consultant for the Literacy Council in El Dorado, Arkansas, the American Lung Association, and Arkansas Hospice. While doing contract work for the federal government, she learned about the executive director position at Interfaith Hospitality Network, which is now known as Family Promise. She knew that it was time to return to her first love – helping people. It is hard for Cynthia to believe that she has been at Family Promise for thirteen years. As Executive Director, she oversees the  operations of the Pulaski County affiliate.

Family Promise’s staffing is fluid and can consist of full-time and part-time employees, interns, and volunteers. As the Executive Director of the Pulaski County Office of Family Promise, Cynthia keeps it all together. Because the organization focuses on its individualized approach to helping families, Cynthia knows that she is making a positive difference, one family at a time. And, for this, we say thank you!

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