Fifteen years ago, my husband and I were in the thick of raising our five children ages 9, 11, 14, 17 and 19. Our 19-year-old son was in a terrible fight that could have resulted in felony charges and a prison sentence. At the same time, our 17-year-old daughter was in an unhealthy dating relationship and pulling away from our family. To say we felt inadequate as parents would be an understatement. I felt shame, guilt, confusion, and alone. We knew our family was at a crossroad and something had to change. That “something” was us. Mom and Dad had to change. We needed to raise our awareness, educate ourselves on some tough issues, have a few uncomfortable conversations, and disrupt some “life” patterns. I call it our “parent makeover” and it changed everything for the better! We grew in our parenting, we grew in our faith, and I started Operation Parent with the hope that no parent would ever feel alone or lack the resources they need to be the parent God made them to be.
To love and support parents by providing real-world information, connection, and hope.
A world where the sacred privilege of parenting is embraced in every home.
I was almost certain that our relationship was beyond repair. She was on her way out of our lives. Then one day, one conversation changed everything.
As the mother of five children and grandmother of seven, I have experienced life’s greatest blessing called “family". Looking back, I can pinpoint a time when our family was either going to grow closer or break apart. Thankfully, I was surrounded by some great people who loved me, encouraged me, and provided me with some wonderful resources that educated me on parenting. I am so grateful for God’s provision and will spend the rest of my life paying it forward. Mother Teresa’s famous quote, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family” says it all. Let’s change the world together, one family at a time.
After spending 13 years volunteering and working in Student Ministry, I felt my passion for middle and high school students shift to helping their parents. I would sit with struggling parents and their kids, trying to encourage them to simply talk to each other. When I found Operation Parent and learned about their mission, I was so excited to come on board! I love being able to promote healthy conversations between parents and their kids, as well as educating parents on the world surrounding their children.
I knew as a parent attending my first education program at Operation Parent, that something very important and special was happening here! I had recently lost a family member to addiction. At this time of loss, I looked around at my girls, nieces, and nephews who were all launching into their teen years and knew I wanted to do more to keep them and their friends healthy. Thankfully, Operation Parent was a place I could regain my hope and make a difference for other families. My husband and I absolutely love being parents, but we savor support on both the great and the tougher days of raising our teens! Operation Parent gives this support to our family, and hopefully you feel it too! This quote speaks to me more every day… “While we try to teach our 'teens' all about life… they teach us what LIFE is all about.” -Angela Schwindt
Growing up I was bullied at school. In high school, I began to struggle with unhealthy eating habits, anxiety & depression, suicidal thoughts, and was exposed to unhealthy situations and relationships. Things that I kept to myself because I didn’t know how or who to tell in confidence. At 21 years old, I made the decision to be serious about my faith and finally made the choice that I wanted to walk with my Lord and Savior daily, and that is when my world was rocked in the best ways possible. After a refining, hard, and freeing season in life, I began to have a passion to pursue mission work instead of the nursing degree I was working toward. Shortly after this new heart cry, I was introduced to Operation Parent. I felt connected to OP and the mission of this organization because I had experienced a lot of the topics they address. Being a part of an organization who helps parents be more up-to-date in what their children may be struggling with, experiencing, or being exposed to is an opportunity to be a voice for their children.
I am a happily married (30 years this year) momma with four amazing kiddos, two of which are married, and have been blessed with our first grandchild! Raising our children was truly one of the most amazing gifts, but parenting also came with some of the most difficult challenges life can throw at you; knowing it was MY (OUR) God-given role and responsibility to raise our children to be kind, compassionate, responsible, trustworthy men and women of society. We were fortunate to attend some parenting classes when Operation Parent first started and became part of their community of parents learning and growing in knowledge of the ever-changing trends and lures our children were surrounded by. That was 16 years ago, and that’s when I became interested in volunteering where I could… and now I’ve been employed with the organization nine years! I love working with other parents and helping equip them for this journey.
You never know how different chapters in your life will bring different people, different kids, and different environmental issues into your life. I have been living those different chapters, as a single mom of 2 then an empty nester, and the final chapter adopting 3 sons. My kids are 38, 36, 16, 13 and 12. A lot has changed since my 38- and 36-year-old kids were school age. I want to be the best mom possible this time around. My eyes had been closed to what was going on with my own group of 'friends' kids'; suicide, drugs and teen pregnancy, just to name a few. I am a retired nurse and love to “peel the onion” to get to the root of the problem. I became a permanent substitute teacher at our middle school just to see what our boys were faced with daily. My eyes were opened. I want to be proactive rather than reactive with my boys. OP has exactly what I need and I know other parents will also benefit. I want to help change one child, one family, and one community at a time.
“Your greatest accomplishment may not be something you do but someone you raise.” ~ Andy Stanley.
The greatest job is being a parent; the second greatest is working at Operation Parent! I LOVE being the mother of my two children, and although it is the most challenging job, it brings the greatest rewards. When I learned of Operation Parent's mission and got a glimpse of their culture, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team. As a fundraising professional devoted to the nonprofit sector, I am eager to help Operation Parent expand its reach and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders who believe in the mission to love and support parents by providing real-world information, connection, and hope. No parent should be on the journey alone. I firmly believe that we as parents need just a little help along the way, and Operation Parent can be that helping hand in the everyday struggles of raising our most precious gift(s). I look forward to connecting communities far and wide to the mission of Operation Parent!
I grew up with a mom who never said no to someone in need and a dad who always put family first. Together they instilled my love of helping people and the importance of family. I’m thrilled to be able to blend those together by helping families at Operation Parent.
During college I had anxiety and depression and I remember how difficult it was to explain to my parents how I was feeling and what those words even meant. My parents were very supportive, but I know it was difficult for them to find resources to explain how to help as parents. This is why I aspire to use social media to spread Operation Parent’s knowledge and give hope to parents around the
As a teen, I did not feel comfortable talking to my parents about things happening in my life. I felt alone and alienated. Having this experience taught me that I was not going to raise my children the same way.
I am a single parent to two college age children, adopted and biological. During my kids’ formative years, we had many struggles. I learned that the only way we would survive was through knowledge and support. I relied heavily on my church community and outside resources. Through this experience, my kids learned independence and the value of life and family. I still worry as a parent because they are my world, but I sleep easier knowing that the lines of communication are open. My children now feel that I am the rock they can rely on. They are independent, take care of their own problems and issues because they have learned where to find help.
Prior joining the OP team, I was a middle school teacher where I saw firsthand the struggles today’s youth face. I cannot imagine having to face these as a teen without direction and people to talk to as times have changed so much!
The vision and mission of Operation Parent speaks volumes to me because it offers parents much needed information supporting today’s youth through knowledge and prevention. Everything from cell phones and social media to the dangers of fentanyl. These are scary times, as parents we must be on the same side as our children.
When I am not supporting the team, you can find me spending time with my kids, training my dog, Luci and traveling internationally.
We've enjoyed steady growth over the past 15 years and this year we surpassed the half million dollar mark in annual revenue.view our yeaR IN REVIEW
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