Please give a Sunshine Award to Joe Luginbill. An advocate for children, families, social; entrepreneur, and elected official, Joe Luginbill brings an unrelenting focus to everything he does. Joe has worked as a support professional for children and families in the Chippewa Valley. His experience includes the Strengthening Families program and working with migrant families in Western Wisconsin. In 2016, Joe founded the Luginbill Children’s Foundation. A recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Luginbill places a high priority on giving back to his community. In 2015, Joe was elected to the Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) Board of Education.
Mother Teresa once said that, “Peace begins with a smile.” At the heart of peace is the well-being of youth. It is crucial that we do all that we can to support all young people and make sure they are safe, loved, and supported.
“Smile” stands for Support System, Mentoring, Independent Living, and Education. The Smile Program has multiple components, including the Smile House, which will be a transitional living program for teenagers experiencing homelessness and youth aging out of foster care. Currently, these young people are often “placeless” within our community.
Joe and his team are creating this program with young people, not for, at, or to them, as they are our greatest stakeholder and deserve to be in the driver seat of their own life.
As the Smile House prepares to open in later 2017, Joe and his team have been able to provide much needed support to nine homeless teens in the Chippewa Valley. The foundation’s work is amazing and Joe’s leadership will bring a much needed resource to the Chippewa Valley.
With the many other projects implemented and supported by Luginbill Children’s Foundation, Joe is a worthy recipient of the Sunshine Award.