Springfield family support specialist: ‘You do move back to help the community you were raised in’

Megan Short, a family support specialist at the Miami Valley Child Development Center’s (MVCDC) Springfield Children’s Center, has gone above and beyond for families by taking the lead on COVID-19 operations and providing essential items and resources, a co-worker said.

“She has the biggest heart of anyone I know,” Danielle Wolford, clerk at the Springfield Children’s Center said. “She is always wanting to make sure everybody has what they need.”

The Springfield News-Sun asked readers to nominate people – Unsung Heroes – from their communities who go above and beyond to help others, but rarely receive recognition for their work.

Wolford said she nominated Short because she is a very selfless person that does anything and everything that she can do to help others.

She said Short had actually shared the nomination story on her Facebook page.

“I had no idea that anyone would pick me,” Short said.

“You do this work to help others and you don’t really think about people noticing or the effect it has on people,” she added.

Short has worked at the Springfield Children’s Center for five years. Her daily tasks include supporting families in their program by providing resources, completing home visits and helping them create goals, she said.

“We want our families to succeed,” Short said.

She takes her job a step further by bringing in free items to the center like cribs, high chairs or clothes for their families.

Short said she started bringing in her own items and then asked other staff members to do the same. Now, she has people in the community contacting her when they are getting rid of items that others would find useful.

When the coronavirus pandemic began in March, Short took food and educational programming to the center’s families when the facility was closed due to the pandemic. After the center reopened, she said that she communicates with families to see if anyone in the household has COVID-19 symptoms and guides them to resources if needed.

She explained that she was inspired to go into social work by Kristi Barker, a former teacher and volleyball coach at Springfield South High School.

Short said her family didn’t really have anything growing up.

“She (Barker) was really there for me at times where I felt we were going to be homeless. She opened her home to me and things,” Short said. “Just having that support and knowing someone else was there for me during that time really kind of made me want to be that person for others.”

Short went to college at Bowling Green State University and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she lived for several years.

“You do move back to help the community you were raised in,” Short said.

Short is a single mom raising two daughters, working two jobs, completing her master’s degree and continuing to help local families in any way that she can.

In the future, Short said she hopes to work with middle or high school students to let them know that their lives are not already set and that they can make changes.

“We have such a great community,” Short said. “I just want to bring the positive out. I want people to know that there are resources out there for them and to not to give up.”

Name: Megan Short

Age: 36

Organization: Miami Valley Child Development Center - Springfield Children’s Center

Hometown: Springfield

Person who inspired you and why? Former Springfield South High School Teacher and Volleyball Coach Kristi Barker. She provided support at a time when Short needed it the most.

Unsung Heroes

Throughout the holiday season, the Springfield News-Sun brings attention to Unsung Heroes — those who consistently go above and beyond in their work or aspects of their lives to care for others. To nominate someone, send name, reason for the nomination, and contact information for you and the nominee to newssun@coxinc.com.

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