As the mother of twin 2-1/2-year-old boys, Stephanie Haynes is no stranger to the importance of time management and good organizational skills — abilities she will be able to tap into in her new position as community coordinator for Philadelphia Family Pride.
Haynes, 38, started the part-time position April 8 after the departure of former PFP employee Jennifer Raison, who held the job for five years.
Haynes and her partner, Vicky Kresge, got involved with PFP — which provides outlets and networking opportunities for local same-sex couples with children — about two years ago, shortly after the birth of their sons, Griffin and Jove.
“At the time, we had one other lesbian couple with a kid whom we were friends with, and we really wanted our boys to grow up being around lots of different kinds of families,” Haynes said. “We wanted them to see that it’s not just our friends and their daughter but that there are lots of two-mom and two-dad families, so they can understand that this is normal.”
Haynes met Kresge on the first day she moved to Philadelphia in 1994.
A native of Texas and a 1992 graduate of the University of Miami, Haynes made the move to the city to take a position as a canvasser for the Fund for Public Interest Research, a nonprofit group that operates canvas offices throughout the country for numerous organizations.
She spent about four months as a canvasser and was then promoted to canvas director, a position she held for seven years. In this capacity, Haynes oversaw canvas operations for such organizations as the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, PIRG offices in Pennsylvania and Florida, the National Environmental Law Center, the Sierra Club and the Human Rights Campaign — the last of which took her on a tour of the country one summer where she visited 15 different pride festivities.
Before she left the group in 2006, she also oversaw the organization’s large-donor fundraising and later its Web-site development.
Haynes decided to stay home with the twins once they were born and said she found the transition from full-time employee to full-time mom relatively seamless.
“Honestly right now it’s hard to remember what it was like to do anything else but take care of them. I found that being an organizer in my previous job wasn’t that different from organizing my days with the boys; multi-tasking and keeping things in order and on track is pretty much what I did as a job and what I do now as a parent.”
Haynes said when she received a message through the PFP listserv, announcing the open position, she decided the timing was right — and the job was perfect — for her to head back to work.
“I read the posting and I said, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ And now that the boys are a little bit older, I have a bit more time to put into some other things for myself.”
The job, which is the only paid position within the organization, requires about 20 hours of work per month, which Haynes said fits well into her schedule, as she’s been able to work during the kids’ naps and after her partner gets home at night.
Haynes, who also recently began writing articles for Examiner.com about LGBT parenting, is primarily responsible for planning numerous PFP events, such as its annual summer picnic, Halloween party and New Year’s Day celebration, as well as organizing the group’s presence at Family Zones during Equality Forum, Pride and OutFest.
Doug Metcalfe, PFP chair, said Haynes is a welcome addition to the team.
“Stephanie brings some great skills and experiences to the position, and we’re really thrilled to have her on board and involved with the organization,” he said.
Metcalfe noted that the organization now has about 200 member families, and Haynes said she’s eager to continue growing the organization’s membership base.
The group’s members hail from a range of locales across the five-county Philadelphia area, as well as from throughout New Jersey, and Haynes said she’s interested in boosting membership within each region to unite as many LGBT-headed families as possible.
“Right now I’m still learning the ropes, but I certainly want to expand the organization and reach out to more and different families than we have now. I think it’d be nice to have more members in more places so we could have more regional events for a greater number of people.”