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Promise Places

"Building Independence for the Mentally Disabled"

Carine McCandless – Executive Director / Development

Carine McCandless HedrickCarine has lived in Virginia Beach since 1991. During that time she has been a successful entrepreneur, thus creating the opportunity to now focus her life on family, philanthropy and community involvement.

She joined the Board of Directors in April 2009 and works on several of its committees. She became Development Chair in September 2009. Assisi House is the charity that she is most dedicated to. Having a young daughter with Down Syndrome, she has a personal understanding of the needs of the individuals to be served by this organization.

In addition, Carine has been a supporting member and passionate advocate for many local to international charities for almost 20 years. She is President of the Lynnwood Civic Association. She is an active member at Lynnhaven United Methodist Church, and serves as mission director for the United Methodist Women’s Promise Circle.

Carine brings to the Assisi House Board her skills set in business management, budget structuring, networking, fundraising, and experience in organizing staff, volunteers and community improvement projects. She sees her involvement as an opportunity to mentor to other parents faced with the long term care of special needs children, as well as to inform & educate the public. She believes that we as a community have a responsibility to help our mentally disabled citizens live as independently as possible, with the same dignities and rights that we enjoy, and to advocate for a better future for the next generation.

Carine is also a professional lecturer with the Random House Speakers Bureau, combining her business & personal experiences to inspire others. She is the sister of Into The Wild literary icon Chris McCandless, and worked as a consultant on the best selling book and critically acclaimed movie about his life. She utilizes this opportunity to help support the Assisi House charity and spread the message of advocacy for these special citizens across the nation.

She does this in memory of her brother and in honor of her youngest daughter that she named after him, Christiana. Like her Uncle, Christiana is bright, strong spirited and determined. Realizing how blessed she is to have a special needs child that is exceptionally healthy and independent, Carine wants to pay it forward to help those families that are dealing with the difficult circumstances of future care for their special needs children.

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