A Family Affair
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native Blake Lynch has made his passion for helping others a huge focus of his life, both personally and professionally. After years with the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg, Blake recently became the community policing coordinator for the Harrisburg City Police Department—a position that allows him to serve as a liaison between the community and police to build better relationships, communication, and outreach.
However, it was the recommendation his wife Bryttani made more than two years ago that inspired the couple to make a difference together as part-time relief houseparents at Milton Hershey School.
“My wife initially brought it up and suggested applying since we have a shared passion for helping the next generation,” said Blake. “I believe our life experiences [help us] better relate to the kids we serve.”
As relief houseparents, Blake and Bryttani, along with their 3-year-old son, are on the MHS campus every other weekend. They start duty at 6 p.m. on Friday and end at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“Our responsibilities are pretty wide, but our main focus is to make sure the high school girls in our student home are safe, having fun, and well cared for,” Blake explains. “We transport them to planned weekend activities and sporting events, ensure chores are completed, attend chapel services, engage in family activities, cook together, and much more.”
The Lynch family also is mindful of their responsibility as positive role models. They hope their students see how they treat one another with respect, how they love their son, and how they approach life.
“My hope is that they can understand there are many ways to deal with difficult situations and how important it is to try and see as many views as possible before making a decision or action,” he said.
Blake and Brytanni also encourage other couples to explore the possibility of being houseparents. “This is a great opportunity that allows you to build relationships with our youth that will last a lifetime. You also grow and develop into a better person yourself,” Blake said.
Learn how you can make a positive impact on young people as houseparents at Milton Hershey School.