Eric Shanburn Announces Departure As Director of FOCUS Detroit
“Christ tells us to love God and our neighbor. Eric shows us how to do that with all of our strength.”
These are the words of Elleni, a volunteer who worked first-hand with Eric Shanburn during his time as Director of FOCUS Detroit. Elleni alongside countless other community members who worked with Eric can speak to the lasting impact his leadership and vision has had, and will continue to have, on the community.
Last week it was announced that Eric Shanburn will be leaving his position as Director of FOCUS Detroit and moving on to pursue his passion for Social Work at Concordia University. Eric was one of the first center directors of FOCUS North America, beginning his journey with FOCUS in St. Louis and then moving to Detroit in 2015 where he has mobilized hundreds of people towards serving the mission of “empowering children experiencing poverty to succeed in school.”
Eric has a special ability to motivate and mobilize groups toward a common cause. In Detroit, that cause has been childhood education. Eric saw early on that children from impoverished neighborhoods in Detroit did not have access to necessary educational resources or basic needs like food and clothing. In 2015 the city of Detroit was experiencing economic crisis and many schools did not have what they needed to provide an adequate education, some even shutting down completely.
Eric knew that something had to be done and wanted to engage his fellow Orthodox Community in finding a solution to the issues of poverty and education that affect virtually every school in Detroit.
During his time as director of FOCUS Detroit, Eric’s dedication and leadership helped Orthodox Christians throughout Detroit connect to their faith through practicing meaningful and compassionate service. Together, FOCUS Detroit and the local community provided thousands of meals, clothing items, textbooks, technology resources, and tutoring services to children.
When there were needs brought to Eric’s attention that fell outside of the regular programs that operated throughout the year, he still did not hesitate to rally the community to action. One Christmas, for example, Eric helped a young mother find an apartment and furniture for her family.
Those of you who have served with Eric in the past probably have your own story of how his vision has touched your own heart, and motivated you to take action.
“Eric serves with love and without judging” Shared Elleni, “He gives the Orthodox community a way to reach out to others with his vision and leadership. Eric embodies the mission of FOCUS.”
Any organization would be saddened to see such a talented leader move on to the next opportunity, and we at FOCUS are beyond thankful for the dedication, talent, and time Eric has invested in building a foundation for Orthodox outreach in Detroit.
The mission of FOCUS, and the vision that inspired Eric’s accomplishments during his time as a Director, is a mission and vision that all of us share as Orthodox Christians who strive to serve as Christ taught us. Now is the time to take advantage of the foundation Eric has created in Detroit, and engage in compassionately serving those in need with as much enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment that Eric has shown us over the years through his example.
Please join FOCUS in wishing Eric many more successful years as he begins the next step of his journey at Concordia University.
God Grant You Many Years!