By Brigid Morrissey

Ever wanted to quit your day job and join the nonprofit realm? Leaving routine and a certain set of expectations comes with risk, but if anyone can succeed at making community service into a legitimate career, it’s Ann Carruthers.

Ann currently serves in New Albany as the president of Prevent Child Abuse, a nonprofit created to improve child well being and develop programs to help prevent abuse and neglect. Among the long list of relevant experience on her resume are positions as a court appointed advocate with Clark and Floyd counties and as an investigator for the Department of Child Services. A friend once asked Ann if her daily interaction with kids in need was depressing. “Depressing? No, because I’m going to be working 1,000 percent for their improvement and positive change. And I’m going to bring all of my connections with me.”

Ann devotes 30 hours a week to helping children and their families gain stability. Photos by Patti Hartog 

Ann’s passion for children is apparent within the first 60 seconds of meeting her. Words of inspiration and factual information fly past her lips, eyes wide with excitement and every limb brimming with hunger for change. “I want to empower families to a level of self-sufficiency and sustainability. I use the word ‘sustainability’ because that implies long-lasting.” Human interaction is Ann’s approach, which is a lost art in a world of social media and advancing technology. “When I treat a person with respect and understand that I could be the one sitting in their position, I’ve found the positive results to be astronomical. It’s not about my peers knowing what I’m doing for these kids. I do this because I have a heart for it.”

Dedicating about 30 hours a week to her volunteer position with Prevent Child Abuse is just one of the ways Ann spends her time. She has also earned her way onto the boards of the Salvation Army, Our Place, and the Purdue Extension in Floyd County. Any free time is spent coaching middle school basketball and collaborating with the local school system. Throughout her active schedule, Ann has an endgame in mind. “I want to be able to connect people.”

Ann aspires to start her own business, called Community Services Empowerment, to incorporate the multitude of talents, activities, and networks she has patiently acquired. “I was thinking, it doesn’t take an extraordinary person to make things happen. It takes ordinary people to make extraordinary things happen.”