Sue StraughnGulf Coast Healthy Living Magazine Volume 6, Issue 2 - Baptist Health Care
If you watch the local evening news, you know that Sue Straughn has been a longtime news anchor at WEAR TV3. She’s an experienced journalist who has covered everything from elections to hurricanes and all subjects in between. Straughn is much more than a reporter, however. She’s also a champion for foster children in our four-county area helping countless children for more than four decades.
The results of her good work are deep and long-lasting. Straughn recalls a young man who came to the station not long ago asking to see her. “I walked up front and saw a tall, young man with red hair and freckles standing there in a U.S. Navy uniform,” she said. “In an instant I knew who he was. He came by to say, ‘I just wanted to let you know I made something of myself.’”
The young man was one of five siblings who needed an adoptive home when he was 6 years old. The children had moved around a lot. When calls came pouring in from a program aired by Straughn she couldn’t believe it.
“I put extra effort into this story because I really didn’t think they had a very good chance of being adopted. Five children are a lot to take in.”
Nonetheless, the program produced a success story, and Straughn was invited to the adoption in judge’s chambers for this particular case. When the judge completed signing the papers, the little redheaded boy said, “Does this mean we get to stay forever now?” Those words ring in her memory to this day, and stories like these strengthen her commitment. In addition to reporting the news, she engages the community to garner support for foster children whose needs range from something as simple as a pillow to clothing.
“I wanted to be a social worker when I was in 2nd grade,” she said. “I didn’t know the name of the job back then, but I knew I wanted to help people. I got the job at WEAR and for a long time I lamented not following my dream.”
Her perspective changed later while working on a community project with someone when she mentioned her disappointment. Her colleague said, “You are in more of a position to help people in your job than you know.”