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A message from CEO Sherry Thomas‑Cloud

June 15, 2017

Dear Friends:

Family & Children Services’ mission is “To support, strengthen and preserve the safety, well-being and dignity of children, individuals and families.” We fulfill this mission in countless ways to thousands of clients each year through the efforts of our dedicated staff members, selfless volunteers, and generous donors

I hope you’ll read about three of these efforts in this Summer 2017 newsletter, including our:

  • “Pack-A-Child for Camp” program that sends nearly 100 special needs and at-risk children to area summer camps for an experience they and their families will forever cherish.
  • “Children’s Medical Needs Fund” that provides significant financial support each year to provide for wheel chairs, ramps, medical devices, medications, physical therapy, and a myriad of other products and services for special needs children that are otherwise not covered by Medicaid or private insurance.
  • Easter egg hunt organized and hosted by members of the Junior League of Kalamazoo, for a large group of children in foster care and their foster parents.

Each of these programs relies on the generosity of donors and volunteers, people just like you who understand that when we help the most vulnerable members of our community, we lift up our entire community. Thank you for all you do for our clients, our community.

Finally, I hope you will read our response to “13 Reasons Why,” the popular and controversial television show about a teenage girl who takes her own life. Mental health experts worry that this show glorifies suicide. If your child is watching the show, we encourage parents to watch with them and talk frankly about its themes of bullying, sexual assault, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. The article provides tips and resources to help parents do this. The more informed we are about this serious issue, the better the chances we can be proactive and focus on prevention. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, local help is available by calling the Mobile Crisis Response line at 269-373-6000 or toll free at 888-373-6200. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Thank you for all you do for Family & Children Services throughout the year. I hope you and your families have a safe and happy summer.

Sherry Thomas-Cloud
Sherry Thomas-Cloud, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Family & Children Services

PS. Please watch your mail box for a copy of the agency’s 2016 annual report. In its pages, you’ll find program updates, facts and figures on people served, our financials, a list of donors, and other highlights and images of the past year.

Sherry Thomas-Cloud

Sherry Thomas-Cloud