A Source of Hope: Family & Children Services…and You
’Tis the season for giving. And Family & Children Services has several ways to help you get in the giving spirit during this holiday season and throughout the year.
“We could not do all that we do without our generous donors and volunteers,” says Family & Children Services CEO Sherry Thomas-Cloud. “I wish you could see the tears of joy that your acts of kindness put on our clients’ faces, on OUR faces.”
Following are several ways that you can help us fulfill our mission during this holiday season and beyond. (Be sure to see the accompanying article on our HANDLE WITH CARE annual fund to understand the impact that your financial contribution has on our clients).
Holiday Giving Program
While the holiday season is a joyful time for most of us, it’s a time of desperation and loneliness for many we serve. Through our Holiday Giving Program, we match community donors with individuals and families in great need. Donors provide in-kind donations of food, clothing, books, toys, household supplies, personal care items, and more.
“The Holiday Giving program provides a source of hope for families in crisis and children in our Foster Care Programs who are separated from their families,” says Holiday Giving Program Coordinator Dale Hein. “It tells them that there are people in our community who care.”
According to Hein, the program has helped thousands of individuals and families since it began in 2008. In 2017, nearly 600 individuals were matched with 138 community donors, which include individuals, families, community organizations, schools, small businesses, and large corporations. In 2018, nearly 150 donors signed on to help.
Please note that the Holiday Giving Program has accepted all the donors it can accommodate for 2018. If you’d like to be a Holiday Giving Program donor in 2019, please contact Dale at Dale.Hein@fcsource.org. Until then, please consider donating to one of our programs below.
In-House Holiday Store
Often, a family’s need comes to the attention of a Family & Children’s Services therapist or worker during the final days before the holiday. Our In-House Holiday Store allows staff members to provide clients with donated items so they can have something to give to their children or other loved ones during the holiday. The In-House Store is entirely stocked by community donations.
“Donors to our In-House Holiday Store make a huge impact on our families and children,” said Development Administrator Erin Smith. “The store allows us to provide for children who come into foster care over the holidays and families who have recently started services with the agency.”
In 2017, the In-House Holiday Store served 628 individuals. There is still time to donate to our 2018 store. Please contact Erin at ErinS@fcsource.org or 373.0248, extension 4413. Items (new only, please) may be delivered to 1608 Lake St., in Kalamazoo or 778 West Columbia Ave., in Battle Creek.
Another wonderful way for businesses, organizations, families, and individuals to partner with Family & Children Services is through a donation of new items to our Year-Round Pantry, which helps clients with many essentials throughout the year.
Suggested items include health and beauty aids, diapers, wipes and formula, bed and bath linens, household cleaning supplies, table service, and kitchen wares. For a complete list, visit Year-Round Panty.
The Pantry can also accept nonperishable foods in cans, bottles, boxes, or bags, as well as clothes, toys, games, and other items.