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December, 2018

“Jordan” has more woes than any 13-year-old should have to bear: A learning disability, one parent with a mental illness, another with a substance use disorder.

Then, his family moved into a homeless shelter and within a few days, his plastic tote full of clothes was stolen. Distressed by having to wear the same dirty clothes every day, he stopped going to school.

In tears, he told his worker from Family & Children Services what had happened. In tears, she turned to HANDLE WITH CARE, the agency’s annual fund that has helped thousands of people like Jordan.

“HANDLE WITH CARE is unique to our agency,” says Courtenay VanderMolen, Director of Resource Development. “No dollar goes to support our bottom line. Every dollar goes directly to meet critical client needs and to provide direct client services when there is no other source in the community.”

“I wish you could have seen the tears of joy on Jordan’s face – and ours – when he received a large duffle bag full of new clothes. He is now back in school and doing much better, thanks to our generous donors.”

Through the years, HANDLE WITH CARE donors have provided critical client needs and services, such as appliances, auto repairs, beds (for babies, children, and adults), clothing, educational supplies and tutoring, furniture basics, household necessities, laundry, pest remediation, public transportation, rent and mortgage payment, trauma treatment, utilities, and more.

“HANDLE WITH CARE has been a hard-working vehicle supporting our child welfare, behavioral health, and crisis services,” Courtenay says. “Donors have helped remove a lot of barriers to our clients’ healing.”

Here are a few other recent examples of how HANDLE WITH CARE donors have helped:

  • Kayla” was born with impaired vision. When she reached age five, her doctors said glasses might help. But the family could not afford them. When HANDLE WITH CARE paid for glasses, she could see her parents faces clearly for the first time.
  • Roger,” who lost his two part-time jobs due to an off-the-job injury, fell behind on his power bill and received a shutoff notice. When HANDLE WITH CARE paid his bill, it meant Roger and his two children could stay in their home while he found a new job and got back on his feet, which he did.
  • Bill and Sue,” a local couple with limited means, struggled to help their daughter overcome her severe depression and recover from a suicide attempt. Yet, they managed. Until their car radiator failed and they could not drive her to therapy sessions. When HANDLE WITH CARE paid for the car repair, the entire family was back on the road to better health.

“Our facilities are top notch, our programs are evidenced-based and effective, our staff members are experienced, trained, and compassionate,” Courtenay says. “But sometimes none of that matters if there are other obstacles in our clients’ lives. This is where HANDLE WITH CARE – and our generous donors – literally save the day.”

“Together, we have the power to disrupt the cycles of generational poverty, trauma, abuse, neglect, mental illness and hopelessness that impact children and families in our care.”

“Thank you for your continued support.”

The 2019 HANDLE WITH CARE annual fund is now underway. Please visit //fcsource.org/ways-to-give-hwc.html to make a secure donation.


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Courtenay VanderMolen

Courtenay VanderMolen
Director of Resource Development