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What’s New

 

Sherry Thomas-Cloud

A Message from CEO Sherry Thomas‑Cloud

December, 2020

Dear Friends:

This holiday season is a particularly challenging one for us individually and as a country- that is clear. The stresses of coping with a global pandemic for the last several months has affected every aspect of our daily lives.

We must continue to avoid social contact, indoor social gatherings and wear masks in order to keep ourselves and others safe from this brutal virus that has taken so many lives. When we do this, we are showing that we value and care about the lives of others above our natural desire to want to do otherwise.

It is all our responsibility to find a safe way to remain connected and safe.

It is critically important because of the dire consequences to do otherwise. The barriers and hardships of those we serve at Family & Children Services have not gone away, they have multiplied. Indeed, homelessness, job loss, food insecurity, emotional struggles, all have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic - coupled with the negative impact on community service agency’s ability to fully assist families at this time.

The full impact may not be felt for years, but what we do know is in the “here and now” the pandemic has brought business closures, job losses, unpaid bills, eviction notices, lack of food and basic needs for those families who have limited resources to weather the storm.

Family & Children Services has found ways to continue to service those in our community who are most in need. We have been able to provide necessities that help families continue to survive this crisis. However, we have only been able to do this through your generous donations. Please consider a gift to assist us in continuing to fight the effects of this pandemic because it is not over- not yet!

We can change the outcome. There is no more important time to give than now. Please read our feature about what is happening in our community, Never More Than Now, along with its sidebar, Making the Holidays Brighter for Others, to give you ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of those who need your help the most.

In Congratulation to 2020 Life Members, we celebrate three new life members who have been an integral part of Family & Children Services for many years with their exemplary service, helping us, helping our community. We honor Rosemary Gardiner, Peter Seaver, and Janice Maatman.

We value each and every one of you as members of the Family & Children Services community, and we wish you all a holiday season of hope for a brighter future that we all build together.

With Gratitude,


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

Never More Than Now

December, 2020

Why now?

This is what is happening now: with illness and isolation overshadowing our days, the barriers that some in our community have struggled with all along are now multiplied.

Homelessness, food insecurity, emotional challenges, all have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has affected the economy, closing businesses for the short or long term. That has meant job losses. Job losses have led to food insecurity, unpaid bills, eviction notices. These stressors in turn have led to increases in domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.

As our community faces a global health crisis and widespread shutdown, we know the need for our work at Family & Children Services will not stop but grow. COVID-19 has tested us—all of us—as never before.

And still, we stand strong, committed as ever to be an essential service provider and a critical resource for our community.

To invest in Family & Children Services is to invest in our community—your community—because we bring HOPE to individuals and families in a year when so many are on the brink of losing everything.

Read more >

Holiday Giving

Holiday Giving

Making the Holidays Brighter for Others

December, 2020

Family & Children Services cares for our clients throughout the year in many ways and by meeting many kinds of needs—but the holidays are a time of year when those needs become even greater.

While most of us think of the holiday season as a time of celebration, for many of the families and their children that we serve, the holidays can be a time of heightened fear and sadness. For children, there may not be any gifts beneath the tree, no matter how good they have been all year. Indeed, some children may have been separated from their families during the holidays.

The Holiday Giving Program has brought hope to families in crisis and to children. Donors provide in-kind donations such as holiday gifts, toys, games, clothing, household supplies and personal hygiene items to children and their families who might otherwise go without.

The In-House Holiday Store is another option to assist our clients. Community donations come from individuals, schools, churches, local businesses, and corporations. When one of our social workers or clinicians learn of a family in need in the final hours of the holiday, they can quickly select items from the store for a parent to give to a child who might otherwise have no gift.

The Year-Round Pantry is stocked with essential items most needed by families and children and crisis. Whether families need soap, toilet tissue, diapers, laundry detergent, toothpaste, or any number of everyday items, the Pantry is always open to them. Rather than stocking grocery items, we distribute ALDI gift cards. All items are new, and all are donated by you, our generous community members.

Dale Hein

Thank you for helping us brighten the holidays for our clients in crisis this holiday season.

For more information on how to participate in any of these giving programs, please contact Dale Hein, Holiday Giving Program Coordinator, at 269.373.0248 ext. 4405 or at Dale.Hein@fcsource.org.

Family & Children Services

Congratulating 2020 Life Members

December, 2020

In recognition for their exemplary service, Family & Children Services each year names Life Members. This year, we congratulate three new members. Their passion and commitment for the work of the agency has furthered our mission and benefitted countless individuals, children and families who come to us as a source of hope. Their enthusiasm for the work of the agency, offering their problem-solving skills, and their willingness to champion the agency have benefited our mission and our clients.

Rosemary Gardiner

Rosemary Gardiner

Peter Seaver

Peter Seaver

Janice Maatman

Janice Maatman

We sincerely thank these three exemplary community leaders for their dedicated service to our agency!

Read details about our new Life Members >

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