Agency seeks public support as it sets broader goals

Agency seeks public support as it sets broader goals
January 08
00:00 2015
(pictured above:  Chanel Davis A view of Family Services’ 1200 S. Broad St. headquarters.)

Family Services has a new vision statement and is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to fully implement it.

“We envision a community working together to ensure that all families and children are safe, secure and able to reach their full potential,” the agency’s vision statement reads.

To that end, Family Services is highlighting its childcare and domestic violence services and showing how all of their programs work together while trying to raise funds during its $250,000 annual campaign.

President and CEO Bob Feikema said financial help from the community is essential to ensuring all children have the opportunity to enroll in quality, affordable early childhood development programs and all families and individuals are free from the threat of family violence and sexual assault. Federal and state subsidies for the agency’s Head Start and numerous domestic violence programs have been cut in recent years, making the need to generate funds independently more urgent.



“This campaign is important because it really reflects the support of the community for the agency. The real strength of an agency lies in how individuals support an agency directly,” Feikema said. “Unless we have strong support from members of the community it weakens us. We need to have a back and forth relationship with members of the community we serve.”

The agency is soliciting the public to make unrestricted donations that can be used wherever a shortfall may arise in the agency. The public funds the agency receives are restricted and must be used for a specified program or initiative. Money from the campaign will be able to strengthen the other programs in the agency that those who benefit from the domestic violence and Head Start programs also use.

“We need to have people who know what we do and have people who are as committed as we are to help. That support can sustain you through the up and downs of public funding,” Feikema said. “Unrestricted dollars allow us to accomplish goals that we can’t through public funding like the strategic planning process.”



Development Manager Michael Heelan said during a planning retreat last summer, Family Services employees and board members looked down the road and envisioned where they would like to see the agency in the near future.

One of those visions was to make sure that they had their own identity.The agency provides community education, awareness and services that help residents with adoption, counseling, domestic and familial issues that include domestic violence, childcare, family counseling and adoption.

Heelan said the group decided to change the agency’s logo colors from red and black to orange and purple to distinguish the agency from Senior Services – which, like Family Services, incorporates a heart in its logo – and to promote Family Services as a whole and not just its many varied programs.

He said the consensus was that when people identified with Family Services, it was more through the programs they offered. Heelan said many of Family Services’ programs work in unison. He highlighted the agency’s Time-Out, a court-mandated class that helps at-risk offenders learn to communicate and develop healthy relationships. He said the program could also help someone in counseling or a number of other agency offerings.

“Everything we do is about a family model,” he said. “Just because domestic violence is the cause you believe in doesn’t mean that the cycle may not be broken in one of our counseling rooms.”

For more information or to donate, visit the website at or call 336-722-8173.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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