Programs and Services
"Families Helping Families is focused on the children.
It is important to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
It is our goal to help meet the needs of these children."
- Leanne Loehr, President of Families Helping Families.
Clothing Closet • Located in the lower level of the Families Helping Families office, year-round we provide new and gently used clothing out of the lower level of the FHF office. It is stocked with new and gently used items of clothing and furniture suitable for children aged newborn - 18 years. Clothing Closet is staffed by board members and community volunteers.
Back to School Rally • Supplies include book bags, folders, notebooks, pencils, pens, glue, markers, colored pencils, pencil box, and padlocks and mathematical calculators for the high school students. Local businesses and organizations support our effort by holding school supply drives. The 2012 Back to School Rally resulted in over 600 children in foster care receiving a new backpack fully stocked with new school supplies, a voucher for a free haircut, and a $50 shoe voucher. Extra backpacks were filled for local Department of Human Services to ensure that children entering foster care during the school year would continue their schooling in an organized fashion.
School Supply Closet • Located in the Clothing Closet, book bags and school supplies are available to any foster family that has school-aged children placed with them in the middle of the school year. Foster families, teachers and schools may request supplies during the entire school year.
Shoe Voucher Program • Through a collaboration with the local Kiwanis Club, each child residing in foster care, relative placement, or suitable other placement is eligible to receive one shoe voucher valued at $50 redeemable at Kohl’s Department Store. Thanks to funds received from the Kiwanis Club, private donations, and grants, we were able to dedicate over $20,000 in funding to provide over 377 pairs of shoes in the past five years.
Spread Your Wings Program • The Spread Your Wings Program helps children in local family foster care, relative placement or suitable other placement gain confidence by supporting their participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, art/music lessons, dance/gymnastics classes, martial arts, Special Olympics, etc. We have funded over 50 children and youth's extracurricular actives by providing financial assistance for program fees, supplies and equipment, and uniform costs.
Holiday Giving Tree • In December 2011, FHF hosted its first Holiday Christmas party for children in family foster care. The event catered to over 200 children! Our many gracious volunteers sponsored activities and donated their precious time. Local area businesses and organizations made this event possible by hosting a giving tree and/or having a toy drive on behalf of FHF. They brought so many smiles to the faces of these special children.
FHF Network • Through networking we have been able to fulfill many needs for children and families like locating children’s furniture, car seats, high chairs, etc. FHF also lends informal peer support, especially for new foster families who request it. FHF also seeks to cooperatively support the work of professionals who advocate for the children in need.
Gift Cards • Many gift cards have been provided to assist teenage children with clothing and necessary grooming items.
Closing the Gap • In February 2012 we added a tutoring component to the options offered through our Spread Your Wings program, Closing the Gap tutoring program is a free program offered to children and youth academically struggling. The program is designed to provide one-on-one tutoring, twice a week with a local professional. We feel this special attention not only helps students academically, but also helps build a foundation of trust and security. All of the programs funded through Spread Your Wings are designed to help foster care children succeed academically, socially, and physically We know that participating in extracurricular activities builds self-confidence, facilitates teamwork and camaraderie, and helps them to succeed academically and socially.