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A Message From CEO Julie Swindler, LCSW

Last year's celebration of our 25th anniversary provided time and opportunities to reflect with pride on our accomplishments and to look to the future. Part of looking forward includes realizing that there will always be families in our community as elsewhere that need help to realize their goals for themselves and their children. We want to ensure that we are here to offer that hand up for many years to come.

For that reason, our foundation was created four years ago and is making strides in finding and securing new avenues to ensure our financial security for the future. Since the early years of Families First – beginning with Betty Bell, one of our founding board members – we have been in awe of those members of our community who have made the future success of Families First part of their legacy – through planned giving. While to many people that means naming Families First in your wills, our experts pointed out that there are so many additional means of planned giving, some with tax breaks, others that have no effect on your current financial needs.

We decided that, if we didn't know about all those planned giving avenues, then those of you wanting to help families even after your lifetime may not know either. So, we have set about to enlist experts to detail the various types of planned giving for you. You can view them here on our website by going to the Ways To Give tab. You can also contact us to learn more or receive other materials explaining the process. We encourage everyone considering this to turn to your own financial planners, tax experts, and attorneys to learn what's best for you.

I discovered in this process, as will you, that you don't have to be wealthy and you don't have to change your current financial status or lifestyle in order to leave a legacy. I have personally made changes that will someday benefit Families First.

We are so proud that our services have affected so many families and children - since 1990, Families First has served more than 15,000 families – which includes more than 37,500 children and adults. And, we want that number to grow each year for decades to come. Why? Because we know the effect of helping just one child or one family that seeks help in becoming productive and self-sufficient.  It has a resounding effect on not just that one child, or that one family, but on the community and our future.         

I try to remember each day what we have known for the past 25 years: When you change the trajectory of just one child, or one family, you are affecting generations to come.

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