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No Frills at family support

by Joyce Hollister, Staff Writer

There are no frills at the Family Support Council these days, for the agency will run short of cash this fiscal year.

“We are in the hole $17,000 that we have to make up for by the end of June,” said Director Karen Edwards.

“It’s a small amount, but when you look at the whole budget, it’s a very important part. You just can’t go without $15,000 or $20,000.”

Edwards and the Family Support Council’s board are asking people who may have a extra cash to spend before the end of December to send it their way.

“If you know you want to have a tax write-off this year,” she said, “we can really use it.”

Donations to the non-profit Family Support Council’s programs are down this year, and Edwards said she’s not sure why, but perhaps people are earmakring their contributions to the domestic violence shelter fund instead.

Area organizations, businesses and individuals have been supporting the fund for more than two years.

Edwards said that the campaign for the domestic violence shelter is on track. A house has been donated and land has been promised.

“It’s coming along very well,” she said. “It’s just a matter of raising the rest of the money. We will need to move the house, that sort of thing.”

Edwards is glad the shelter campaign is going well.

“People are really excited about the shelter, and I am, too,” she said. “But I want to let people now the programs are what makes the Family Support Council. We can have the biggest, best shelter in the world, but if we don’t have the best programs, it will be difficult to provide the quality resources and programs the shelter needs – so the programs are extremely important.”

Edwards said staff members have been very cautious with their budget. For instance, the staff has not been able to attend many training conferences in order to save money.

“These things we like to offer our staff,” Edwards said, “to keep them well educated in the different areas we work with. Those are the things that have to go when you’re short of money.”

The Family Support Council offers a variety of parenting classes, sexual assault program as well as its domestic violence program, a mediation program for juvenile offenders and their victims, mediation services and various support groups.

Its budget for this year is $378,00.

The Family Support Council Thrift Shop at 1224 Pep Circle in Gardnerville helps to raise funds for the agency’s programs, and the board of directors is in the planning stages for the council’s annual fund-raiser, to be held in March 2001.