The fifth annual Mardi Gras Party was held in March – what a great event it was! It was a reminder of just how fortunate we are to have such a dynamic and diverse community that supports the mission of FSS and the clients we serve. FSS could not provide the valuable crisis, counseling, and education services it does without the support of our donors and volunteers.
April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Staff and volunteers worked hard all month to get the word out to “be a SAAMaritan, not a bystander.” Awareness events were held throughout the month, and many of you signed pledge cards pledging to be a SAAMaritan.
Also in April, the FSS Strengthening Families Program was awarded the Amarillo ISD District Impact Award for "Dedicated Service to the Students of the AISD." The Strengthening Families Program is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social competencies and school performance. This award is a testament to the hard work and effectiveness of the Strengthening Families Team.
Family Support Services has started Equine Assisted Therapy (EAP) for mothers and children residing in our domestic violence shelter. EAP is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or "brief" approach, which pairs well with the short times that residents stay at our shelter. We are able to provide EAP through a grant from the Women’s Philanthropy Fund.
FSS welcomes several new volunteer board members; Tracye Henderson joined the board in December, and Ernesto Guzman and Valerie Levario joined the board in April. We are lucky to have such outstanding community members on the FSS board.
You are the big reason why the families we serve are receiving these essential services. Our families, friends, and neighbors are happier, enjoying better mental health, staying in school longer, and recovering from traumatic life events thanks to you. Without your help, we will fall short of our goal of raising $100,000 through our 20th Annual Harley Party Fundraiser. Many of you have already responded generously by purchasing tickets and sponsorships. We are so very grateful. We hope that by July 26th; those of you who have not yet been able to do so, can help us reach this goal, so that we can continue to reach towards fulfilling our vision- “A community where individuals and families are healthy, stable, and violence-free.”
To keep up-to-date on what is going on at FSS, please “Like” our Facebook page, and follow our news blog on our website fss-ama.org. We can also be found on Twitter @FSSAmarillo, and have started a new YouTube channel “Family Support Services of Amarillo.” This YouTube channel will serve as a conduit for educational and awareness videos created by our staff.