Families Forward Community Connections - Winter 2017
Help Feed Local Families in Need
Families Forward needs your help! With children out of school during the summer months Families Forward always see a higher demand for services and not enough food to meet the need. To prepare, we have set a goal of collecting over 150 barrels of food during the months of March, April and May to feed over 4,000 children and adults. There are many ways you can get involved:  
Your help can ensure that no child in our community goes without dinner!
Unique Opportunity for Families Forward
Families Forward has been honored to receive a grant from the Fieldstone Foundation in conjunction with the Claire Rose Foundation for Margie Wakeham, Executive Director, to take a 3 month sabbatical. 

This is an exciting time for the organization and will provide growth opportunities for both staff and Board members. 

Margie has written a letter to you, our dedicated supporters, detailing the sabbatical and all it entails.  If you have any insights you would like to share with Margie and the organization before she leave in March, we would love to have you visit our program center or schedule a call. Contact us at 949-552-2727.
Community Resource Fair
Orange County continues to see a significant demand for basic services among families, many of whom have never had to access social services before and have no idea how to begin.
To help assist these families, Families Forward, in collaboration with many other Orange County service providers, is proud to be co-hosting our 9th Annual Community Resource Fair on April 29th, 2017 on the campus of Irvine Valley College. In 2016, we had over 600 attendees who received much needed services and resources from 61 local community service organizations.  Direct services at this year's event will include:
  • Free dental and medical health screenings
  • Credit counseling, career consulting, and legal assistance
  • Family services, such as food distribution, WIC, financial literacy, and others
  • Children's activities to ensure that the day is fun for all!  
To learn more about the Community Resource Fair and how you can get involved, please visit our website.
A Mother Escapes Abuse for her Children
Karen came to Families Forward as a 27 year old, single mother of 6, fleeing domestic violence. At the time, she was unemployed and living in her car with her three youngest children, all under 3 years of age. "I had no choice but to live in my car," Karen said "It was either that, or going back to the abuse." 

Read more about Karen's journey to stability  here.
Moving Families to Homes of Their Own
At Families Forward, one of the many struggles we see our families face is the barrier of furniture transportation. A family may be able to acquire donated furniture, but cannot rent a moving van, or may secure housing, but are unable to afford moving costs. We are excited to share our new partnership with Two Men and a Truck, who have generously donated their moving services to the families in our program. Through their partnership, families will face one less obstacle to finding stability.

Many local businesses partner with Families Forward to improve our shared community. If you are interested in finding ways for your company to get involved, visit our website or contact Katie Szymczak  to discuss various volunteer opportunities.
Family Homelessness in the News
Broke: Why more California families are becoming homeless

SoCal Counties Lack Homeless Shelters for Families

Unsung hero: Allison Rabin helps kids get involved in helping homeless
How you can help!
Families Forward relies on the support of the community, whether through volunteering, referring families in need of assistance, 
product donations or financial contributions.  

Your commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable families makes the difference.

Families Forward | info@families-forward.org | (949) 552-2727

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