March 2014

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MARCH 2014

Philanthropy: A Quality of Life

A Message from Family & Youth’s President and CEO

Philanthropy is the act of individual citizens contributing their time and treasures along with their skills to promote the well being of others and the betterment of the community in which they live. The spirit of generosity in the country and here in Southwest Louisiana is much stronger today. Moreover, corporate philanthropy continues to redefine the purpose and value of giving in our communities. Individual, together with corporate giving, continues to sustain innovation and build a diverse spectrum of services provided by the nonprofit sector to positively affect our quality of life. Visionary leaders in our field continue to demonstrate that when individual and corporate philanthropy is managed as an investment in society, it can become a powerful catalytic force for change.

(l-r) Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach; Julio Galan, Family & Youth President & CEO; Charles Timpa, First Federal Bank President & CEO, Christine Perry; Phil & DeWanna Tarver; Kerry Andersen, Family Foundation Board of Trustees Chair & Pinnacle Entertainment Director of Community Relations; and Greg Guilbeaux, Entergy Louisiana Senior Region Manager

Just this month,the “How America Gives” report at showed that Louisiana ranks 28th in the country with a total giving of $1.5 billion dollars. Our Louisiana citizens give over 5% of their income to our communities. Calcasieu Parish ranks 342 of 3,115 parishes (counties) nationwide with a total contribution close to $100 million dollars. Our Southwest Louisiana citizens give over 6% of their income for the betterment of our community. I know that the demand for family and children services, creative community wide art, quality education and preventive services, to name a few, will increase exponentially with our amazing economic growth projections. I also know that our citizens will respond to the new demands to ensure that our children and families prosper and our communities thrive in the midst of economic growth. Philanthropic investments made to our organization over the past decade have facilitated the creation of models and initiatives beneficial to children and families. Models that have been written, tested and replicated in other communities including post-partum depression treatment, grief counseling for children, leadership development for youth, civic engagement training, and workforce support to name a few. Your investments have encouraged us to continue to improve our effective and efficient business model of service integration under one management umbrella resulting in cost efficiencies. Our business model has been presented at several conferences at the national level. Our local corporations acknowledge the importance of recognizing individual and peer giving and they deserve recognition. According to the data presented by the National Philanthropic Growth, 62% of high givers cite “giving back to Continued on page 2

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the community” as a chief motivation for giving. The Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, the endowment arm of Family and Youth recently partnered with ENTERGY to present Philanthropist Awards to our very own givers: Christine Perry, Phil and DeWanna Tarver, and First Federal Bank of Louisiana. Since 2003, The Family Foundation has been recognizing outstanding citizens and corporations who consistently give of their time, talents and treasures for the betterment of our community. Southwest Louisiana has been truly Julio Galan President and CEO of Family and Youth

blessed by generous investments by individuals and corporations. With your continued support, our organization plans to continue to work with our community leaders to support the expected economic growth by offering relevant and timely professional support initiatives to benefit our children, families and communities. This is a very good time to invest in quality of life and safety net services to support SWLA’s economic growth. Please consider making a financial investment to United way or the nonprofit of your choice. A “Back the Mission” brochure outlining the many ways you can invest through our organization is enclosed with this newsletter for your consideration. You can also visit www. to make an investment in the mission. Thank you for your continued support.

You Have the Right

by David Duplechian Vice President of Advocacy

She came to see me in the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) late on a Tuesday afternoon. Despite the information I had been given about what to expect from her, she was polite, friendly, engaging; and we had a good time playing in the lobby. Just prior to the interview I met with her to explain the process and answer any questions she may have. I asked her if she was ok to talk to me, and she just kind of shrugged her shoulders, put her head down, and mumbled “not really.” I asked how come? She hesitated a long moment before looking up at me with tears in her eyes and said “Will you please listen to me, will you please not ignore me, will you please believe me”? What could I say? Of course I will. We went to the interviewing room and she told through tears, in words, and in drawings, the story of what has been going on in her life. This was not the worst case of abuse I’ve ever seen, and the physical injuries were not as bad as most, but I can tell you without a doubt that she was the most brokenhearted child I’ve ever interviewed, and she left me brokenhearted as well. Just a few weeks before a friend of mine sent me something from a book she was “I can tell you with reading – Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul out a doubt that she Mason. It listed Certain Rights in a Basic Rewas the most lationship. Those rights included: The right to live free from emotional and physical abuse. brokenhearted child I’ve The right to have your feelings and experiences acknowledged as real. The right to be ever interviewed, and heard and to be responded to with courtesy she left me and respect. As I thought about this little girl that night, brokenhearted as well.” and so many times in the days since, I put two and two together and realized that she showed up at CAC because I, the detectives and DCFS workers, the CASA Volunteers, the Sane Nurses and the Doctors and the Counselors, the District Attorney and the Judges, and indeed the community at large, all acknowledge her right to live free from emotional and physical abuse. But when she asked me to listen, to not ignore, to believe, she was asking for me, and anyone else, to recognize her right to have her feelings and experiences acknowledged as real, and her right to be heard and to be responded to with courtesy and respect. On that Tuesday afternoon, this little girl could not have listed those basic rights, but she knew they were being denied her, and it hurt her deeply, more so than even the physical abuse itself. When my friend sent me those basic rights, she said “It made me think of what you all do in the CAC to protect and uphold the rights of others, specifically children who do not always have the power nor the ability to protect or even know of their own basic natural rights”. In essence, that is what we do, and what you do when you support our mission. On behalf of this little girl, and the 511 other children we saw in the CAC in 2013, your support of Family and Youth is appreciated.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy by Maria Alcantara Faul, Vice President of Development “It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a CFAN (Children and Family Action Network). The Family tree that will some day give shade to people Foundation’s goal is to develop endowments which will assist in perpetuating the programs and services of Family & he may never meet.” - David Trueblood Every one of us has the opportunity to plant a seed… the fruit of which will provide vital services to Southwest Louisiana children and families for generations to come. The Family Foundation established in 2000, is the endowment arm of Family & Youth. Its mission is to provide affordable and professional support through programs and services dedicated to advocacy, counseling, and education for individuals and families in Southwest Louisiana. Family and Youth currently manages 8 initiatives, all geared toward accomplishing its mission. They are the Autism Support Alliance, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), CAC (Children’s Advocacy Center),The Shannon Cox Counseling Center, HSRI (Human Services Response Institute), The Leadership Center for Youth, Performance EAP, and 2

Youth, so that it can continue to provide vital services for future generations. Long-term giving by establishing an endowment with the Family Foundation is an ideal way of contributing to the sustainability of Family & Youth programs and services; and has rewards for you, your family and the community as a whole. It is a way to convey you and your family’s values through your generosity of a future gift to the Southwest Louisiana community. It is a foresighted action to strengthen the causes that you and your family support through Family & Youth and will assist future generations through your philanthropy today. Long-term giving is for everybody, not just the wealthy; and it represents a meaningful way to reflect and express one’s values and strengths, and strengthen the causes you

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care about for the future. Family & Youth would not be able to achieve its mission without the support of all its donors. Your contributions and support fortifies Family & Youth’s ability to respond to people desperately in need of help. You can support Family & Youth, through the Family Foundation, in a variety of ways: you can set up an annual endowed donation to the Family Foundation; name the Family Foundation on the beneficiary form of a savings, checking, or pension account; remembering the Family Foundation in a will or living trust; and a myriad of other options. Because an endowment gift to the Family Foundation will be invested permanently, it will serve as a permanent tribute to you and your family’s values for future generations.

Good Mourning Gang by Candis Carr, Ed.D Senior Vice President

Death of a parent or sibling is a trauma that permanently changes a child. No matter what we do, there’s just no “getting over it.” This reality makes the Grief Initiative of the Shannon Cox Counseling Center critically important. We know that death upends everything we take for granted – especially the precious relationships we didn’t even know we valued so dearly. And because children are especially wired for contact, losing a parent or sibling becomes an isolating experience that puts children at risk. We can never forget that kids aren’t expecting painful things to happen to them. Grieving children are told, perhaps by many, that they are not alone, but in truth they feel totally alone after the death of a parent or sibling. And many of our child clients have lost family members due to violent acts. As a result of our work with many grieving children, we are thankful to have discovered a dependable way of altering a child’s feelings of isolation – if only for a day. Children who participate in the Good Mourning Gang (a therapeutic day camp created by counselors to give children time and space to explore feelings and to share their stories with one another) happily tell us that just being in the presence of “other kids like me…..makes me feel right….. makes me feel calm.” Sharing time and guided activities with other children who are experiencing a similar pain opens the door to some degree of acceptance and the beginnings of resilience. A seven year old states it simply: “I just feel better being here with other kids ‘like me.’” By participating in a variety of therapeutic experiences within the framework of the Grief Initiative, children are able to figure out what they are feeling. In the counseling setting, or at the day camp, they can mourn, show anger, fret, laugh, cry, complain, remain silent, or share any thought they care to. One parent said, in amazement, “My children didn’t stop talking about the Good Mourning Gang for days.” Two of her four children participated in a Good Mourning Gang after their big sister, the eldest child, died at age 15. Of special note is that previous to the camp

Just a small seed grows into a large plant, your contributions to The Family Foundation can grow into a substantial endowment fund that will nourish and sustain Family & Youth services for generations to come. By “planting a seed” with an endowment with the Family Foundation, you create a philanthropic legacy for your family and the causes that you care about. Helping future generations. For more information, please call me at 337-436-9533 or send me an e-mail at [email protected]

“Long term giving is not just for the wealthy... it is for everybody.” experience, the second-born child, age 11, had been acting out her pain and anger on everyone in the family! By attending the day camp and also by participating in individual counseling with a Grief Initiative counselor, the 11 year old was able to figure out, on her own, the real reason for her anger. “My sister was the one I talked to about everything. She always gave me advice. Now, I no longer have her to hear me.” The Grief Initiative began on June 1, 2011. Counselors worked with 175 grieving children that year. In 2012, another 181 clients received counseling, and by the end of 2013, the total number of children participating in the Grief Initiative rose to 481 and the work is far from over. Today, children participate at no cost to families, and we want to

ensure that the Grief Initiative continues to help children in the same way going forward. Here’s one way you can help. Donations to the Grief Initiative, big and small, directly support our specialized services for children, thus helping to insure that families can participate, regardless of their ability to pay. Every gift means we can serve more children; help more families. Every gift means a vulnerable child will receive professional support following the death of a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, or other significant family member when that support is needed most. To make a lasting difference in the life of a child, please consider making a gift to the Grief Initiative of the Shannon Cox Counseling Center, a division of Family & Youth. To learn more or to make comments, I welcome your emails: [email protected] Thank you for supporting Family & Youth and for considering an investment in this meaningful initiative.


WHAT’S INSIDE Philanthropy: A Quality of Life You Have the Right

Family & Youth 220 Louie St. Lake Charles, LA 70611

Non Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Lake Charles, LA Permit No. 240


Leaving a Lasting Legacy Good Mourning Gang Family & Youth is a United Way Agency. It is licensed by the State of Louisiana and is certified by the Standards for Excellence Institute; Quality Council under the Baldridge Criteria; and the National Children’s Alliance. It is a member of the Alliance for Children and Families; Employee Assistance Professional Association; as well as the National and Southwest Louisiana Autism Society Associations. It is a full member of the National Children’s Alliance, KidsCan of SWLA,Chamber SWLA, as well as the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families.

Mark your Calendar: May 3, 2014

at the Stables at Le Bocage

Time to put on your Derby Hats and Derby Duds!

Join us on May 3, 2014, 4 pm to 8 pm for Derby for Dollars at Stables at LeBocage. Proceeds from the event benefit the Shannon Cox Counseling Center which supports grieving children, and their families. Limited tickets available at $100 per person. For more information contact Maria at [email protected] or call 436-9533.