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Nonprofit group urges banding together to help

Staff writer

Nonprofit group Families and Communities Together needs contributions to continue to provide services for children and their families.

FACT dates to 1999 as an affiliate of Communities in Schools. It no longer is an affiliate but still works with the same client demographic.

“Poverty does exist in our county and communities, and it affects the quality of life for all of us,” director Terry Bebermeyer said. “It takes a whole community working together and supporting each other to sustain its unity, vitality, and communal spirit.”

FACT remains an umbrella nonprofit for county services to children and families. It has coordinated with and been funded by state and federal agencies.

“Back in 1997, I think it was, I worked for Prairie View,” the group’s first director, Linda Ogden, said. “We applied for a $6,000 grant through the 8th Judicial District. Money came from the federal level for redoing the juvenile justice system. We got the grant.”

Ogden was project director and executive director for the first iteration of the group — Communities in Schools Marion County.

Since then, FACT has developed and coordinated after-school programs, youth-leadership programs (including Marion County Youth Court), parent and community educational events, school drop-out prevention programs, and childhood mental health services.

It is the parent organization for the county’s Early Child Task Force, Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Early Childhood Collaborative, Resource and Referral, and Families Financial Assistance Network.

Bebermeyer has led the group the past four years.

The county has provided $6,000 “each and every year,” Ogden said.

The group estimates it has poured $2 million into the local economy through salaries and supplies.

“Every year, FACT receives contributions from surrounding communities that are part of Central Kansas Community Foundation,” Ogden said. “Marion Advancement Campaign is not part of Central Kansas Community Foundation. MAC has done a lot of good, but MAC doesn’t give out grants. We could use a lot of help.”

Among the ways the help would be to:

  • Purchase disposable diapers and baby wipes and donate them to the FACT office.
  • Participate in a local Angel Tree project during the holiday season by purchasing a Christmas gift for a child in need.
  • Donate food to Marion County Food Bank by dropping off items via a local church.
  • Volunteer with Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts or local church.
  • Donate money to one of four Ministerial Alliances in Marion County through any pastor or church office.  Donations also may be made to Marion County Salvation Army in care of Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to the Family Financial Assistance Fund through Families and Communities Together, Inc.

More information is available from Bebermeyer at (620) 957-3184 or fact@usd410.net.

Last modified Dec. 21, 2022

 

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