NORWICH – Improve Norwich Now’s Fostering Futures initiative is asking for your vote for the upcoming Southern Tier Tuesdays grant program. The deadline for votes is this Thursday at noon, individuals may vote daily at southerntiertuesdays.com/voter-page-live/#/gallery.
According to Fostering Futures NY Chenango County (FFNYCC) Director Cathleen Albrecht, FFNYCC's goal is to improve outcomes for children in the foster care system who have experienced trauma by providing practical supports to foster families so they are able to provide a safe, stable, nurturing and enriched environment along with connections to the community.
Albrecht said volunteers accomplish their mission by recruiting, training, coordinating and supervising volunteer teams that go into the foster homes in a supportive and encouraging way. She said while the coronavirus has made it difficult to recruit new volunteers, the current teams are doing well and still actively working with their communities.
She added that FFNYCC has been selected as one of 11 nonprofit initiatives to compete for $2,000 in grants through Southern Tier Tuesdays which Aunt Mary’s House, another Improve Norwich Now affiliated organization recently won.
“People are so intimidated because of the coronavirus, but fortunately we still have options and ways for our existing volunteers to help out,” said Albrecht. “Things like making a meal for a family can still be done from home and delivered to the family a couple times a week to help give foster parents a night off.”
“Winning $2,000 in grant money could help our operating costs, and allow us to process more applications as they come in.”
She said doing background checks on potential team members is an important part of their state mandated process, and ideally a celebration with the families at least once a year would be preferred.
She added that the community can help support FFNYCC by voting for it at https://southerntiertuesdays.com/voter-page-live/#/gallery once per day until this Thursday at noon.
“We’re competing against 11 other great organizations for this grant, but this is an awesome opportunity to support this program by voting online,” said Albrecht. “If we don’t people can still vote for us on the Southern Tier Tuesday website anytime we’re in the running for the grant.”
“We’re also in the process of developing our fifth team, so we hope to see more people reach out before the end of the year.”
She said those who are interested in learning more about Fostering Futures may visit the Improve Norwich Now website at https://www.improvenorwichnow.org/fostering-futures/ for additional information. She added that updates for the program may also be found at the Improve Norwich Now Facebook page.