Paint a chair, help the community

Friday, April 1, 2011

Putnam County Family Support Services needs people to paint chairs.

The group intends to have community members decorate chairs and then hold a silent auction as a fundraiser.

"In the 10 years that I've been here, this is the first major fundraiser that we've done," said Cari Cox, the executive director of Family Support Services. "We have invited the community- Community members, organizations, businesses and individuals to create a chair. They can paint it, decorate it or do whatever they want."

Cox said she originally got the idea for the fundraiser from a similar event held in Vigo County. She said the chairs will be auctioned at an annual meeting.

"On May 20 we are holding our annual meeting, open house and fund raising event which is the silent auction to auction off the chairs," Cox said. "We just want to get the word out to the community that we are soliciting their help in creating the chairs."

Cox said the deadline to sign up to make a chair is April 11 by 5 p.m. She also said that she's hoping for around 10 to 12 chairs to auction off.

She wants the chairs turned in by May 6, so that her group can whet the public's appetite for the chairs.

"We're going to display them in our windows and put them on our website and Facebook page, so the community can view them prior to the auction," Cox said.

Cox said the reason this is the first fundraiser Family Support Services has done is simply an increased need.

"We've lost a lot of funding, Cox said. "Really this is a fundraiser for the Healthy Families Program. Since September 2009, they've given us a course of two years over which they are reducing our funding. By September 2011 our funding for our largest program will be reduced by 48 percent."

Cox said the organization has gone through many steps to cut on spending, including their recent move and expanding their coverage area.

The mission of the Family Support Services is to prevent child abuse, neglect and domestic violence through education, guidance, intervention and supportive services. Most of their programs are preventive and voluntary and Cox said that they work with around 1,000 area families.

Cox said she's hopeful the necessary funding will come from the Putnam County United Way, which would make the fundraiser a safety net of sorts.

To sign up to make a chair, provide a name, address, contact phone number, chair theme and an e-mail address to Family Support Services.

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