January 2014
 news and notes

Network of Caring
It may be cold outside but here at Family Ark we know that there are many warmhearted folks in our region.The generosity of our community is what makes us so excited about this coming year! Our network of caring continues to grow as we reach out to new partners, potential foster parents and interested donors. The year 2014 holds much promise for us to broaden our mission to children and families!
There's Still Time to Give!
This year's Annual Fund campaign runs through the end of our fiscal year - March 31, 2014 and that means there is still time to give to this year's campaign! We're so close to reaching our goal of $25,000 but we need your further support to get us there! Thanks to all who have already given to this important campaign to support critical services for neglected and abused children in Southern Indiana. For your convenience, online giving is now possible at www.thefamilyark.org. Please share this giving opportunity on your social networks! 
Family Ark Offering Scholarships
Previous scholarship winners with current and past Family Ark Board members.
Each year, Family Ark (formerly Regional Youth Services, Inc.) awards scholarships to children who are current or previous clients of the agency at any point since its founding in 1973. The applicants will be selected based on several criteria including an interview, letters of recommendation, financial need, academic record, and extracurricular and community activities. Previous scholarship winners may reapply. Scholarships are a minimum of $500 and up to a maximum of $5,000. The Board of Directors determines the amount and the number of scholarships awarded each year, which may be used only for tuition, fees, books and room/board. The Virginia Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Virginia Walker, an agency foster parent. Since 2001, the fund has awarded more than $55,000 to students of varying ages. The next deadline for application is February 28, 2014. Call (812) 288-6800 for more information or go to www.thefamilyark.org.
A Very Happy Family Ark Story

Foster care can be a temporary home for a child, allowing a birth family to safely work through a crisis followed by the child returning to a home that has had time to heal and grow. However, when that is not possible, Family Ark wants to ensure all children have a forever family-adoptive parents who will be there for all of life's challenges and joys. We recently witnessed that joyous outcome for one of our foster families.


Gary Stallings and Paul Kilbourne accepted placement of two brothers in December of 2011.  These two young boys demonstrated resiliency as they received substantial therapeutic support. Over time, it became clear that returning the boys to their birth family was not going to be an option.  "When reunification was obviously not going to occur we decided to inquire about adoption. Family Ark staff assisted us with a new home study and even showed up at the adoption hearing to support us," Paul said.  The journey to giving these two boys a loving, permanent home took about a year, but on November 14th 2013, all parties were in a court room in Indianapolis to make the boys place in the Stallings/Kilbourne family official. "The feeling of becoming permanent parents to our two children was one of the happiest feelings in our lives. We highly suggest exploring the world of foster parenting.  The children make it so worthwhile," Paul said afterwards.


Family Ark wishes Gary, Paul, and their new family all the best!    

Free Information Meeting for Potential Foster Parents
Family Ark will host a free information meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2014 for anyone interested in becoming a foster parent. The information meeting is from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Lodge on the Family Ark campus at 101 Noah's Lane, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Light snacks will be provided. Come and find out the steps and requirements to becoming a foster parent! Call (812) 282-8479 or email mkarman@thefamilyark.org for more information. 
Judges Round Table
Judge Vicki Carmichael
On Friday, January 24th, Family Ark hosted Judges Round Table, a monthly luncheon for provider agencies and referral sources. The Round Table provides a venue for attendees to come together and discuss the needs of and resources available for children and families in Clark County. Thanks to Judge Vicki Carmichael and all the folks who attended! We loved having you here at the Lodge!

Save the Date!
Attendees of 2013 1st Annual Giving Hope to Families fundraiser
Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 24, 2014 for the 2nd Annual Giving Hope to Families fundraiser to benefit child and family programs! We are looking for table sponsorships, auction donations and folks who just want to have fun! Stay tuned for more details on our website at www.thefamilyark.org or email dnichols@thefamilyark.org!

Wishes Came True Because of You!
Family Ark staff helping to unload children's gifts from a Geek Squad truck!
During this recent holiday season, we were overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the many generous donations for our children. Thanks to all who were so kind and caring, our children had amazing holiday experiences! A quote from one of our foster parents who said it best, "From the 'haul' for the boys I can tell there will be MANY very excited and happy children this Christmas. What a blessing for these children. Sadly, this may be more possessions than many have ever owned in their past. They each deserve the opportunity to feel 'spoiled' for Christmas."

Wishes really did come true because of you!   
Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner
Jeanean Jacobs, Family Ark President/CEO with foster parent, Lemual Sikes.
Staff and board members gathered at the Lodge on December 19th to celebrate Family Ark foster parents. The evening included parents and children having a fun dinner, awards to foster parents, and a surprise visit from Santa! Family Ark is appreciative of our amazing foster parents who are committed, caring, and supportive of the children in their care. They are making such a positive difference in the lives of children in Southern Indiana. Thank you!!
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www.thefamilyark.org      812.288.6800