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Family Resources of Rutherford County's Annual Holiday Tour Benefits Much Needed Programs

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Photograph provided by Leslie Saer

"Family Resources is excited to announce for their 25th annual holiday fundraising event, that Bill and Leslie Saer will once again be opening their home" says Sherry Bright, Executive Director of Family Resources. "Leslie has such a special gift for decorating. We hope you are able to join us to tour this splendid home. You will not be disappointed."

With all proceeds going to benefit the PATH Shelter, Clara Allen Family Center, and Noah's House, those of us who are fortunate enough to have safe and loving homes can support these programs while enjoying the splendor of the home of Bill and Leslie Saer. "I have served on the board of directors for Family Resources for several years. I truly believe in their mission and the work they do for families and children in Rutherford County. I love Christmas and feel such a joy when I decorate for the holidays. Sharing my home and love for decorating is a small way I can help make a difference." says Leslie.

At this time of the year, when the upcoming holidays bring stress and uncertainty for some families, there's no greater need, nor any greater reward, than to give, and giving to those in the most dire situations is what the season is all about.

This is just one example of the impact these services can have an someone's life. The PATH Shelter provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence including shelter, court and personal advocacy, counseling and case management and Noah's House provides emergency shelter for children who have been removed from their home by the Department of Social Services due to abuse and/or neglect.

The tour begins at the reception center at Rutherford Learning Center (formerly Rutherfordton Elementary School.) Guests will be transported to the home by shuttle and are scheduled for Saturday, December 2, from 3-8pm and Sunday, December 3, from 1-5pm. Admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the reception center. Advance tickets are available at Smith's Drugs in Forest City, Vassey's in Spindale, and Mi Pueblito in Rutherfordton.

For information about these services and how you can help, contact: Sherry Bright, Executive Director of Family Resourses, 828-247-1440 ext. 1, Vanessa Parton, Director, Clara Allen Family Center, 828-247-0366, or Kelly Hudson, Director of Shelter Services at 828-247-1440 ext. 2. The 24/7 crisis line for the Path Shelter is 828-245-8595.

Your participation benefits these programs:

Circle of Parents: Circle of Parents provides a friendly, supportive environment led by parents. It's a place where anyone in a parenting role can find support and openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children. Circle of Parents groups meet weekly , are free of charge, and foster an open exchange of ideas, support, information and resources. Parents that participate in this group count on each other to listen openly, respond honestly, and always act with compassion. Free childcare is also provided during the group meeting. Our Circle of Parents groups are open to anyone in a parenting role with at least one child that is birth to five years old.

Relatives As Parents Program: RAPP is designed to assist relative caregivers who have taken on the role of primary caregiver for related children. RAPP can provide education, ideas on new parenting and coping skills, mutual peer support, and access and information to resources. RAPP can be beneficial in many ways, but one of the most valuable is respite. During the meeting caregivers have a chance away from their children to discuss the challenges of parenting for the second time. It is the mission of RAPP to make a difference in the lives of relative caregivers and the children they care for by providing education and support. This group is free of charge and provides enjoyable activities, dinner and childcare.

MotherLearn: The MotherLearn program is designed to assist mothers who have been unable to finish their high school education the traditional way a chance to complete their diploma and learn valuable parenting techniques. The program combines high school education courses through ICC with Nurturing Parenting, a program that emphasizes positive interactions with their children. Mothers who are sixteen or older who are working on their High School Diploma and have a preschool child are eligible to enroll in MotherLearn. Childcare is free for children who are six weeks-Pre-K. The child is required to attend the program with the mother. A nutritious lunch and enriching activities are provided for the children. Transportation is available free of charge for students with no or unreliable transportation.

Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children is an evidence informed training that teaches participants how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This program uses real people and real stories to show adults how to protect children using the Five Steps to Protecting Children. The program utilizes a video and an interactive format that lasts about two hours. Training is provided to any group or agency free of charge.

Wanda Paul Children's Center: WPCC is a Child Advocacy Center that provides a safe and neutral location in which law enforcement and child protective services can observe forensic interviews with children who are alleged victims of abuse, and where the child and non-offending family members can receive support and education about the investigative process. Family members are able to meet with the professionals working on their child's case, and discuss possible services, such as counseling, that the child and family may benefit from. The CAC also houses the Child Abuse Response Team (CART) that meets frequently to collaborate on cases and work together to provide the best outcome for the child victim.

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