Family Pathways has organized their first-ever Commit to Kids Giving Day, Sept. 17, to ignite generosity and grow awareness about the state of youth in the region.

In an effort to learn more about the health and stability of our community, Family Pathways convened six events across the region in early 2019. Some of the key findings regarding youth are:

• 36% of children 18 years and younger are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program.

• 9% live in households where there is drug or alcohol abuse.

• 16% have experienced physical or emotional abuse.

• 12% are not in school or working.

Many young people who live in rural areas and small towns struggle with access to opportunities, well-being and good health. The Commit to Kids Giving Day is an invitation for all community members to be part of investing in the Family Pathways services that support local young people such as:

• Year-round food programs distributing healthy nutrition to 9,000 young people through food shelves, weekend backpack programs and summer lunches.

• Teen Centers that provide career development, life skills, mentorship and home cooked meals to nearly 1,500 youth.

• Safe and positive supervised visitation connecting kids to their parents.

• Emergency shelter from domestic violence.

It’s easy to show kids you care and that you are committed to helping them find a brighter future.

1. Go to FamilyPathways.org/commit-to-kids-day on Sept. 17 and make your online donation;

2. Make your donation in person at the Open House on Sept. 17 at the North Branch Admin Office from 4-6 p.m. (meet the staff, view artwork by local youth and visit the Cotton Candy Ice Cream Truck);

3.Tell your friends! Become a Superhero Fundraiser as a business or individual by creating a workplace fund-drive or your own online fundraiser. You don’t need a box of candy bars or special training to be a fundraiser for kids. Tell your story about your commitment to kids in your own, unique way. Check out our website to learn how.

Can’t wait until Sept. 17 or will be out of town? Don’t worry! Any gift received online, through the mail or dropped off at any Family Pathways location tagged ‘Commit to Kids’ through the end of the campaign will count toward this important event. Mail donations to 6413 Oak St., North Branch, MN 55056.

Your charitable contribution makes it possible for Family Pathways to keep local youth nourished, safe and inspired which is one of the most powerful ways to build overall community vitality and strength.

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