On organizational letterhead
November 14, 2004
Mr. Bob Vickers, Director
The Robert J. Vickers Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Vickers:
Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships.
"Child abuse leaves an indelible mark on our society.
It's effects last for generations and prevents its' victims from reaching their full potential.
Society is the loser."
We face a critical problem in our society. . . child abuse. Most child abuse is not the horrific physical abuse that leads to the death of the child. Rather, it is the more subtle type that makes children feel worthless and unwanted. Central Missouri has the highest incident of child abuse per capita in the nation. Based on the most recent data available from the State of Missouri for the year 2004 there were 11,166 cases of child abuse and neglect in Central Missouri. This was an increase of 8.36% over 2003. The Central region has the highest incident of child abuse in the state.
For the past eight and one half years Advocates 4 Kids Inc. has been committed to the elimination of this problem. Our center services the families in the western portion of this area. These children come from very dysfunctional families who often do not realize what they are doing is wrong. This is because most people parent the way they were parented.
The cycle must be broken.
Research shows the costs of child abuse ar high. Abused children are more likely to have problems in school and have a higher drop out rate than other children. Abused children are more likely to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse, unwanted pregnancies, crime and violence. Abused children are more likely to become wards of the state and drains on our tax dollars.
At Advocates 4 Kids we treat the problem of child abuse with a multifaceted, interdisciplinary approach. We use play therapy, traditional counseling, parenting education, and a specialized tutoring program to meet the needs of those with learning problems. We have a licensed Psychologist and a licensed Professional Counselor on staff who design treatment based on the specific needs of the children. It is our plan to add a parent aide program in the near future. This program puts a worker in the home several hours a week to teach the parents basic skills and help with ordaining other sources of community support.
Advocates 4 Kids Inc. was founded as a not-for-profit child abuse treatment and prevention facility. The need for such a facility became necessary when the only facility of this type in the Joplin area closed. Andrea Burford and Mindy Vickers, who worked for former Child and Parent Center Inc., began working with a number of its clients who did not have the means to seek counseling in the private sector. In 1993 they rented a building and officially began Advocates 4 Kids. They obtained not-for-profit status July 1, 1995. From its opening and for more than four years volunteers manned the center. By July of 2000, it became necessary to find larger facilities in order to serve the growing number of clients. On September 17, 2001 we moved into a 10,000 square foot building complete with a spacious indoor activity area that can be used for our children's groups and for individual play therapy. We have an educational facility complete with a computer lab.
Our center is unique in this area. Our two counselors provide an average of 451 client hours of counseling per month. From its beginnings till the present we have operated without sponsors or major funders, however our growth rate necessitates that we reach out for help.if we are to continue to meet the needs of our area. The majority of the clients (77%) that we serve come from families that rely on Medicaid to cover the costs of services. Advocates 4 Kids also accepts insurance and private pay. All services at Advocates 4 Kids, Inc. are rendered on a sliding fee scale. No one truly in need of services will be turned away.
You can help us to continue this valuable service. In fact, we need your help!
Please review the enclosed proposal and support our work. Am respectfully submitting the attached proposal for you to consider for funding. If you need additional information, please feel free to call me at (660) 747-6390.
Please accept my sincere "thanks" for your concern about child abuse issues and your willingness to support our innovative approach to the problem of child abuse. I hope you share my excitement about the potential for our plan to have a significant impact on the children, families, and communities of our area.
Ashley Nicole Blair, Founder and President
Advocates 4 Kids Inc.
Advocates 4 Kids, Inc.
Mission and Vision Statements:Advocates 4 Kids exists to provide services to preserve the integrity of families regardless of status or ability to pay. This will be achieved through marriage counseling for couples, individual counseling dealing with family of origin issues, anger control, and interpersonal communications. Child therapy focusing on communication through play with special attention given to children who are ADHD and who have a high risk for abuse. We are dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and mental illness.
Our vision is to significantly reduce child abuse and the number of dysfunctional families in our area.
We are requesting that you partner with us to fund general operating expenses in order that we may reach families throughout Central Missouri and Eastern Kansas with quality counseling, teaching, and coaching concerning treatment of children in families. In particular, we would like you to help with initial start-up costs to expand our programming and provide funds to support our general operating budget. The dynamics of our mission are:
• To provide quality service and resources to help coach, encourage, and equip families.
• To increase the return on each dollar invested towards building healthy families in our area.
• To increase the number of men, women, and families reached with much-needed counseling.
Target Market and Geographic Area Served:
The focus of Advocates 4 Kids, Inc., is Johnson, Pettis, Louise, and Deffenbaugh Counties in Missouri and Johnson County in Kansas. Most of the people we deal with are single parents and families who would otherwise fall through the cracks in the traditional counseling arena. We are open to anyone regardless of age, race, or ability to pay. Approximately 85% of our clientele are low-income or medicaid dependent.
Advocates 4 Kids is a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization founded in 1991, incorporated formally in 1995, and is governed by a Board of Directors of seven (See Page 5). See attached IRS Department of Treasury 501 (c)(3) Designation Letter.
Primary Contact Information:
Ms. Ashley Nicole Blair, Founder/President (660) 747-6390, Voice
Advocates 4 Children (660) 222-1111, Cell
P.O. Box 1225 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website: www.advocates4children.org
Financial Request and Purpose:
The operating budget for Advocates 4 Kids, Inc. is $ 154,387 (see Page 6). We are asking you to grant us $10,000 to assist families to access counseling assistance. TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $ 10,000
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Advocates 4 Kids, Inc. will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, management and Board of Directors. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.