FRIENDS of Orange County Department of Social Services is oa 501c3, non-profit organization, and maintains a state solicitation license with the North Carolina Secretary of State.  You may view our most recent tax return  by clicking this link  –>  2012 Form990 FOCDSS

Year in Review:  Fiscal Year 2013-2014

Income: In fiscal year 2013-2014 donations to FRIENDS were up by 26% over last fiscal year, from $47,328 to $59,732. Most of the money we raised came from individual responses to our annual fundraising letter.  We again had significant donations from several donors who have repeatedly donated to FRIENDS.  We have also received support form University Presbyterian Church and the Chapel of the Cross.

In the past year we processed 218 requests from Orange County social workers.  Emergency disbursements increased last year by 3.5% over 2012.  $37,441 was distributed, 50% for housing to prevent eviction and homelessness, and 50% for electricity.  Non-emergency disbursements for such items as beds, clothing, and child care and special projects decreased by 19%.  This was partly due to the uncertainty regarding County funding of Orange County Schools Family Specialists.  This resulted in no request for summer enrichment programs for at risk youth, a program which the Board of FRIENDS has seen as one of its most valuable investments.  Since the positions of Family Specialists have now been funded we anticipate a request for this program going forward.

We have continued with funding for our Safe Baby Project again providing DSS with 20 cribs to support families and promote child welfare by keeping infants from co-sleeping with parents and siblings.  A grant from Chapel of the Cross has helped fund this project for 2014-15.

We have continued our partnership with the Carrboro Fire & Rescue, which allows us provide low cost car seats to families and ensures that clients receiving car seats receive safety training and instruction on proper installation of the seats.

Since the flood of June 30, 2013, we have enjoyed a new partnership with Jane Hathaway and the Furniture Project.  Jane and her group has helped provide whole homes of furniture to many DSS clients.  The Furniture Project has asked for our help in finding storage for the furniture they acquire since they have lost their free storage at University Square.  FRIENDS is working to assist The Furniture Project however we can.

We have had presentations to the Board from the Homelessness Connect project and The Farmer Foodshare Project and attended the Hog Day celebration with a table and literature to promote community outreach.

Our challenges going forward are keeping our funding stream healthy by making our organization known to the community and by finding new sources of revenue.  We continue to be a strong supporter of DSS and its clients and I thank you for all that you do to help those in our community who are struggling to provide a safe and healthy environment for their families.

We should all be very proud of what we have been able to accomplish this past year.  I look forward to working with you on the challenges that lie ahead.

Pat Garavaglia, President