From the desk of Sandra Leyland, Executive Director
Americans donate approximately 300 billion dollars to non profits each year. Typically measured by how effectively the mission is performed a nonprofit has the responsibility to be good stewards of the money received. In addition we have a responsibility to the individuals we support to make a positive impact in their lives.
Our mission at Fraser, Ltd. is "Supporting Children, Youth, and Adults on their Life's Journey Towards Independence". Sound overwhelming? It isn't. For the nearly 250 employees of Fraser, Ltd. it has become our legacy to provide a continuum of care to those needing residential and independent living services.
Last year we served over 1,000 individuals in our three major programs. Focusing on four pillars of a strategic plan: Technology, Education, Program, and Residential Services we meet a vast variety of needs in our community. We were humbled to be voted the 2011 Chamber Choice Not-For-Profit of the year.
Infants as young as six weeks to residents aging well into their senior years are supported by the core values of our organization. Dignity to those we serve and employ; Diversification of service to meet individual needs; Service above self; Empowerment; Vision to secure the future; and Resilience to stay the course and prepare for tomorrow.
Fraser, Ltd.'s comprehensive children's services includes a focus on meeting individual special needs of children. Approximately 25% of the 189 children served in our child care center in 2011/2012 had indication of needs beyond their typically developing peers. Bringing together children with special needs and those typically developing requires the support of our community professionals. Together we serve children with a wide spectrum of medical, behavioral, and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Each summer we offer opportunities to develop peer relationships and maintain academic skills during summer months through our Skill Enhancement Training program. Fraser Ltd., Volunteer Camp teaches ALL youth between the ages 10 to 14 about giving back to their community by volunteering at local non profits.
The Child Care Center is slated to undergo considerable changes to our classroom environments in order to meet new state guidelines by 2014. Changes will include enhanced safety measures and a new look to our playground area. On October 21st Fraser, Ltd. sponsored Bike to Build for Kids, which provided anyone interested in supporting our children an opportunity to raise funds for this $300,000 project. Donations are still being accepted for this project.
Transitional age youth (16 to 26) at-risk of homelessness receive assistance to meet immediate day to day needs and an opportunity to plan for their future through our resource center. The Stepping Stones Resource Center is open Monday through Friday to all youth transitioning to adulthood and needing help. This past year over 750 youth requested support with finding employment, obtaining food, seeking medical or mental health assistance, and frankly needing to know someone cares. Our data indicates that 50% of youth visiting Stepping Stones Resource Center are indeed homeless.
Fraser, Ltd. has begun work on a supportive housing program for at-risk youth. We are needing to raise 1.9 million to continue work on this housing project. Many of our youth are responsible for parenting infants and young children. A section of the building has been set aside to meet their needs.
During construction we are offering emergency shelter but with limited resources we are only able to provide housing to six youth - a far cry from the estimated need in the Fargo Moorhead communities.
Fraser, Ltd. Adult services focus on the needs of those 18 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over the past few years our adult service program has seen a tremendous movement to smaller locations within the community. Transferring to neighborhoods and more homelike environments has opened up new opportunities for the people we support. Life planning on an individual basis brings a new quality of life for those historically restricted to environments not conducive to individual development or social contributions. To date we have combined relocation efforts for over 45 individuals and currently we are looking to relocate six individuals.
We could not exist without the support of our volunteers. Area college and high school students are our community’s treasure. In addition, local businesses and service groups extend themselves well beyond expectations to meet our needs. Five hundred fifty volunteers lent us a hand this past year and Fraser, Ltd. is pleased to be the recipient of over one thousand six hundred and five volunteer hours. A well organized machine our volunteer needs extend from daily filing to special events. We are delighted to present our Seventeenth Annual Fraser Ltd, Festival of Trees at the FARGODOME November 14th to December 6th. All trees will be given to families in the community. If you enjoy decorating for the holidays be sure to check out our book Fraser Ltd., Festival of Trees Decorating Ideas on sale now for $20.00. More than decorating ideas the book honors all those who made the first decade a success. Proceeds support Fraser, Ltd. programs.
It has also been our privilege the past six years to place within the top ten organizations competing in the IMPACT Foundations Giving Hearts Day. This events challenges local nonprofits to cultivate donors and raise significant funds online. Fraser, Ltd. like many organizations depends on events like these for much needed funding. Without our community volunteers - none of these events would happen!
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
For more than a century, Fraser, Ltd. has focused on residential services and developing programs to teach independent living skills. With an eye on ever emerging technology and recognizing the value of educating people on social issues we move ahead. Our strategic initiatives include technology and training necessary to meet these goals. Upgrades in our child care to meet new state requirements, housing for transitioning youth at-risk of homelessness, and the relocation of individuals in our intellectual and developmental disabilities program are needed now. We have the vision, we have the resilience, our people are empowered, we serve with dignity and service above self, and we diversify our methods to meet the needs of those who need us.
AND we need YOU!
We are looking for donors who want to help our communities most vulnerable. If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation contact our office at 701.232.3301 or visit our website at http://www.fraserltd.org. To learn more about Fraser, Ltd. programs consider attending one of our "no ask" brown bag lunches, call us for details. There is always room for more at our table!