Letter to the editor: Support the Family and Children’s Trust Fund


As we enjoy the bountiful fall season, we hope that our communities will remember those in need. Among those in need are many thousands of vulnerable children and adults who are at risk of abuse or neglect. In state fiscal year 2013, local departments of social services across Virginia received 72,050 reports of suspected child or elder abuse, more than 64,000 calls were received by domestic and sexual violence hotlines, and the numbers for 2014 were even higher.

The Family and Children’s Trust Fund is committed to preventing and decreasing family violence for Virginians of all ages through its support of community-based initiatives, public awareness, and agency collaboration. As a private/public partnership that was established in 1986, the trust fund provides funding to support local community programs such as parenting education classes, outreach and counseling services, and emergency shelter and supportive services. There are several ways that community members can support a brighter future for Virginia’s citizens:

1. Purchase a KIDS FIRST license plate through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. These distinctive plates are sponsored by the trust fund, which receives $15 a year for each plate sold to support family violence prevention efforts statewide.

2. Volunteer time with local groups that support victims of family violence.

3. Donate directly to the trust fund or to other groups that work to prevent and treat family violence.

4. Make a donation to the trust fund through the Virginia State Income Tax Check-Off Program when filing the state tax return for next year.

Despite our hectic lives, each of us has the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate. Please consider helping the trust fund prevent family violence in Virginia. Every contribution, no matter its size, helps to strengthen Virginia’s families and to keep children and older adults safe throughout the year.

Pamela F. Kennedy, trustee, Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia