A grant received by a local nonprofit organization will be used to improve the counseling environment offered to those in need.
Last week, Yankton’s Family Education and Counseling Center (FECC) was awarded a $10,000 grant by the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) to help pay for décor, furniture and technology upgrades to the center’s offices.
FECC, a non-profit, faith-based organization, has been providing low-cost counselling services at the Riverview Reformed Church since 2002.
According to the group’s director, Becky Frank, the center’s improvement plan for 2018 targeted four areas of operation: the Play Therapy Program, the client resource library, additional counseling space and technology, and furnishing upgrades for the offices.
FECC obtained funding for the first three areas. But completion of all the improvements would require additional funding, which Frank hoped could be obtained through a grant from the SDCF.
SDCF grants are intended specifically for nonprofits active in the areas of culture, economic development, education, and health and human services.
SDCF approved the grant in time for Thanksgiving.
“The South Dakota Community Foundation is proud to partner with the Family Education and Counseling Center as they make necessary improvements to ensure their counselors are functioning in a desirable work environment,” said Ginger Niemann, SDCF senior program officer. “Their services are filling a gap that was not being met previously.”
According to FECC, the money will help them address problems posed by furnishings that are too old or no longer suitable for their original purpose.
“This is a true blessing because we have scrounged for years and been extremely happy to have anything given to us,” Frank said. “We have file cabinets that are, I’m sure, older than I am and desks that are close. We tried out new chairs and are ecstatic, because no more back pain!”
In addition to new desk chairs, the group will paint, update storage and office furniture for the counselors, improve lighting and purchase needed technology.
“Most of the grant was to get the office set up. We’ve got new computers coming, new desks, painting,” said FECC counselor Lory LaPointe. “The office hasn’t been refurbished for years. Even the computers are 12 years old.”
Both Frank and LaPointe expressed gratitude to SDCF for the grant, which, by improving the counselors’ work environment, they feel will aid their mission.
“With the support from the South Dakota Community Foundation, the Family Education and Counseling Center will now be able to more professionally and efficiently meet its mission of providing counseling services to individuals in need, regardless of the ability to pay,” Frank said.