Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Life Happens” A Client Story

Robert* is a single, 39-year old father with one 12-year old daughter. After being laid off from his job, he wound up falling behind on his rent and utilities waiting for unemployment. Struggling as a newly single parent since his daughter’s mother passed away (due to injuries from a car accident), he faced homelessness and sought assistance at Triangle Family Services.

He lost the job while his daughter was at summer camp and was distraught over the idea of his only child coming home to a homeless shelter. With the joint efforts of the case manager and Robert, he was able to alleviate the risk of becoming homeless. The case manager was able to assist him with his delinquent rent and locate employment before receiving his first unemployment check. They both worked on a budget for Robert, centered around saving money monthly to prevent a situation like this occurring again. Robert and his daughter were thankful for the program’s assistance.


*Names have been changed to insure confidentially of client

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Child Well-Being in NC

While searching the web this morning with my daily and very large cup of coffee, I came across something I found to be startling and quite sad. It is no surprise that I find family health and nutrition to be interesting, which is why I was so struck to see this article from Carolina Parent. It states that child poverty in our state has risen to its highest level in the past decade, and we now rank 38th in key indicators of adolescent health and well-bring (as opposed to 37th last year). Keep in mind, that means we are in the bottom 15 out of all the states!

“Looking to track the effect of the recession, the report this year includes two new indicators – the number of children impacted by foreclosure and households with at least one unemployed parent. In North Carolina 90,000, or 2 percent, of the state’s children were hurt by foreclosure since 2007. In 2010, an estimated 253,000, or 12 percent, of children in this state lived in households where there was at least one parent who was eligible for or seeking employment, but was unemployed at the time the data were collected.

Another troubling statistics was seen in the youngest children. The percentage of newborns weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds) has been largely unchanged for most of the past decade.”

If these statistics hit home with you, I encourage you to utilize one (or a few) of the many services that TFS provides! These are just a few: Consumer Credit & Budget Counseling, HUD-Approved Housing Counseling, Financial Literacy Workshops, Emergency Housing Assistance. Check out our calendar for upcoming workshop dates.

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The Most Important Meal of the Day!

Just reminding everyone that this Friday (August 19th) is your last chance to buy tickets to our first annual Wake Up with TFS breakfast!

Not only will we be discussing community issues, but we will also honor incoming and outgoing member of our Board of Directors. If that isn’t enough, you will also enjoy a delicious breakfast including french toast, scrambled eggs, Virginia cured bacon, and fresh seasonal fruit.

Remember that nutritional expects suggest that this is the most important meal of the day. You won’t want to skip this! Hope to see you there.

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Changes to “cause marketing”?

This week I registered for my last semester at college. Unfortunately, I have already completed all of my concentration (marketing) courses and will have to keep up to date with new developments in my spare time. I found an interesting article in the Philanthropy Journal today though that combined my interest in marketing & research along with non-profit work.

According to Wikipedia, “cause marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit.” An example would be all the random commercial items that are light pink in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month (company donates proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.)

Anyway, the market has been becoming more particular with how companies use cause marketing. Recent studies have found that rather than focus on what the particular customer finds important, it is more beneficial that the company finds a cause that makes sense with their brand. Anne Erhard, senior vice president at communications company MSLGROUP (who conducted the study), says “what is most important is not that companies merely create cause programs to support the causes their consumers care most about, but that companies are strategically aligning with relevant, real causes that fit within their brands’ greater purpose and make the most sense in conjunction with their products and services.”

This could change how companies use cause marketing altogether. Maybe October won’t be nearly as pink anymore… Maybe a financial company wants to combine advertising with us. Here’s to wishful thinking!

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Be Careful in the Heat

Having spent the last week on a road trip to Texas and back I realized how crucial the CDC’s tips for preventing health-related illness due to the heat really are. I have never drank so much water in my life during those 103+ degree days. It was sometimes almost scary how hot it was. I urge everyone to adhere to these tips, have a great time, and be safe.

Michael Mann


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Meals for Students during the Summer

In the past several years, children’s health has been a top concern both locally and nationally. Whether it be about providing meals (Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC) or about increasing healthy options in school (Eat Smart, Move More NC), there are many organizations focused on providing information as well nutrition. In particular, today I wanted to bring attention to the issue concerning children in need of meals during the summer months.

According to WRAL, there are roughly 800,000 students in North Carolina who are provided either free or reduced-priced lunches during the traditional school year. Only 67,000 of those students receive these meals during the summer though. There are more than 600 sites in NC that provide  meal services to these students still in need. Click here for a listing of locations across the state that provide meal services.

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New Beginnings…

Remembering client stories enables us all to focus on what we’re doing and reminding us of the impact everyone (employees, volunteers, clients, and even those just interested enough to read this) can make.

A single, 29-year old, mother of two (ages 5 and 10) came to Triangle Family Services (TFS) seeking assistance with housing. Rhonda* had relocated from New York to the Tar Heel state in June 2009 because of a relationship that had taken a wrong turn. She was employed in New York full-time, but found herself now without a home for her and her children. Her abuser located her in North Carolina, leaving her with no other option than to begin life at a domestic violence shelter. Transitioning from having some stability in her life to becoming jobless in a shelter was proving itself to be very difficult; she realized she needed some help.

Once at TFS she was assigned a case manger and with their joint efforts were able to locate housing for her and her family. Shortly after Rhonda moved into her new home she gained employment. The position was temp-to-hire and required working evenings and weekends, not ideal for a single mother in a new place without family support.  However, she did not give up. Rhonda continued looking for another position and just before her case was closed she gained salaried, full-time employment at a technology company. She stated that without the assistance of TFS she believes she would have had no choice but to return toNew York with her abuser.

Triangle Family Services is happy to have been able to help Rhonda and her children. We are all delighted to know that they are safe, comfortable, and able to enjoy themselves.

*names have been changed to ensure confidentiality and to protect the innocent

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