New tax checkoff supports family services
DENVER – Social services providers around the state are hoping Colorado taxpayers will keep local families in mind as they prepare to file their 2003 returns.
A new tax checkoff on Colorado’s 2003 returns enables taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the Family Resource Centers (FRCs) Fund.
The fund supports a number of family centers around the state, including the Summit County Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) in Dillon, which promote family stability and self-sufficiency through a wide variety of social programs.
“With all the funding cuts, the checkoff is a really great way to drive some revenue to support us,” said Christina Carlson, executive director of the Summit County FIRC. “Last year, we got $33,000 in federal funding. This year, it dropped to $15,000.”
The Denver Nuggets rookie phenom, Carmelo Anthony, is serving as spokesman for the centers’ participation in the tax checkoff program between now and the filing deadline in April.
“I came from an area where I saw poverty and hardship, and the FRCs make a big impact in helping people in those situations,” Anthony said.
Anthony assists the FRCs with fundraising and public awareness.
The Summit County FIRC has been helping local families, immigrants and refugees for the past 10 years through early childhood education, youth development activities, parenting classes, adult education, job training and emergency food and clothing.
The checkoff is welcome to family center directors who have seen government funding for their programs decline steadily in recent years.
“We are working daily to replace those funds,” said Bill Michaels, state executive director of the Family Research Center Association. “More and more, it’s necessary for all nonprofits, and particularly those that provide social services, to seek funding from private sources.
“At the federal and state levels, we have significant budget cuts and deficits, and it’s going to be a long time if it ever changes at all. The idea of government funding of social services is an issue that has been slowly diminishing since the Reagan administration, and both parties have moved in that direction,” Michaels added.
Statewide, the centers work with about 70,000 Colorado residents in 39 counties.
“Of the nearly 600,000 families in our state, 25 percent struggle to survive in impoverished conditions,” Carlson said.
“Colorado’s family resource centers lend a hand to people who might only be temporarily experiencing tough times, or are new to the community, or are wanting to become better parents, or are ready to finish their education or look for a better job.”
Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at
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