FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2009
Trey Williams, 225-342-6700
DSS Employees Donate $40,000 in Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse
Total is twice agency's goal and ten times amount donated in 2008
BATON ROUGE - Employees at the Louisiana Department of Social Services (DSS) reached into their own pockets and donated more than $40,000 in a four week campaign to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana (PCAL).
"DSS employees proved that their dedication to the people of Louisiana goes beyond the confines of the work day," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols. "Everyday they see the effects of child abuse, poverty and other social ills in this state. Their commitment to change the future for the 17,000 Louisiana children abused each year is to be applauded."
At the beginning of the campaign, Secretary Nichols set a $17,000 goal for the agency. By the end, employees statewide contributed more than twice that amount and ten times the total donations given in 2008. State headquarters, regional and parish DSS offices all took part in the campaign, buying bright blue pinwheels for $1.00 and lapel pins for $8.00.
"Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana is extremely pleased to join the Department of Social Services (DSS) to celebrate their employees' overwhelming support of our mission," said PCAL President/CEO Anna Fogle. "This celebration is not only for the tremendous amount of donations that they have collected, but for the work that they do on a daily basis to protect our children. I look forward to our continued collaboration with DSS in ensuring that our children are nurtured and healthy."
On Friday, April 17, 2009, DSS celebrated those efforts during a ceremony at the agency's headquarters in Baton Rouge. Secretary Nichols presented a check to PCAL, and agency employees planted their pinwheels on the grounds outside the Iberville Building to serve as a visual reminder of the agency's support of PCAL and Child Abuse Awareness Month.
Several DSS offices stood out in their support of the cause, especially the Desoto Parish Office of Community Services (OCS), whose 24 employees donated $2,000. The OCS offices in Richland, Franklin and Natchitoches parishes also broke the $1,000 mark. The New Orleans Mid-town Office of Family Services donated more than $1,100. Another $1,600 came from the Baton Rouge Support Enforcement Services office.
This year, Nichols added an additional incentive for employees. For each dollar contributed, DSS employees were awarded a "jean day." A $17.00 contribution netted employees casual dress for the entire month of April.
DSS offices statewide will display their pinwheels throughout the month of April. The funds collected through the campaign will benefit PCAL programs, including the anonymous, toll-free, statewide parenting hotline 1-800-CHILDREN, parenting education programs and training for professionals who work with children.