Family Pathways is turning the tables on support for youth in our area. The community is encouraged to join in a first-ever day of commitment to kids–Commit to Kids Giving Day–Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Many youth living in our rural area struggle with access to opportunities, well-being and good health. Together with community members, Family Pathways works hard to let children and teens know their neighbors and community see them, care about them and provide opportunities for them to thrive.

Here’s a closer look at the current state of youth in our region:

• 36 percent of children 18 years and younger are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program.

• 9 percent live in households where there is drug or alcohol abuse.

• 16 percent have experienced physical or emotional abuse.

• 12 percent are not in school or working.

Commit to Kids Giving Day is an investment in East Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin youth that includes such things as year-round food programs offering healthy nutrition to kids through food shelves, kids backpack program and supplemental summer food programs; teen centers and youth programming that provide career development, life skills and mentorship; safe and positive supervised visitation connecting kids to their parents; and emergency shelter from domestic violence.

“Your contribution and support makes it possible for Family Pathways to keep local youth nourished, safe and inspired which is one of the most powerful ways to build overall community vitality and strength,” explained Lisa Mears, Family Pathways Chief Executive Officer.

If you would like to be close to the action, join us on-site for the fun at the Commit to Kids Open House on Sept. 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Family Pathways Administration Office, 6413 Oak St., North Branch.

Come to drop off a donation. Stay to meet staff and teens, have an ice cream treat (the first 25 will receive a free ice cream treat), view artwork from kids throughout the region, learn more about the state of youth in our region, network with other members of the community who are passionate about supporting the youth and listen to KBEK as they do live interviews with key community leaders.

Any inquiries about Commit to Kids Giving Day should be directed to Sonia Palmer, Director of Development at or (651) 674-8040. For more information, visit

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