From one family to another...a little help is needed

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

An organization that has faithfully helped families for more than 30 years is facing severe cuts to the budget that will impact the six county area that it serves. Family Connections, 202 Gaslight Drive in Versailles, has already seen about a 25% cut to their budget and is expecting additional cuts that will result in a reduction in staff and therefore a reduction in services.

Family Connections serves Ripley, Dearborn, Franklin, Jennings, Ohio and Switzerland counties by offering programs that encourage parents to be the best parents they can be as well as educating mothers-to-be on substance abuse during pregnancy. Free pregnancy tests are available during service hours for anyone who requests one.

“We pride ourselves on the level of service we can offer,” said Connie DeBurger, director of Family Connections. According to DeBurger, there have already been cuts in the staff and hours which limits the number of families that the organization can serve. “That’s the tragedy,” she said.

“We’ve got good people on our staff,” DeBurger continued. “The cuts have been very painful.”

Non-profit organizations have been slow to recover in the current economy. According to DeBurger, non-profits are used to doing more with less. “Only now, we have to do less with less,” she said.

If Family Connections experiences the highest level of cuts expected, staff will be downsized even more and there will be a limit on services.

Several fundraisers have been planned to help offset the loss of funds caused by the budget cuts. On Sunday, March 14, there will be a soup dinner featuring chili, vegetable and potato soups as well as sandwiches and desserts. The meal will be a freewill donation with all proceeds going toward funding the programs that are offered.

The dinner will begin at 11 a.m. and will run through 1 p.m. at the Family Connections office located at 202 N. Gaslight Drive in Versailles. “This will give the folks an opportunity to see what programs are available,” said DeBurger.

Other fundraisers planned are a yard sale and grill out in June and a spaghetti supper in the fall. Those interested in volunteering for the fundraising events can contact the Family Connections office at 888-689-6363.

For more information on programs offered by Family Connections, visit