By Connie Cahoone, SOS Executive Director
SOS, Inc. provides a much needed safety net for our six-county (Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris and Osage) service area. Diversified funding is a must for SOS to continue providing crisis intervention and direct support services to keep victims and families healthy, safe and working towards a violence free life. SOS funds stay local and help the communities and clients we serve.
SOS has four distinct programs under one umbrella enabling us to share resources. Few domestic violence organizations in the state have more than a couple programs to offer clients.
Approximately 78 percent of our funding comes from local, state and federal grants. These funds vary from yearly with no guarantees of continuance. Local grants include many foundations and organizations including the Jones Foundation who has contributed 8 percent of SOS funding.
Six percent comes from generous caring people through contributions from our annual appeal letter, memorial or in honor of contributions and general donations. SOS accepts legacy gifts such as leaving SOS as a recipient of your will, life insurance or stocks. We are fortunate to be the recipients of many third-party fundraisers. A third-party fundraiser is a club/organization that holds an event to benefit SOS. ESU students/organizations/clubs frequently support SOS in this manner. We are truly grateful for money raised through events.
All six counties SOS serves provide funds which account for 4 percent of the budget. The United Way of the Flint Hills also accounts for 3 percent.
Special events bring 3 percent and include fundraisers organized by SOS. One event includes Hope-A-Palooza, SOS’ third annual fundraiser. Through this event, we increased awareness about our programs while raising $33,026 for SOS services.
One percent is collected through fees at the Child Visitation and Exchange Center, jury duty, litigation funds and interest/dividends, to name a few. All other SOS program services are free to our clients.
All six of our counties are full of generous caring people who also donate items to meet our client’s needs. Thanks to these community contributions, SOS can provide for individuals and families transitioning out of our shelter and moving into their new home and violence-free life. Clients who are taking the steps toward safety and self-sufficiency and needing a hand-up not a hand-out also benefit from these donations. Items as simple as trash bags, cleaning supplies, medicine, hangers, household items etc. provide our clients the comfort in knowing they can provide for their family – diminishing yet another common reason victims are drawn back to an abuser. SOS recognizes healthy individuals are the foundation of a healthy community!
Another important avenue of resources for SOS comes in the way of many wonderful volunteers. SOS has had hundreds of caring individuals giving of their time and energy over the past 39 years.
If you wish to donate or volunteer for SOS, call 620.343.8799 or stop by 618 Mechanic, Emporia.