The main beneficiaries of the Foundation are the Children’s Advocacy Center of SWFL, Abuse Counseling and Treatment, and Blessings in a Backpack/James Stephens Intl. Academy, all based in Ft. Myers, FL.
On behalf of everyone on the Board of Directors of Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc., we thank you for your continued support of the victims we serve each year. There are so many children in our community needing help. We could not provide this essential service to these children without the assistance and fundraising efforts of the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation and all its Pipers.
To give you an idea of what your money has done for our agency and the community since 2005:
* $170,000 of the money prior to 2010 has gone towards the expansion of the Ft. Myers shelter, which added an additional 24 beds, helping use house more individuals and their children. Prior to this expansion, we were turning away each year over 200 people with children because we were full.
* Since 2005, not only were we able to complete the expansion, we were able to hire additional full-time child specialists, allowing us to see more children and spend more time working with them.
* Since 2005, ACT has served over 2,600 children and provided shelter, counseling, assessments, food, clothing, personal care items and more to these children with this funding.
* 2011–$50,000 of the funding this year was applied towards our mortgage, lowering our monthly payment; $22,500 is being utilized for new cribs.
* We have been able to grow the children’s program to a level that is needed, seeing more children than ever before.
* Additionally, we have kept our shelter staffing at the needed level during these trying times; and we have not turned away any individuals because we were full since the expansion was completed.
We are so thankful for the help from the Foundation and the Pipers. There are many children who we would not have been able to help if not for all of your hard work and dedication from everyone. Please know you are greatly appreciated by so many. It truly has made a difference in many lives.
Jennifer Benton, CEO
I want to take a minute to thank you for all that you do and have done for our agency and the very special kids who we serve. We would not be the agency we are without the support and generosity you have shown us over the years. We would not be able to serve almost 4,000 children annually without you. I think it is important that you know the impact the Pipers organization has on the most vulnerable kids in Southwest Florida. You have touched many lives, changed many families, and made sure many children are safe.
We have made very good use of the funding we receive from your organization and events. We have equipped two exam rooms (we do medical exams to rule in our out child abuse), provided funding for a wing of our building, purchased needed therapeutic supplies, funded field trips for our after school program, and paid down our mortgage. But I think the most important thing your funding has accomplished, is we have never had to turn away a child, never had to put them on a waiting list, never said we are too busy. We have been able to save jobs, add hours to staff positions when we needed to, and continue to see these kids 24/7. For that we will always be grateful. We would not be in our new building if not for you.
I thank you for your generous spirit and willingness to help others. I thank you for your hard work and desire to make our community a safe and better place. I thank each and every one of you, you all truly make a difference.
Jill Turner, CEO
The Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (FNCAC) has selected the Pipers organization of the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation as the recipient of the 2011 Advocacy in Action Award to a Group. This award is presented to a group that has demonstrated the highest standards of advocacy on the behalf of children, going above and beyond in contributing time and resources that benefit child victims. The Foundation is the recipient of this award due to the outstanding support that you have demonstrated to the Children’s Advocacy Center of SWFL over the past nine years. The funds that you have raised over the years for the CAC have greatly enhanced the Center’s ability to fulfill its mission as a community-based children’s advocacy center and, as a result of your efforts, no child has ever been turned away from receiving services at the CAC.
In the summer of 2011, Blessings in a Backpack was added to the list of beneficiaries. The Foundation has given Blessings in a Backpack a three-year commitment to sponsor 279 children at the James Stephens International Academy in Ft. Myers.
“Florida ranks fourth in the United States for the number of K-12 students eligible for Federal Food Assistance programs. In Lee County, more than 62% of K-12 students participate in those programs,” said Scott Fischer, BIB Lee County Board Chairman. “With the Fiddlesticks Foundation’s commitment to our cause, we were able to add a third school to our program. We cannot thank them enough and look forward to a rewarding relationship in the years to come.”
Blessings in a Backpack is designed to feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federally funded Free/Reduce Price Meal program and have little or no food on the weekends. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program. It costs $80 to feed one American schoolchild in the program for an entire 38-week school year.