A year ago, the Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties', or ADFAC's, School Supply Program was able to serve a record breaking 2,808 children, providing necessary school supplies to students in 29 area schools in a 345‑square‑mile service area.
The School Supply Program is just one of the programs ADFAC provides to assist lower income residents in our area with immediate or long‑term monetary help.
This year officials say the need is just as great. Earlier this year, Y‑12 employees donated many school supplies. CNS continued the support by donating $10,000 to ADFAC, recently.
Executive Director Annie Cacheiro appreciates the significance of the gift. "The monetary support is wonderful," she said, "but it's also so comforting to know CNS corporate along with so many CNS employees support what our agency is trying to accomplish — helping lower income families in our community to become as self sufficient as possible."
Y‑12 Site Manager Bill Tindal applauds the effort. "We are all, by our nature, independent people. It's hard to ask for help. Being in need is always a humbling experience," he said.
Tindal described ADFAC's, efforts as a hand up, rather than a hand out. "One reason I enjoy giving to ADFAC is that they find a way to help others while preserving their dignity," he said. "An example is the care they take when making up backpacks for children; being sure that no two are alike, so that no one is singled out."
Supporting children's school supply needs is just one of a number of services ADFAC offers to families. Its Affordable Housing program serves more than 400 families and completes about 70 repair, rehabilitation and new construction projects each year.
Tindal also pointed to ADFAC's housing and heating bills programs as other examples of the agency's good works. Cacheiro said ADFAC could not succeed without the generosity of its donors and the efforts of more than 200 volunteers.