Fort Saskatchewan’s Families First Society launched in 1998 with a funding grant of about $40,000.
 
For the 2017-18 year, the local nonprofit reported receiving grants worth $979,135, the funds accounting for a large portion of the society’s total annual revenue of just over $1.1 million.
 
2017-18 revenue was down slightly from the previous fiscal year’s total of $1.2 million.
 
In its annual report, Families First chalked up the slight dip in income to the end of sponsorships and donations for its now completed new building. The group reported revenue of over $1 million for the first time in 2015-16 after years of steady growth.
 
Families First has been providing childhood and parenting support services for two decades. The group, which helps over 950 families every year though a continuously expanding menu of services, has grown its staff roster from one employee in 1998 to 80 part-time and full time staff now.
 
Families First employee April Jennings, who has been involved with the society since its beginning, said that community support has been a key factor in the service's continued growth.
 
“(Parents) have welcomed us into their lives and allowed us to share their stories, so that the more people that walk in the door, the more stories that are shared, the bigger and better we grow."
 
Families First celebrated its 20th anniversary at an event last month.

 

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