BLUEGRASS FAMILIES FIRST
P.O. Box 1663
LEXINGTON KY 40588
Contact Information
Nonprofit BLUEGRASS FAMILIES FIRST
Address P.O. Box 1663
LEXINGTON , KY 40588
Phone (606) 278-0188
Contact Name Cindy Schuster
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2013
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Mail donation checks to P.O. Box1663, Lexington, KY, 40588. Volunteer opportunities include: board membership upon election by Board, tutoring, gardening, job shadowing/internship opportunities, landscaping assistance, donation coordination, assistance with grants and fundraising, storytelling/reading with preschool children.
Other Documents
Financial Summary
 
 
Statements
Mission Statement Bluegrass Families First will promote and provide opportunities for high quality early childhood development, education, health and human services for Lexington families in their progress towards self-sufficiency.
Background Statement

Bluegrass Families First (BFF) began in May 2012 in response to a request for a volunteer board to support programming at Lexington’s Family Care Center. The Center held an open house on that date, sponsored by the LFUCG Division of Family Services and the University of Kentucky on-site medical clinic, to educate the community about the center’s services and issue a call for volunteers to pioneer a volunteer board and non-profit entity that could help Lexington’s families.

On September 18, 2012, the first meeting was held to discuss the idea of building a non-profit. In attendance were eight volunteers with unique ties to Family Care Center. With complete support and involvement of the Center’s leadership, all eight later became the volunteer board’s initial Board of Directors. In 2013, the group elected its initial officers, adopted by-laws, filed Articles of Incorporation and obtained 501c3 status as Bluegrass Families First.

Through its initial phase, BFF created its own unique identity, expanding its mission to be inclusive of efforts beyond the Family Care Center. Board members felt strongly that their work should extend to other initiatives focused on family self-sufficiency, to eventually support a broad array of local, family-oriented programs and projects.

At this time, BFF’s efforts and support are directed primarily to programs of the Family Care Center, Nest and One Parent Scholar – all offering services to families with young children.
Impact Statement

Major Accomplishments in FY2016

  • Held free movie event "Madagascar" in partnership with the Kentucky Theater May 28, 2016. Donations of diapers were collected at the door to benefit families served by Family Care Center, the Nest and One Parent Scholar programs.
  • Provided holiday gifts to young mothers enrolled in Family Care Center’s Parent Education Program.
  • Continued “BFF Giving Tree” Project at Family Care Center in partnership with Family Care Center’s Volunteer Coordination Program. The Giving Tree is a resource closet with household essentials for parents of young children transitioning to living independently. Incorporated electronics into the program through participation in Lexington's electronics recycling program. 
  • Received grant from Lexington Council Garden Clubs to create a pollinator garden at the Family Care Center.
  • Held annual Jean Sabharwal Award Luncheon honoring Kirby Neill as the 2016 recipient of the award. The luncheon was sold out and sponsored by several groups and individuals in the community.
Needs Statement

  1. Board members with leadership and fundraising expertise and interest. 
  2. Financial support for current and future programming.
  3. Volunteers to provide supportive services in partner agency programs; opportunities include high school tutoring, mentoring, landscape and maintenance work, donations sorting and distribution.
  4. Sponsors for annual Jean Sabharwal Award luncheon (to take place in Nov or Dec) at levels of $500 and higher.
  5. Household goods (new or used) for Giving Tree such as towels, sheets, vacuum cleaners, kitchen supplies, etc.

 

CEO/Executive Director Statement

BFF’s focus across the community makes it a unique connector of service providers specializing in families with young children. At a time when safety nets and other resources are stretched, BFF is uniquely set up to offer support at the local level to address various components which support self-sufficiency of parents. Through its commitment to volunteerism and support of local initiatives through grants and fundraising, BFF has the potential to become the community’s most valued resource for the development and enhancement of promising programs to help families find a way out of poverty while meeting the needs of their young children.

Board Chair Statement

As a budding organization, Bluegrass Families First has the unique opportunity to set the course for its program initiatives, strategies, and activities.  The group of motivated, passionate directors is able to analyze the most effective strategies for making an impact on the children and families in Lexington without pressure to preserve past objectives.  BFF has experienced the growing pains of any new organization – fundraising, board recruitment, and vision challenges – but it has handled them with grace and through a lens of opportunity to create a path of meaningful impact in the community.  BFF appreciates its collaboration with community partners and looks forward to implementing future projects to help families with children become more self-sufficient in Lexington.

Geographic Areas Served
Areas
Kentucky
Bluegrass Families First serves Fayette County.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

Top Goals for 2017-2018

  • Provide scholarship funding for textbooks, fees, and partial tuition for students enrolling in post-secondary education.
  • Strengthen fundraising efforts to reach a level which would support a stipend for a part-time Executive Director. Such an individual would allow for expanded programming to benefit Lexington's families.
  • Identify funding source for a BFF Family Mentoring Program which would pair individuals with parents of young children desiring guidance in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency for their family.
  • Support the Family Care Center (FCC) in its efforts to locate and secure funding for its planned courtyard renovation project. The project would renovate an existing courtyard area into an outdoor theater and classroom to serve both established clients as well as families in the broader community. 
  • Increase resources for families with young children participating in local educational, life skills and early childhood programs to both incentivize parents towards self-sufficiency goals and provide basic supplies/furnishings to those parents moving into their own homes.
  • Provide funding for enrichment opportunities for young parents enrolled in educational programs (e.g., field trips, programming) as well as encouragement and incentives (e.g., small holiday gifts, recognition events).
  • Provide scholarship funding for textbooks, fees, and partial tuition for students enrolling in post-secondary education.
  • Strengthen fundraising efforts to reach a level which would support a stipend for a part-time Executive Director. Such an individual would allow for expanded programming to benefit Lexington's families.
  • Identify funding source for a BFF Family Mentoring Program which would pair individuals with parents of young children desiring guidance in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency for their family. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Meg Phillips Thompson
Company Affiliation Attorney
Term July 2015 to June 2017
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Clair Abney UK College of NursingVoting
Allison Grogan Buckley Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLPVoting
Pat Elizabeth Burke Community VolunteerVoting
Faith LaNette Calhoun Community VolunteerVoting
Kelly Ranae Duffy Catholic Action CenterVoting
Chris Ford LFUCG Commissioner of Social ServicesExofficio
Lee Harris UK Health CareVoting
Lametta Johnson Retired Clinical Social WorkerVoting
Wendi N. Keene Community VolunteerVoting
Linda Carolyn Maxwell Community VolunteerVoting
Bob Moore Fayette County Public SchoolsVoting
Javiette Samuel UK School of Human Environmental SciencesVoting
Cindy Ann Schuster Lexington Urban County GovernmentVoting
Meg Phillips Thompson Community Action CouncilVoting
Ruth Willoughby Community VolunteerVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 13
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 0%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Kelly Duffy
Company Affiliation Divine Providence, Inc.
Term July 2016 to July 2018
Standing Committees
Executive
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Comments
CEO Comments

Opportunities include building on momentum of successful fundraising luncheon in 2016, building community support, expansion of Giving Tree program with recent funding, engagement of new board members in committee work.

Challenges include board member recruitment and retention, increasing funding resources, attracting leaders to fill roles of officers and committee chairs.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director All Volunteer
Term Start Nov 2013
Experience All volunteer board; no CEO or staff. Received 501c3 on 11-3-2013.
Co-CEO
Co-CEO All Volunteer
Experience
All volunteer
Staff
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 0
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Management Reports to Board? N/A
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Description

Textbooks, laptops/tablets for student parents to use in high school and post-secondary education; field trips; arts programming and supplementary elective courses relating to life skills and parenting instruction; regular and periodic encouragement for achievement of academic goals;  monetary awards (scholarships) to cover textbooks, fees, partial tuition for students enrolling in post-secondary education and training.

Category Education, General/Other Student Financial Aid
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short Term Success
Acquisition of enhanced education materials.
Program Long term Success
Students will continue in secondary education and graduate. Graduates will pursue and complete post-secondary education/training.
Program Success Monitored By
Manager of high school program at Family Care Center.
Examples of Program Success
Every student will have access to a full set of educational materials.
Description
Supplies for ongoing parent/child needs as well as well as items for setting up a household upon graduation. Supplies are distributed to families via the family agency programs they are enrolled in (Family Care Center, the Nest or One Parent Scholar).
Category Human Services, General/Other Household Goods Provision
Population Served Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short Term Success
Steady supply of household necessities and personal care items that match the needs of young mothers and children.
Program Long term Success
Families who are active clients of the Family Care Center, One Parent Scholar House and the Nest will have the essential household goods to care for themselves and their children.
Program Success Monitored By
Family Care Center Volunteer Coordinator
Examples of Program Success
Household independence; family self-sufficiency.
Description
Tutoring, mentoring, gardening, reading with children, donation sorting. 
Category Education, General/Other Tutorial Programs
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short Term Success
List of volunteer opportunities compiled and publicized
Program Long term Success
Staff, programs, and facilities/resources at the Family Care Center, One Parent Scholar House and the Nest will be  enhanced through in-kind donation of volunteer hours.
Program Success Monitored By
Volunteer Coordinator
Examples of Program Success
Identification of a full complement of volunteers to meet recurring and periodic requests for volunteers.
Description

Purchase and presentation of a yearly award celebrating/incentivizing
exemplary service by an individual or group in the community who has demonstrated passionate advocacy for families and children. 

Category Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking, General/Other Community Service
Population Served At-Risk Populations, Families,
Program Short Term Success A sponsor or sponsors will be secured for next year.
Program Long term Success
Award will have a stable sponsor, year after year, and will be seen as a prestigious award to receive.
Program Success Monitored By
President of Bluegrass Families First
Examples of Program Success
Annual award is accepted and sought after by the educational, health and human service community.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2014
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
Bluegrass Families First collaborates with several local agencies with similar goals.
1. Family Care Center: The LFUCG Division of Family Service, based at the Family Care Center facility, provides services to families with young children. The center uses a strength-based approach to assist parents in their efforts to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. This is accomplished through the following services: a high school program for young parents, early child care, intensive case management, HANDS home visitation to expectant parents and parents of newborns, and a pediatric clinic operated by the University of Kentucky. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/family-care-center
2. The Nest Center for Women, Children, and Families is a local nonprofit organization that provides a safe place for education, counseling, and support to children and families in crisis. http://thenestlexington.org/
3. One Parent Scholar House is a program for single parents who are full-time students in a post-secondary educational institution. The primary purpose of the program is to help parents and their young children develop the educational and family life skills needed to achieve self-sufficiency. http://childcarecenter.us/provider_detail/55848_one_parent_family_facility_lexington_ky
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $4,345.31
Projected Expenses $3,197.97
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,108----
Administration Expense------
Fundraising Expense$1,019----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.64----
Program Expense/Total Expenses52%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue22%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,489----
Current Assets$3,489----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$3,489----
Form 990s
2016 990N 2016
2015 From 990N 2015
2014 Form 990N 2014
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Registration Yes
Address P.O. Box 1663
LEXINGTON , KY 40588
Primary Phone 606 278-0188
CEO/Executive Director All Volunteer
Board Chair Meg Phillips Thompson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Attorney