Foundation plans discussed at Nevis CIty Council

Justin Isaacson discussed plans to move forward with a foundation to help children affected by domestic violence access the resources they need to heal and cope at the March 11 Nevis City Council meeting.

Justin Isaacson discussed plans to move forward with a foundation to help children affected by domestic violence access the resources they need to heal and cope at the March 11 Nevis City Council meeting.

"Obviously, with the situation that we had last month, we have 10 children who are in dire need of support," he said. "I'm trying to do my part to step up for these kids. I'm sure they're shattered right now."

Isaacson added, "With these tragedies, there is a huge outpouring of support initially and then we go back to our lives. Everything's normal for us. But for these children's lives, it's not going to be normal. If we can contribute any little way we could to make their lives better and give them a glimmer of hope, I think that's so important. I'm going to contribute $1,000 as seed money to get the ball rolling."

Isaacson explained that he is hoping to partner with the Family Safety Network, an organization that covers Hubbard and Cass counties, assisting families affected by domestic violence.

"One thing they don't have is specific funds that are earmarked for children affected by domestic violence," Isaacson said. "At one point, they had an advocate who would go into the schools and interact with kids, but their funding was cut. So, that might be one avenue that funds procured from this foundation could go towards. If a child needed transportation to a mental health practitioner, clothing or even a cell phone that would give them the ability to communicate, we could help with those needs."


"I think it's a wonderful idea," Mayor Jarod Senger said. "Not a lot of communities have dealt with the events this community has, and I think you're right on target. I think it's great for our community here within Nevis and countywide. At this point, I'd have to do more research on the funding side of it with taxpayer money. Officially, I think our role is to be determined as to what we can and cannot do but I think it's important."

Isaacson said his plan is to establish a board to "get the ball rolling" with the foundation.

"Obviously, money is what's going to fuel this whole thing," he said. "If we need interventionists or practitioners, whatever the needs are, it all comes down to money. I want to start a financial fund and have it where we can earmark it and disperse it accordingly. The immediate need is here in Nevis, but as we raise funds and the program grows, so would the umbrella of the kids who could benefit."

Council member Sue Gray said she would be willing to serve as a liaison between the council and the foundation.

"We would want to set up a board and have an administration for the funds where we could work with other entities," Isaacson said. "I spoke with Joe Johnson from the FATHER Project, and he expressed interest and gave me some other names to contact. Chris Swenson at the Family Safety Network said we could possibly partner with them to ascertain the 501(c)(3) entitlement for a non-profit organization by basically piggybacking on their entity, but being able to earmark these funds specifically for children in need of help."

Anyone interested in being on the board to help get this foundation up and running or helping with fundraising in the future can send an email to .

Isaacson also shared a handout from Swenson with statistics about domestic abuse, including the fact that 1.5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the U.S. Research shows these children are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems and often meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Swenson's handout concluded, "These statistics are daunting, but you can make a difference in a child's life by doing some very simple things. It's proven that children who have at least one caring, supportive adult in their lives are more likely to build resiliency and cope in positive ways. We can all be that one adult."

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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