City Delivers Sweet News for Change for Change
June 17, 2014
Today, the City of Tallahassee announced the sweet news that annual contributions to the Change for Change program have doubled since an outreach campaign was launched last spring to increase participation in the program. The increase in contributions will provide an additional $60,000 a year toward services to help homeless families and individuals in Tallahassee, or more than half a million dollars over the next decade. To date, in addition to doubling the amount given – a total of more than $120,000, the campaign resulted in nearly 1,700 new contributors to the program.
To celebrate this milestone, members of the City Commission, City officials and staff served sweet treats to the children and families at the HOPE Community. The HOPE Community is a 6-month transitional housing program for homeless families and individuals that receives funding through Change for Change.
"At a time when agencies across our community are struggling in this difficult economy to help meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, this $60,000 is essential to help combat homelessness," Mayor John Marks said. "Thanks to the compassion and generosity of our community, we have been able to reach our goal and help children realize their dream of having a place to call home."
The Change for Change program allows City utility customers to add a monthly contribution to their utility bill. The money raised through the program goes directly to qualified agencies that provide assistance to homeless families and individuals in Tallahassee.
Last spring, the City launched a community outreach campaign to help address the growing number of homeless children and families in Tallahassee by encouraging residents to sign up for Change for Change. The startling reality was that more than 550 children were homeless in Tallahassee.
Prior to the campaign launch, only two percent of utility customers were participating in Change for Change after nearly a decade of the program being in place. So the City announced the goal to double the amount of contributions to the program, which had previously remained at $60,000 for three consecutive years.
The outreach campaign included:
- More than 40 presentations to community groups, from Kiwanis and Rotary to businesses and school councils
- 80,000 contribution forms in mailed utility bills
- 70,000 customized emails to utility customers
- PSA's on local radio stations
- 23 local news stories
- 400 letters to faith-based organizations
- 130 posters displayed in City buses
- 30 minute documentary on WCOT
- Web promotion, social media and more
With support from representatives from the school, business, religious and media communities, and families who were rebounding from being homeless, the City blanketed the community with information about the many needs of homeless individuals in the community. The program highlighted the fact that nearly 20 percent of homeless individuals in Tallahassee were children.
"While the 100 percent increase in Change for Change contributions is a sweet success for our community, there are still children and families faced with homelessness in Tallahassee," said City Commissioner Gil Ziffer, lead commissioner on the Quality of Life target issue committee. "I implore City utility customers not yet participating in Change for Change to sign up. Your contribution will help homeless families get the help they need to get back on their feet and into their own home."
Customers may sign up for Change for Change by visiting Talgov.com or by calling Your Own Utilities at 891-4YOU (4968). Citizens who wish to give but are not City utilities customers can mail donations to 408 N. Adams St., Tallahassee, FL 32301; Attn: Utility Business & Customer Services - Customer Services Division.
To learn more about Change for Change, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on Talgov.com for additional information.
Carrie Poole, Department of Communications, 891-8533