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Campaign exceeds goal, brings teen violence prevention program back in classrooms

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Save RAVE fundraiser’s success a ‘community statement.’

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For teachers interested in RAVE, you can request sessions on the Family Futures RAVE website (click ‘Sign Up’).

To support RAVE, visit the Family Futures donation page. A gift of $250 funds an entire classroom for RAVE.

A lot can change in a year.

In summer of 2013, the Resources Against Violent Encounters (RAVE) program from Family Futures was on the ropes – critically low in funding, and in danger of ending altogether. Family Futures launched the “Save RAVE” campaign to see if there would be enough support to bring its program back.

And over $18,000 later, the community had answered. RAVE was saved – and had a successful 2013-14 school year back in classrooms.

“This was a statement from our community,” Family Futures’ Lucy Joswick said. “They saved RAVE, because they know we need RAVE.”

The goal for the campaign was simple: $12,500 to fund 50 classrooms (it costs about $250 to bring RAVE to a middle or high school class). The journey to reaching that goal was a little more complex.

“We had people doing pro-bono photography sessions, selling homemade crafts, rallying their friends and more,” Joswick said. “Former RAVE participants starting coming forward and sharing their stories. They all wanted to help save this program.”

Donations from throughout the community totaled over $8,000, bringing Save RAVE close to its goal. The campaign soon caught the attention of a former RAVE funder, the Verizon Wireless Foundation. The foundation then contributed its own gift of over $10,000, bringing the total raised past $18,000.

RAVE was saved. And now it’s back in schools where it’s needed. The program gives students an opportunity to learn tools for identifying and fostering safe dating and healthy relationships. Since the 2013-2014 school year started, 870 middle and high school students in 24 classrooms have learned how to build caring and healthy relationships and avoid being controlled, manipulated or abused.

Family Futures also now has a network of supporters dedicated to sustaining RAVE. Joswick said she plans on doing more dedicated drives to make sure the program is never in danger of ending again.

For teachers interested in RAVE, you can request sessions on the Family Futures RAVE website (click ‘Sign Up’).

“We’ve been so glad to be back working with the teens who need this kind of education and empowerment,” Joswick said. “I can’t wait to see it grow stronger and stronger, building better futures for our teens and breaking the cycle of violence.”

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