Catherine Jennings
Letter to the Editor

June 1, 2008

Dear Woodbury Reports,

I have waited far too long to write this letter of endorsement for the Friends of Families, an organization devoted to assisting the families of children in crisis. The foundation, originally founded in 1998 as the Friends of CEDU Foundation as a non-profit 501-(c)(3), has found new life and focus under the guidance and development of James H. Powell, PhD and Brandi Elliott. Their mission is to provide families already in program the financial means to reach a desired conclusion. This past year, James and Brandi were able to assist a New Leaf North Carolina family successfully complete the program, and I wanted to take a moment to inform your readers about this opportunity to assist committed families stay the course to graduation in these admittedly challenging financial times.

We are all painfully aware of the financial hardships many families are managing these days. Loans are harder to come by or qualify for, houses and other assets are slower to sell, and everything is more expensive-including the cost of specialized and therapeutic schools and programs. But life happens and our children need help, we will do almost anything we have to do to make that happen. But what do you do when you cannot sell any more, borrow any more and there is still work to be done? That is where the Friends of Families was able to help our family and soon after, a family at New Leaf Academy in Bend.

I find their focus particularly appealing as they are designed to help families who have already found the right program/school for their child and for all the reasons that exist, are simply out of money. I feel this is a brilliant way to avoid any conflict of interest with these types of financial support groups, as well as believe that it demonstrates the importance of assisting families already deeply committed both financially and emotionally to the process.

In short this is a perfect way for us to help families who are already in process of helping themselves; the Friends of Families foundation deserves our help and our consideration. Please visit their website at to learn more about how you can make a difference. I for one would like to express my sincere appreciation to James and Brandi for the help you arranged for our family and for your care and commitment to other schools and families you are dedicated to serving.

Very sincerely,

Cat Jennings
Executive Director
New Leaf Academy of North Carolina

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