Smoky River Family and Community Support Services – In Focus

Sandy Primeau

Smoky River FCSS chairperson’s observations

Our board chair, Sandy Primeau, has graced us with the article for this week’s paper.

Smoky River Family and Community Support Services.

What does this mean? It has been in this community since 1967, helping, serving and working with the people and communities for 50 years now!

Family in its broadest terms is at the heart of all they do, for family is the people, the communities and their relationships.

The numerous programs developed over time come from the essential needs of the communities of the Municipal District of Smoky River No. 130 and the people who live and grow here.

Progress or success is not measured in large steps, but in the smiles and laughter of children on Children’s day event, the Christmas Voucher Program generously supported by volunteers young and old every time a hamper is given, the joy of dance and song as families gather on a Friday evening of music, food and fellowship, the boosting of a teen’s self-esteem as they learn trust and leadership with their peers, the appreciation of someone struggling with their taxes, or companionship with coffee and conversation.

The summer is always filled with adventures, creativity and fun that challenge youth to do more, making memories and friendships and travels with Jean on a bus full of companions – these are measurements of success.

Crystal, our youth programmer, has amazing days of activities planned for the PD days at all the schools. With her Roots of Empathy and Triple P parent programs, Crystal has helped a lot of families and children.

Support Services prop those in need, give guidance to the right door, address or phone connection and sometimes a link to an agency.

So who visits, participates with, works with, gets help from, volunteers for, is impacted by, or is involved with FCSS? Well, it is people of all ages, stages and status in our community of M.D.

Each community and their councils, including the M.D. in combination with funding from the Government of Alberta, make up the majority of financial support. The program is then further supported by the many donations, volunteer hours and generous community participation.

Smoky River FCSS is a program unique to Canada, no other province has it and most wish they did. Everyone within the community can access its resources; it is the buffer and/or junction with government agencies and programs.

It is a way of communicating with each other and hearing the voices of those who are seldom heard. It gives those quiet voices access to and the potential for success.

Smoky River FCSS is people helping people and we in this community are the luckiest people to have it in our world.

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