To Our Dear Clients and Families,
We are grateful that you have trusted TFF with your care. We have recently made some changes to how we operate and will begin using an alternative model of payment for all services, programs and trainings on November 1st, 2023.
We want to emphasize that no one will be turned away for an inability to pay.
We know that changes to your or your child’s services can feel scary, so we want to assure you that you and your child(ren) will still have the same access to the services you are currently receiving. This letter explains why we made this change and how our equitable sliding scale will work.
A SLIDING SCALE? HOW DID WE COME TO THIS DECISION?
As a Black-led, survivor-led organization, The Firecracker Foundation is committed to weaving values of equity, economic justice (mutual aid/cooperative economics), healing justice, care and accountability into our services.
When TFF was launched in 2013, it was our belief that no child should be barred from services due to an inability to pay. We have kept that promise by offering nearly all of our services for children and families for free.
While generous and well-intentioned, our previous approach:
- allowed people to undervalue the high-quality services provided by TFF staff
- limited the number of children we were able to help due to limited financial resources
- made TFF dependent on unpredictable grant income + large donors
- overvalued outside financial support in ways that influenced our day-to-day priorities
We discovered that the families seeking help at TFF were enthusiastic about offering contributions of both volunteer time and donations. They offered to clean our furniture, brought in clothing to be redistributed to the community, donated money from legal settlements, became volunteers, and joined our board of directors. At every turn, we found acts of generosity and reciprocity that were unexpected and unsolicited.
In 2022, we began to recognize that you belong in every area of the organization. Not just as clients or ‘people we serve’ but as contributing members of a healing community working to end child sexual abuse.
Survivors save themselves. And it is through this mantra and recognition that we found ourselves exploring meaningful, equitable ways for every member of our community – clients, volunteers, attendees, donors – to participate in sustaining the critical work that they are a part of and centered in.
After a little research, we found alternative models of payment and started to imagine how both a membership fee and an equitable sliding scale would develop a sense of belonging, deepen our culture of care and allow us to continue to offer quality services to as much of our community as possible.
We still believe that no one should have to pay for healing services but the harsh reality is that it takes money to pay staff, keep the lights on, and offer healing to people who have been hurt.