Families Helping Families is taking donations to help better serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Families Helping Families of Northeast Louisiana, Inc. is a network of families in the area who, because of their own experiences, have become committed to reaching out to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The organization has served the parishes of Ouachita, Franklin, Morehouse, Madison, East and West Carroll, Tensas, Jackson, Richland, Union, Caldwell and Lincoln for 21 years.

"We are an outreach advocacy and support organization that offers no billable services," Director Aliscia Banks said. "Nobody pays for our services. We are just here to help."

Families Helping Families provides educational opportunities and information sharing to individuals and families to encourage, enlighten and empower including disability awareness, individualized education plans, educational rights and responsibilities, early childhood supports and services transition, new opportunities waiver training, adult opportunities and health care needs information. They also offer peer to peer support for parents who share the experience of parenting and educating a child with a developmental disability or persons with a developmental disability who want to connect with others. These programs include Families Can't Wait: a hospital based program for new parents, home visits and support matches.

For the last four years, the organization has held a fundraiser to raise money for the Myra Crecink Crisis Relief Fund. Money donated to the fund is used to purchase items that are not typically paid for by any other source like diapers, gas cards for out of town medical trips and food. The fundraiser is currently in the planning stages.

"We can't heal everyone's wounds but with this program at least we can help a little bit," Banks said.

For more information on the organization or any of their programs or to make a donation, visit www.fhfnela.org.