Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 30, 2014

Telethon to fund crisis services starts Friday

TRAVERSE CITY — Third Level Crisis Center fields about 30,000 crisis phone calls each year.

The nonprofit, which is newly part of Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, provides 24/7 phone and in-person crisis intervention. Anyone can call at any time about any topic, crisis services supervisor Mickie Jannazzo said.

“It could be parents having a hard time with teenagers, to people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, to people who are feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope and are thinking about killing themselves,” Jannazzo said. “It could also be someone who is newly unemployed and needs help for the first time and doesn’t know what to do.”

Providing round-the-clock services takes a lot of time, money and manpower to sustain. The nonprofit receives funding from federal, state and local grants, as well as from state contracts for adoption and foster care work, Jannazzo said.

But those funds aren’t enough to sustain every service.

“We’re talking about an expensive endeavor to be available 24/7. We need the additional support of the community,” Jannazzo said.

Child and Family Services and Third Level are holding a telethon Friday and Saturday to raise money to keep crisis programs up and running. The campaign is dubbed “30 for 30,” and the goal is to raise $30,000 for the 30,000 calls.

“It’s a thoughtful way to raise awareness and funds,” Jannazzo said. “We have a wide variety of ways that we help people in crisis. The crisis center is the most visible one.”

Jannazzo believes it’s important for the organization to continue providing 24-hour crisis intervention services because research shows the long-term impacts of trauma are reduced when help is available at the time of the crisis.

“Crisis and emotional distress knows no time,” she said.

The “30 for 30” campaign is meant to give the nonprofits an extra boost and remind people that crisis programs cannot exist without support from the community.

“We’ve been very blessed with our generous community,” Jannazzo said. “I’m really hoping that they get excited about the telethon like we are.”

The telethon runs from 5-9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Donors can call 231-943-2652 or donate online at www.cfsnwmi.org or www.thirdlevel.org.

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