Family Service Society Chit Chat

Extreme Makeover

Heather Pierce - Saturday, February 20, 2016

Family Service Society is located at 827 Joe Clifton Drive.  Don't know where that is?  It's the old Captain D's building. Yes, now you know what I'm talking about.




FSS was granted that building through a City Grant and paid $1.00 a year for 5 years for the property.  A few things were done to the building to get in and FSS was happy to have that building.  The building on S. 3rd street had rain water constantly leaking in and when FSS moved out, that building was condemned and torn down.

However, the Joe Clifton Drive property was not built to be a service agency. It was built to be a restaurant.  Therefore, it has never actually fit the needs of FSS.  Family Service Society has made great use of every inch of space in that building and additional space on the parking lot by renting semi-trailers for storage.  Ideas had been tossed about on how to handle this problem within the agency--- Should we move to a new location?  Should we remodel?  Should we rent space? 

The decision was made to stay where we are in our current location because so many of our clients walk to us.  They may live in the hotel near our facility or they may ride the bus to get to us.  Another factor in our decision was that even if we purchased a new building we felt it would also have to be remodeled.  We just did not feel we could find a building already made for us.  Of course, we felt that we had an asset in our building.  Since we had acquired the building through a city grant for $5.00 our building was paid for and we had equity in our current building.

With those items in mind the staff and Board of Directors of FSS decided it best to renovate the building at 827 Joe Clifton Drive to meet our needs.

So, What Do We Do Next?

Once it was decided on that we would move forward with the remodel we contacted designers, contractors, and whoever else would give us advice on what we should do and what would be a good lay out. 

That's when we figured out we had more work to do on our part.  We had to really walk through our services, our processes, and how we wanted to grow in the future so that we could design the building around our needs and the needs of our clients. 

Chad Beyer, with I5 Design Group, worked diligently with us to develop a design that fit our needs and our budget.  Chad explained different options to us and to our building committee to come up with our final product.  Bobby Owens with Maxim Contractors was hired to do the construction work.

How Will FSS Function?

If we are kicked out of our building for three months how will FSS function and serve its clients? 

We are working out of construction trailers serving our clients.  Our clothing room is shut down temporarily until we reopen.  There is no room to house those items.  This service will continue we move back into our normal space.  We will also begin receiving clothing donations again in May.  Due to our lack of storage at this time we are unable to collect donations. 

Our staff is separated into two trailers and we communicate back and forth by and phone and email.  It's not ideal but it is temporary.  We truly believe it will be beneficial in the long run.




When Will We Move In?

Good Question and one we get asked often.  Maxim Construction began work on February 8, and they projected 75 days.  We anticipate some delays ,as most construction projects have them, so we say 90 days which leads us into the beginning of May.   

Once we are moved in and settled we will host a rededication/Open House to celebrate our new home. 

What's Our Progress?

I invite you to follow the progress daily on our facebook page Family Service Society. Here are a few pictures of before the remodel when we were moving out and where we are to this point:



                          Former Clothing Room Area                                                                                            Former Clothing Area that will now be Education Area/Board Room





                           Former Front Office                                                                                              Front Office now which will be the new Clothing Room

How Can You Help?

Family Service Society made a conscious effort to not enter into  a capital campaign at this time knowing how many other initiatives are going on in Paducah.  As a Board and Staff we decided to look for grant opportunities and to work with other partners in our community to complete our project.

Here are a few items we will need as we move in.  If you have a connection to someone that can help us or you are willing to help us please contact us at 

(270) 443-4838 or

      • Clothing Racks
        • Round, adjustable, in good shape
      • Shelving for the clothing room
        • i.e. Closetmaid type shelving
      • Office Furniture
        • Desks, chairs, Board Room/Education Tables and Chairs
      • Industrial Shelving for the Pantry

 Monetary donations are also appreciated and can be sent to:

                                                                                827 Joe Clifton Drive

                                                                                Paducah, KY 42001

 Or you can go to our go fund me page at

Thank you for your support of Family Service Society.  Keep checking in for updates on the renovation.  The building is changing daily so it will be great transformation to watch.



Family Service Society Collides with the Tornadoes

Heather Pierce - Thursday, February 18, 2016

In  our town of Paducah, Kentucky sits an elementary school named George Rogers Clark Elementary School.  Clark School was established in 1938 just one year after Family Service Society was established.  Clark School has an impeccable reputation for academics, sports, music, arts, and community involvement. 

Family Service Society has been fortunate enough to have Clark School as a partner.  This past Christmas in 2015, Clark School children brought in over 1000 cans of food for our food pantry.  They lovingly donated these canned good items and then gathered them together for our center. 




                                    (Jessie Shanks, 5th Grader at Clark School)                                                              

Clark has been actively helping us in this way for many years.  Family Service Society works closely with the Family Resource Center  at Clark School to help if there are children that  are in need of clothing, school supplies or food.  We also work closely with each other to share resources.  If there is something that we receive that we know will be better utilized at Clark we call their  coordinator, Robyn West, to share.  For example, we received several cases of brand new stuffed animals and books from Kohl's Department store.  This was a fabulous donation but we weren't sure we were the right recipients.  We asked Robyn if she could use them and she was ecstatic.  She used the books in a reading program and the stuffed animals as rewards.  It was a perfect fit.

But it seems that this partnership with Clark did not just start 10 years ago, it has been an ongoing partnership since the beginning of both of these establishments.  Clark was established in 1938 and Family Service Society was established in 1927.  They found a partnership early on and it has been a long lasting one.

Below is a letter that I found in a box of some of our history items:  




In 1939, a class of 2nd graders made baskets for some of our clients for Thanksgiving.  How incredibly wonderful that the teacher of this class felt it important to teach these children about service to their community. 

I write this because I think it is incredibly amazing that Clark School and Family Service Society have been partnering since 1939.  That children can help others in their community and begin to learn about it at an early age.  I also write about this because I feel partnerships are so vital to the success of Family Service Society.  We work with so many wonderful people in our community that truly believe in our mission of helping those is in crisis situations.  These  may be individuals who donate clothes, donate food, or make a monetary donation.  We partner with companies who sponsor our BBQ on the River fundraising efforts and our IRON MOM event which helps support our annual budget.  We have companies in town that support what we do and so that when Family Service Society has a crisis such as when our roof leaks they will come and help us out with this problem.  We also work with dentists, pharmacies and other organizations that help provide quality services to our clients. 

Partnership is essential to our success each day at Family Service Society.  It allows us to serve our clients more effectively, more efficiently, and with more love..  Through donations of time, money, service or items we can better serve our community.

We are blessed beyond measure that Clark Elementary School, its staff and students, are supportive of Family Service Society and its mission. 



Heather Pierce - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What can you get for $5.00? 

I'm racking my brain here: a cup of coffee, a kids meal at a fast-food restaurant, or a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter?

I know you can't go to the movies for $5.00, get a full size meal at a fast food restaurant, or even all of the components to make a PB&J. 

We've begun a remodel at Family Service Society.  Of course, as we prepared for the remodel we had to pack up our belongings inside the building.  I found several boxes containing pictures and history of our agency.  There were lots of pictures of staff helping with day to day activities, with Christmas assistance, and supporting the agency through Fundraising at BBQ-on-the River.  However, what caught my attention was the correspondence inside the books.  Correspondence from the clients that had been served over the years like the letter below:


$5.00 is all Family Service Society gave that day but it made a huge impact on her life.  In my mind that seems like such an insignificant amount--bacon costs more than $5.00 at the store some days but luckily the staff at FSS that day did not think $5.00 was insignificant. Instead, they felt called to give and it helped this lady and her family get over a hump in their life.  When they reached the other side of that hump she felt called to help someone else by returning that money to Family Service Society. 

What if we all gave what we feel is insignificant?  $5.00, $8.75, $20.00, $100.00?

Wouldn't it add up to make significant?