Emergent support for families through Memorial Funds

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT NOW in the name of a loved one through the FESS Memorial Fund.

FESS serves over 20,000 individuals annually. Sometimes families reach out to us for emergent support in addressing a small (under $500) fiscal barrier. Often there is NO OTHER resource in the community to address these needs. The memorial funds address those needs. Donors can choose a specific program (Kinship, Mothers, Father’s, Domestic Violence, Peer) or simply donate to support low-income families in need. With your support we can improve the health and well-being of children. This donation is 100% tax-deductible through FESS and each donation will reflect the name of the person you wish to recognize.

Nancy had a tremendous positive impact on early childhood education in the Thurston County area and beyond. She mentored many teachers and trained countless others to effectively develop early learners emotionally and socially, and to prepare them to be successful in school. She used her knowledge and wisdom gained through college education and ongoing study to personally develop her early learners at Magical Years Child Development Center which she owned and operated.

After her career at Magical Years, she worked as a childcare licensor for the State where she used her skills to help childcare businesses improve their programs and adhere to State standards. Her love of children, winning smile, kindness, and positive approach made her beloved by children and adults alike. Although she will be sorely missed, her positive influence will be felt far into the future.


Lois Sheppard Gerig was born October 16, 1935, in Centralia, Washington. After a courageous battle of cancer, she passed peacefully into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in her home in Lacey, Washington on April 30, 2024.

Lois was a very caring, compassionate, loving caregiver devoted to the care of many in her family as well as friends. She raised her granddaughter, Katrina Land, who came to live with her from the age of 7 years. Lois is remembered and loved by all. She was always generous with her time and embodied unconditional love to her entire family and countless others. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain friends and family.

She met the love of her life Lee Gerig in 2012. They were married on April 13, 2013. They had an active and fulfilling life together in the autumn of their lives. Her unwavering faith in God and the love and prayers of family and friends carried her through her months of cancer. Lois’s family loved and respected her. She was the matriarch of her immediate family and the descendants and spouses of two combined stepfamilies totaling 56 members.

Donations may be given in honor of Lois Sheppard Gerig to Family Education and Support Services (FESS).


Carrell was one of the founding employees at Family Education & Support Services over 21 years ago. As the organization grew, she became the office manager, greeting people at the front desk and facilitating a parent support group. Often when talking with parents Carrell would reach into her own pocket to help to cover court fees, grocery and gas money. More than that she showed that someone was there who cared and gave hope.

When she passed away in December 2021 the community rallied to continue her legacy of hope and compassion by creating the Carrell Simmons Hope Fund.


Mark was an extraordinary person whose passion, empathy, and determination helped many in our community find hope. When he passed away in April 2020 the community rallied to continue his legacy of hope by creating the Mark Collins Legacy Fund. These funds are intended to remove fiscal barriers for low/no income parents.

Applicants can apply to receive one-time financial support to help them take the next right step towards self-sufficiency. These emergency funds are intended to meet the needs of those who are not served by other community resources.


Honor a loved one by contributing to our Donor Wall.

By contributing to our donor wall, you can ensure that we have funds to continue supporting families in our area with Basic Needs resources like hygiene products, diapers and wipes, rental assistance, laundry vouchers, household goods, and other basic daily necessities.

Learn More