CHICAGO and SAN DIMAS, Calif. (10/26/09)--Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc. (FSCC), and National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) are partnering again to raise awareness with credit unions nationwide to support National Runaway Prevention Month this November. FSCC is encouraging more credit unions to support the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of issues facing runaway and at-risk youth, and educate Americans about solutions and the role they can play in preventing youth from running way. “The youth of today is our future,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC president/CEO. “As community leaders and more importantly, as parents, we need to find ways to help prevent youth runaway. The ‘Answering the Call’ campaign serves as a great way to spread the word on youth runaway and gain more awareness and support through credit unions and their members. “This is an awareness campaign that can be supported by simply putting up a flyer at the credit union,” she added. “The credit union movement has a long history of helping children and youth. We hope more credit unions will open their hearts to this worthy cause.” NRS receives an overwhelming amount of requests for help with calls coming in from across the country, said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director. “While NRS handles more than 100,000 calls a year, youth issues can be very complex,” Blaha said. “We find that family dynamics is the most frequent problem identified by crisis callers. Youth run away from home for many reasons but our job is to help keep them safe and off the streets.” FSCC and NRS urge credit unions to participate in the campaign by using the promotional materials that highlight the campaign. Materials can be used inside credit union branches and lobbies to show support. A community action kit is also available, which includes activities that can be used to help raise awareness and provide solutions that prevent youth from running away. These materials can be downloaded on the NRS website at www.1800RUNAWAY.org and by visiting www.fscc.com or www.cuswirl.com, and clicking on the NRS logo. Family dynamics (divorce, remarriage, problems with siblings) and abuse (substance, physical, sexual, neglect) are the top reasons youth reach out for help, according to NRS call-volume statistics. Research shows that between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away per year, and according to NRS’ 2008 call statistics, more than half (51%) of the youth crisis callers were already on the street as a runaway or throwaway, and more than half (56%) said they had been away from home between one and seven days before calling NRS.