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2020 Pinwheels for Prevention

 

The Family Support Council has begun their Heroes Against Child Abuse campaign. Our church has agreed to participate this year. Family Support Council provides many free opportunities for children and families throughout the area. Some opportunities include:

  • Kids on the Block – show on personal safety and bullying in all the local elementary schools
  • Camp AIM – a therapeutic summer camp for sexually abused children from K-12
  • Parents as Teachers Program – to young high rick preschoolers in the Dalton, Murray, and Whitfield school districts
  • Parenting classes, summer camps, training, and workshops which foster protective assets within families and help to prevent child abuse are additional services provided by FSC
  • Darkness to Light’s, Stewards of Children, training – prevention of child sexual abuse

We are asking $1.00 per pinwheel and donations will be collected through April 5. Individuals who raise $20.00 or more will receive a Hero t-shirt.

Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated!

2020 Pinwheels for Prevention2020-09-08T16:05:16-05:00

Church Mission Day

When you hear about Habitat for Humanity, you might picture Jimmy Carter hammering and sawing away on a home build site alongside some other smiling volunteers, or maybe a Bible study group painting the living room of a house. That’s very much what I imagined when I heard about our local Habitat chapter in Dalton. I learned, however, that Habitat is much more than just building new houses! It’s also the ReStore on Glenwood Avenue, where donated goods are sold to help fund our home builds. It’s the Repair Program, helping members of our community that need help with a leaky roof, or new windows, or adding a wheelchair ramp. It’s building strength and stability through shelter for those in our community that need it the most.

Greater Dalton Habitat has been active since 1987 and we’re currently building our 58th home. The homeowners that we partner with will build their homes alongside volunteers. They must apply to the program, go through a rigorous background and credit check, agree to put in over 350 hours of ‘sweat equity’ volunteer time, and then pay their mortgage once they’re in the home.  I’d heard statistics about the housing issues in our community, and it’s very easy to gloss over thinking something like “Well that can’t be true in OUR community.”  This past spring, I saw a Habitat home dedication write up in the paper. I immediately recognized the homeowner as one of my daughter’s favorite teachers at her school. I had no idea how unsafe her living conditions had been before Habitat. Her family now has a wonderful home in a safe neighborhood where her three children can play in their very own yard. The need for affordable, decent housing is everywhere in our community, you just need to know where to look. I’m thrilled our church family will be volunteering with Habitat, and I encourage you to come out and volunteer on July 13th and see the kind of impact you can have in our community.

Church Mission Day2020-09-08T16:05:17-05:00

Camp AIM 2019

Camp AIM 2019 will be the first 2 full weeks in June, so the dates this year are:

Week 1:           June 3-7

Week 2:           June 10-14

For more information contact Roger Rollins at:

My email:  rrollins255@gmail.com

My cell:  706-260-5999

Sincere thanks to all of you who have been blessed through your participation with these children in years past.  And thanks to all of you who will volunteer for the first time this year.

These children range in age from about 6 to 18.  All of them are victims of sexual abuse.  How this can happen is both a mystery and a tragedy that I do not even pretend to understand.  After admiring Peggy’s leadership and participation with Camp AIM for many years, I decided 3 years ago that although I had no skill or understanding of how to fix these damaged kids, at least I could fix food for them.  I discovered that the quality of the food they were being given was poor and that the kids were not as fully prepared to take advantage of the Family Support Council’s excellent program as they could be if they were properly nourished with a healthy and sufficient quantity of food, particularly in the mornings when they start their classes.  Since then, with the financial help of the church and the physical help of all of you, each child gets a hearty breakfast and lunch.

The difference is amazing.  Once the kids realized that they were going to be fed and loved on by caring adults they didn’t even know, their early morning class sessions began to be more energized.  From the first day of camp, there is a group sense of knowing that they are in a safe and nurturing place.

Camp AIM has been a powerful experience for me, and I recommend it for your participation.  We are responsible for 10 days worth of breakfasts and lunches.  I need volunteers to help prepare and serve food, pick up donated food and clean up afterwards.  I have a fairly organized schedule of each day’s meals from previous years.  There’s a lot to it, but everything actually goes quite smoothly once it kicks off.  Each meal requires about 3 volunteers in some capacity.  Many of you already have or will volunteer for more than one meal, so we may not need an entire army, but we certainly need a good-sized platoon.

At this point, what I need most is several more volunteer names, email addresses and phone numbers, and what your schedule will allow you to do.  Several of you have told me to fit you in wherever you were needed.  Once I have a more complete list, I will send out the daily schedule with proposed meals and all of the required volunteer slots via email.  Each of you can then reply to me with exactly what you’d like to do and when.  This opportunity will probably be announced again during church in coming weeks, but all of us need to confirm schedules, so a timely response is really appreciated.

Respect for confidentiality requires that this is an all-adult project.

Thank you in advance for helping.  Without question, you’ll fall in love with these kids and be grateful for the opportunity of making a difference in this small way.

 

With gratitude, Roger.

Camp AIM 20192020-09-08T16:05:18-05:00

Call to Stewardship By: Jeane Jones

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon and Fran Lewis and I had been to visit Anne Farrow, who by that time had needed to move to The Gardens of Royal Oaks. We three chatted about many good things regarding the church and neighborhood.  When time came to leave, Anne’s parting question tugged at me, “Isn’t there something over here we can do to help?”

Moved by her bright and generous spirit despite her serious illness and advancing years, I went straight home and to the web page of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the helping arm of our denomination, and there was the answer to Anne’s question – a project called
“Gift of the Heart” Hygiene Kits.  The kits would be collected and sent to areas where disaster strikes, much like we’ve recently witnessed with Southeastern hurricanes and California wildfires.

We began to talk up this project first in our Congregational Care Team and with the director of The Gardens, Tammy Caldwell.  All seemed to think it was a good idea.  Soon we had volunteers who helped gather the supplies of hand towels and wash cloths, soap, toothbrushes, combs, nail clippers and the gallon zip lock bags to contain them.  With Tammy’s help, the hospital and The Gardens provided the band aids and toothpaste.

It was soon evident that this simple project was a win-win-win.  It was certainly helping those disaster victims who were literally in need of a fresh beginning.  It was giving meaning to the elderly who helped pack and it was providing delightful interaction between our church’s volunteers and the Gardens’ residents.   One of the biggest perks for us from the church is hearing the ladies, and occasional gentleman,  say things like, “It feels so good to be doing something to help somebody else.”, “We really enjoy having something meaningful to do.”, and a personal favorite, “We just love having you young girls come help us.”

Among the other blessings that have resulted from this very small project is that our youth group was inspired to pack kits here at church.  Once a national company donated items.   Discounts have been given us on supplies and, as reserved Presbyterians, we’ve “accidentally” witnessed in Dalton stores,  as employees always want to know what we’re doing with all those combs!  Now, almost three years later, we’ve packed over 1,000 kits of hope-in-a-zip-lock-bag.

Projects like this pop up and new ones will come along over the years.  So whether you’re helping Roger with cooking for Camp Aim, Alice with reading at Blue Ridge School, packing hygiene kits or something YOU are feeling called to begin, the important thing is for us ALL to always be asking as Anne did, “Isn’t there something WE can do to help?”

Jeane Jones

Call to Stewardship By: Jeane Jones2020-09-08T16:05:18-05:00

Call to Stewardship By: Alice Ensley

Author Neil Gaiman states, “A book is a dream you hold in your hand.” As parents, we all know the power and value of reading to our children to open their eyes to the larger world, to build a love of language and literacy, and to lay a foundation of a future as a reader and writer.  But what if you don’t have books in your home?  What if your parents work while you are home from school?  What if you are learning a new language? That is the case for many of our students at Blue Ridge School.

Blue Ridge School serves 651 kindergarten through fifth grade students.  100% of these students qualify as economically disadvantaged and 33% are English Language Learners. This year 17 students at Blue Ridge are new to our country.

Three years ago, our mission team felt called to invest our time and resources in local projects that would promote literacy and help reduce the adverse effects of poverty.  We decided to create a partnership with Blue Ridge School.  We began a Book of the Month club with the goals of instilling a love of literacy, creating a classroom collection of quality children’s literature, and building relationships with the students and staff. We began reading to kindergarten classrooms once a month.  That year we served approximately 100 students and donated 10 books to each classroom for a total of 50 books.  We also helped with a Valentine’s Day Party for each classroom and some of our volunteers even went on field trips with the students.

The next year we added more classrooms and more volunteers to serve both kindergarten and first grade. In our third year, we have expanded our program to include all kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms. This would not have been possible without your support and our core of volunteers, which has expanded to include members of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church and other community members.

Reading a book a month doesn’t seem like much, but sometimes it is the small, deliberate acts that have the biggest impact.  When we enter Blue Ridge School, we are greet by smiles, hugs, and hellos from the 300 students that we serve. 15 teachers look forward to our visits so they can share the work their students are doing and also have a small break in their busy day, and the classroom libraries are growing…including 300 books donated by our church!

3 years, 300 students, 300 books and 300 dreams.

Thank you for your support of this project and please join us anytime for what will certainly be your favorite hour of the month!

Alice Ensley

Call to Stewardship By: Alice Ensley2020-09-08T16:05:18-05:00
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