Monday, March 30, 2009

Fayette: Free Caregiver Conference – You Are Not Alone

One of the most difficult aspects of being a family caregiver is the feeling of isolation as you, and your loved one, struggle with a debilitating illness. One of the most comforting things a caregiver can hear is “you are not alone’ but quite often caregivers feel so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to turn for help.

To address these challenges, Fayette Senior Services will host a Caregivers Conference on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at their Life Enrichment Center located at 4 Center Drive in Fayetteville. Attendees will hear from experts in the field of aging who will share valuable tips on how to ease the stress of caregiving. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for check-in followed by the conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge to all registrants courtesy of Wesley Woods Newnan-Peachtree City.

To register, call 770-461-0813. You must pre-register for the event by April 15, 2009.

Guests will hear from a panel of distinguished experts including, Beverly Fochtman, CSA (Certified Senior Advisor) Home Instead Senior Care; Mary Lynn Kirby, J.D., Kirby, Palmer, Farrell, Nix; Albert Capogrossi, CR,CGR,CAPS,CGP, Concept Creators; Ann Garzia, Owner/Director, Sarah’s Adult Day Services; Nathalie White-Faulkner, Director of Marketing, Towne Club of Peachtree City; Ellen Werner, M.Ed./Owner, The Alzheimer’s Store; Mark L. Warner, AIA/Author, The Complete Guide to Alzheimer's-Proofing Your Home and In Search of the Alzheimer's Wanderer; Linda, Pirog, M.Ed/Owner, Senior Helpers, Peachtree City; Mary Ann Neureiter, Owner, Cambridge House Adult Day Care Center; Mary Lou Vergara, M.Div., ARC Area Agency on Aging; Nell Robinson, Case Manager, Center for the Visually Impaired; Susan Landais, MS Gerontology, Program and Operations Manager, Fayette Senior Services, Inc.; and Suzanne Chrispen, LCSW, Case Management Supervisor, Fayette Senior Services, Inc.

The panel will address a wide variety of relevant topics that include: The importance of early diagnosis, tips on how to create a safe and user friendly environment for people with disabilities, information on community support for in-home services, community respite options through adult day care, senior housing options from independent to full support, how to care for yourself while you care for others, and spiritual perspectives on your caregiver journey.

Respite care will be available at Sarah Adult Day Care, 286 Highway 138 in Riverdale and at Cambridge House Enrichment Center, 2687 Highway 154 in Newnan. The cost for a full day of respite is just $20 and you may register for respite care when you register for the conference.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for Nursing Home Administrators and Social Workers for an administrative fee of $10.

For more information contact Susan Landais, Fayette Senior Services ( 770-461-0813 ext. 115.
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Comprehensive Analysis of Georgia Nonprofit Sector

Georgians Give More on Average than Donors Nationally Charitable Activity Varies Widely Across the State

Note: This information was released three months ago. However, we just came across it and thought it was so interesting we had to share! We've always known that Georgians had a big hearts!

Collaboration between Georgia State University and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has resulted in the most comprehensive analysis ever made of Georgia's nonprofit sector and the giving patterns of Georgians.

Funded by grants from the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, and coordinated by Atlanta fund raising firm Alexander Haas, these two studies - Georgia Gives and Nonprofit Georgia - examined giving patterns throughout the state, as well as comparative analysis of giving in Atlanta and other urban, suburban and rural areas of the state.

"Georgians have always been generous, and these two studies provide evidence that the tradition continues today," said David H. King, president of Alexander Haas. "Individuals in Georgia gave an estimated $5.58 billion in 2007 to meet vital needs and improve the quality of life in our communities and rural areas throughout the state and gave more than the national averages," he said.

Among the key findings of Georgia Gives:

Georgia's total charitable giving by individuals, foundations and corporations in 2007 is estimated to be nearly $6.7 billion.

Individual donors statewide ($2,381) and in Atlanta ($2,492) gave more on average than donors nationally ($2,247) in 2007

60 percent of household donations in 2007 came from the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes 54 percent of the state's population.

86 percent of Atlantans reported making gifts to charity in 2007, compared with 70.2 percent nationally and 68 percent in the rest of the state.

55.5 percent of household donations in 2007 went to religious organizations, which is slightly lower than the national level of 61 percent.

The next largest share of Georgia household contributions (14 percent) was given to public-society benefit organizations such as United Way, compared to 10 percent of contributions nationally.

In 2007, corporate giving in Georgia is was estimated at $503 million.

"The Georgia Gives report shows that individuals, foundations and corporations all play a critical role in supporting Georgia's thriving nonprofit sector," said Patrick M. Rooney, interim executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. "Georgia's more than 1,400 independent, operating and community foundations gave an estimated total of $615.8 million to charity in 2006," he added.

Among the key findings of Nonprofit Georgia:

Georgia's Public Charities

7,119 public charities in Georgia filed with the IRS in 2005. Total revenues in these charities amounted to $24.7 billion, up 36 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2000.
Fulton and DeKalb counties had a combined 2,429 charities.

There were 12 counties with no reporting charities, and over one-third of all Georgia counties had fewer than five.

The "urban-rural" divide in nonprofit resources is different than the "haves and have not" divide primarily because the lowest poverty rates in the state are in suburban counties. The 40 counties in Georgia with the highest poverty rates had an average $460 in public support per capita, while the 40 counties with the lowest poverty rates had $127. Similarly, the 40 counties with the highest poverty rates had an average $357 in government grants per capita, while the 40 with the lowest poverty rates had $41.

On various, commonly accepted measures of financial health, public charities in rural counties appeared to be somewhat healthier than those in urban counties. This suggests that although there are fewer nonprofit organizations and revenues in rural areas, the nonprofits that are operating there are sound, and are relatively good risks for philanthropic investment.

Georgia's Foundation Grant-Making

Georgia foundations are largely clustered around core urban areas in the state. While Fulton and DeKalb counties combined had 722, or 46 percent, of Georgia's foundations in 2005, 53 of Georgia's 159 counties-most of them rural-had no foundations.

The majority (more than 70 percent) of grant dollars from Georgia-based foundations remain in the state of Georgia.

Georgia foundations tend to give to the communities closest to their headquarters. The majority of grant dollars that go to rural counties originate in rural counties and the majority of grant dollars that go to urban counties originate in urban counties.

According to Dennis R. Young, Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Professor of Private Enterprise, and Director of the Nonprofit Studies Program, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University: "Georgia's nonprofit sector has a powerful potential to transform the social and economic landscape of Georgia, but little is known about the capacity of the sector and the nature of its impact. Our Nonprofit Georgia study is intended to contribute to that understanding."

Complete information on the Georgia Gives study can be accessed on the web at and more information on The Center on Philanthropy at

Nonprofit Georgia study information can be accessed on the website of the Nonprofit Studies Program of Georgia State University at
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Toastmasters International Presence in Georgia Expanding

Providing Communication and Leadership Training to Hundreds

With two hundred sixty-eight Toastmasters International clubs in fifty-four of her cities and towns Georgia is a separate district (District 14) within the Toastmasters International organization. Through the hard work of its Division and Area Governors, District 14 opened nineteen new clubs since July 1, 2008. This number is growing daily.

Each club, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization, can provide the following resources to their communities: Youth Leadership Programs where upper elementary, middle-school, and high school students are trained in communication (written and oral) and leadership skills; Speechcraft programs where the community at large can partake in communication training; and the Georgia Toastmaster Speakers Bureau which connects companies and organizations with public speakers knowledgeable in a wide range of topics including Leadership, Building Successful Teams, Creative Thinking and Innovation, Motivational and Inspirational, Coaching, Management Skills Training, and Time Management. A goal of District 14 Toastmasters is to bring its educational program to all parts of the state.

District 14 Toastmaster clubs consist of corporate clubs and community clubs. Corporate clubs are open to company employees. Community clubs are open to any member of the community age eighteen and over. Toastmasters International is the world’s largest educational organization devoted to the improvement of communication and leadership skills. The Toastmasters program is a unique self-paced program helping individuals develop communication and leadership skills in a mutually supportive environment. To find a club nearby visit
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Flooding in Fargo: World Vision Sending Supplies and Staff to Help Affected Families

/PRNewswire / -- Amid historic flooding in Fargo, North Dakota, Christian relief organization World Vision is dispatching an initial truckload of emergency supplies and sending staff to assess the needs of affected families.

"It's devastating for children and families to see their homes flooded and be forced to evacuate. But with this historic disaster happening on top of the economic downturn, people are going to be hurting even more," said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's director for domestic disaster response.

"World Vision is especially concerned about children, lower-income families and families already struggling in this recession," said Freeman. "We will be working with local churches and community organizations to make sure the most vulnerable people don't fall through the cracks."

The agency's first shipment will leave Seattle on Tuesday and arrive at World Vision's Storehouse in the Twin Cities on Thursday. World Vision is shipping cleaning supplies that will help more than 150 families to combat dangerous black mold and other hazards once they are able to return to their homes. World Vision also plans to supply hygiene kits, paper towels, women's clothing and trash bags. For children who have been affected, the organization is providing soccer balls, board games, coloring books, baby clothing, backpacks, school supplies, stuffed animals and shoes.

The organization will work with its network of community and church partners to distribute the supplies to those who have been affected in and around Fargo.

"Recovery is going to take time, even after it's safe for these families to return," Freeman said. "Families that have had their homes heavily flooded will need to shovel out mud, wash down the walls, bleach everything, and possibly rip out drywall," she added.

Cash donations are needed to help with the response. The public can help by calling 1.888.56.CHILD or visiting and giving to the American Families Assistance Fund.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, March 27, 2009

Belk Spring Charity Sale on May 2 Benefits Local Charities and Schools

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Belk’s Spring Charity Sale on May 2, 2009, will once again benefit local charities, schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the company’s 16-state market area. Belk’s previous Charity Sale, held November 15, 2008, raised more than $4.5 million for hundreds of participating nonprofit organizations.

The four-hour, in-store shopping event offers an excellent fundraising opportunity for participating organizations and a chance for customers to support worthwhile charities and take advantage of special discounts on purchases made during the event.

In return for a $5 donation, customers receive a ticket admitting them to the Charity Sale on May 2 from 6 to 10 a.m. and entitling them to merchandise discounts ranging from 20 to 50 percent on purchases throughout the store. Customers also receive $5 off their first purchase of $5 or more at the event, and Belk cardholders will receive double points for card purchases.

Participating local charities will sell the Charity Sale tickets in advance of the event and the proceeds from each $5 ticket will be retained by the charity. Beginning Friday, April 24, tickets may also be purchased at the store with all donations divided among the participating charities and schools. There is no limit to the number of tickets charities can sell, and no limit to the amount of money that can be raised. Belk provides tickets and collateral material at no cost to the participating nonprofit organizations.

Charity representatives interested in taking part in this one-of-a-kind fundraising event should contact their local Belk store manager for more information. In order to participate in the Belk Charity Sale, organizations must have an IRS 501(c)(3) designation.

Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Georgia Front Page

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fayette Care Clinic's Dancing with the Stars a Success

Recently, Fayette Care Clinic hosted its 4th annual fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, at Glendalough Manor in Tyrone. The 172 “stars,” including community leaders, and supporters of the clinic, enjoyed a night of dining, dancing, and auction prizes donated by generous sponsors. The evening was a great success raising $30,000 for the clinic.

Glendalough Manor, as they have for four years, donated the food, drinks, and elegant rooms for the evening. A raffle was held for a stunning sapphire necklace donated by The Queen’s Jewels. Among the items auctioned were a heated massage bed from Relax the Back, vacations in Destin, Costa Rica, and Georgia mountains, a night at the Ritz Carlton, a dinner party prepared by Call Me Your Chef. There was also a silent auction.

Since 2005 Fayette Care Clinic has provided health and dental care, vision care, education, prevention and limited referrals to uninsured and working poor residents in Fayette County. These patients do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and have a maximum household income of 200% above the federal poverty guideline. By most recent census, nearly 18% of Fayette county residents meet these criteria. Currently, the clinic serves 40 medical and 12 dental patients weekly. All health care providers, technical assistants, and reception staff are volunteers.

Fayette Care Clinic has partnered with Piedmont Fayette Community Hospital, OutPatient Imaging, and Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. Even so, new patients have a 2-3 week wait for a first appointment, and 12 months for new dental patients.

Appointment waiting times are increasing as the economic downturn continues and more residents join the ranks of the uninsured. Doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, dentists, and dental assistants are needed. Contributions are being sought as Fayette Care Clinic attempts the necessary expansion to serve the growing needs in our community.

For more information on the Fayette Care Clinic, visit their website at, or call the office, 770-487-4778.
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Town Hall Forum with Dr. Steve Hall

ExceptionalOps Proudly Presents a Town Hall Forum
Featuring Dr. Steve Hall
Director of the Dept. of Developmental Disabilities of GA DHR
Tuesday, April 14th from 7:00-9:00PM
First Christian Church, 294 Jenkins Road, Tyrone, GA

For directions go to:

This Forum will provide an overview of the two new federal Medicaid waivers and plans for implementing the changes in 2009:
· NOW: New Options Waiver for persons who live with family members or in their own home
· COMP: Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program for persons who need a full range of out-of-home services or intensive, in-home services who do not otherwise qualify for the NOW program
This seminar is designed to provide and clarify information for participants, families, and representatives about the “new” waivers which are designed to offer persons more control over how their service dollars are spent. The session will include overviews of both waivers and specific roles and responsibilities for participants, representatives, families, and support networks.

v If you have been following the efforts of Dr. Hall to revamp the Medicaid waiver program in GA

v If you have a loved one with a developmental disability who needs support services
v If you are on the short or long term Medicaid waiver waiting list
v If you are an educator who serves children with special needs
v If you are a provider of Medicaid waiver services or wish to become a service provider
v If you have a million questions about what to do next
v If you have questions or concerns about the transition process

Then this is the meeting for you! Come meet the expert, ask your questions and become part of the process of turning the tide for increased services for people with DD in GA.

For more information please contact ExOPS Executive Director Janet Smola 770 631-1035 or cell phone 770 639-9169Email:
ExOPS Mailing Address: 256 Commerce Drive, Suite 447, Peachtree City, GA 30269
ExOPS Office Location: 100 Governor’s Trace, Suite 107, Fayetteville, GA 30214

Monday, March 23, 2009

Angel Food Ministries Continues to Serve and Hits March Peak

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Angel Food Ministries (, an organization dedicated to providing affordable, high quality food to those in need, achieved its highest ever March distribution with 560,000 boxes distributed, and only second highest distribution numbers in its history, indicating further the growing need for affordable, quality food.

Angel Food Ministries provides boxes of food to more than 5000 communities in 39 states and feeds more than 320,000 families each year. Through Angel Food's benevolence funds, the organization has donated $560 thousand back into local communities and churches this month alone and more than $20 million since its inception.

Pastor Joe Wingo, CEO and founder, said, "Our March numbers humble us, as we see there is a great need being filled, yet we need to do more. We fear that those who are going hungry are multiplying with each day and down turn in the national employment figures.”

Pastor Wingo continued, "Angel Food Ministries has been under somewhat of a siege in the public eye for a few months, and we feel it every day. It is our greatest privilege to be able to continue filling a national need and helping families through the rough times. We appreciate the support and confidence that this distribution demonstrates; we feel for those who seek food relief through us, and praise God for giving us the abilities to minister to so many through this national epidemic."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Sunday, March 22, 2009

DHR Invites Public Comment on Babies Can't Wait Early Intervention Grant Application

The Babies Can't Wait (BCW) Program is Georgia’s statewide early intervention system for infants and toddlers with special needs, ages birth to three, and their families.

The Georgia Department of Human Resource (DHR) Division of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency for administration of the BCW system.

DHR has developed a new federal grant application for Babies Can't Wait that will be effective July 1, 2009 upon approval.

BCW invites interested persons to participate in a 60-day public review period that will run from March 20, 2009 - May 20, 2009. The public may review the grant application online ( or at Babies Can't Wait offices throughout the state and comment in three ways:

(1) Written comments will be received from March 20, 2009 - April 21, 2009: Babies Can't Wait 2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 11-203 Atlanta, GA 30303-3186);
(2) Email comments will be received from March 20, 2009 - April 21, 2009:
(3) Facsimile comments will be received from March 20, 2009 - April 21, 2009: State BCW Office Fax: (404-657-2763)

Written, email, and facsimile comments will be received March 20, 2009 - April 21, 2009 and should be sent to: Phyllis Turner, Acting Part C Coordinator 2 Peachtree Street NW, #11-203 Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3186
Facsimile: (404) 657-2763

More information about Georgia’s BCW early intervention program is available at A list of BC Wearly intervention programs throughout the state where the grant may be reviewed is available at:
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2nd Annual Drop Dead Gorgeous Event Raises Awareness on the Importance of Atlanta's Voiceless Victims

/PRNewswire/ -- The 2nd annual Drop Dead Gorgeous event, campaign of the 501c3c organization, Meet Justice, Inc., engaged the fashion and entertainment industries to combat child sex trafficking. The gala experienced its most successful moment to date on March 3 at 103 West in Buckhead, Georgia. A portion of the $18,000 in net proceeds from the event, chaired by Susan Muscari and Bronni Karatassos, will benefit Wellspring Living, Maya Angelou Teen Center of the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, and the Child Exploitation Unit of the Atlanta Police Department.

The chic 2009 crowd attracted Atlanta's cultural influencers including: Hannibal Navies, Tutan Reyes, Amanda Bearse, Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Walter Young, Deena Beasley, Lydia Mondavi, and Pano and Georgia Karatassos. Bre Scullark, DDG spokesmodel and contestant of America's Next Top Model, led the runway's stunning collections by Nina Gleyzer Couture, Waller + Fogle of Savannah College of Art & Design, T. Boutique, and jewelry by Jen Boaz Designs.

Kristen White, Miss Black USA, led the live auction which included an exclusive Napa Valley get-a-away to the Mondavi family winery, 29Spa and Neiman Marcus luncheon, private dinner for 8 at Kyma cooked by renowned chef Pano Karatassos, a tour of Spain's finest wineries courtesy of Big Boat Wine Company, and original artwork by Gillian Horsley accompanied by a signed copy of Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name "The Long Walk Home."

"This evening would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers and contributors," stated event chair, Susan Muscari. "Without them we would not be able to demonstrate to the community how imperative it is for everyone to work together cohesively to address an issue that affects our community."

100 volunteers donated their time to ensure the patrons had a remarkable experience. Other contributors include Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, PASTE Magazine, Four Seasons Atlanta, The Hamby Corporation, The Stone Ridge Group, Spellbound Wine, Peroni, Absolut Vodka, Buckhead Beef, Richie Arpino Salon, 29Spa, Neiman Marcus Atlanta, Wendy Babchin Designer Group, 1-800-Flowers Atlanta, Prestige Limo, Henri's Bakery, Blue Sky Agency, Elle Aesthetics, House of Music Entertainment, Element Model Management, Effective Media Group, Bronni Karatassos, Gillian Horsley, John Fleming, April McCollum, Lisa Allen, Josh Baker, and Valerie Hamilton.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unlock the Waiting Lists Action Alert

I have great news…The House and Senate agreed to restore the 135 MRWP slots back into the FY09 budget!

Go to for a fact sheet and more information...

Our focus now shifts to the FY2010 budget covering services that will be available from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. There are a few issues at play this year that are important for you to understand. Please help me forward this action alert.


Because Georgia's economy is following national trends, on March 3rd Governor Perdue lowered his FY2010 Budget revenue estimate by $1.6 billion. Having less money to work with, the Senate and House will have to cut the overall budget by a substantial amount. They are now reviewing a revised budget offered by the Governor. Instead of naming specific programs to cut, the Governor simply included a $3M cut to Developmental Disability programs in DHR and then left it up to legislators.

Go to to see a summary of cuts.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama and will offer over $600M of relief for Medicaid services. This relief is offered through an enhancement of Georgia’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) from 65.1% to 74.82%. This increased FMAP simply means that before the ARRA, it used to take around 35 cents to get a dollar of disability services in Georgia, and now it only takes only ONE QUARTER to get a dollars worth of supports!


Georgia can use this enhanced Medicaid match from the ARRA to invest in services for people with disabilities - OR - they agree with the Governor and make cuts to disability supports while withdrawing or borrowing much needed state money to send to other Governmental programs. This makes no sense when we have over 7,000 people with disabilities waiting for much needed help!!

Please ask your legislator not to move $42,743,523 out of DHR’s Developmental Disability program accounts and over $450 million from DCH’s Medicaid accounts until they expand disability supports to Unlock Georgia’s Waiting Lists for services. THERE ARE OVER 7,000 people waiting who are depending on their decision!

We are asking them to:

· Add funds for 2,000 MRWP services in the DHR budget
· Add funds for 630 ICWP slots in the DCH budget
· Add funds for $6M in Family Supports in the DHR budget
· Restore funds for 135 vacant MRWP services
· Add funds for a 3% rate increase for disability providers in the DHR and DCH budgets
· Protect the funds for 150 MRWP services and 100 ICWP slots for the Money Follows the Person programs in the DHR and DCH budgets

Go to to ACT NOW!

Go to the Georgia Budget and Policy Insitute website for analysis on current legislation being considered that could reduces state revenue even further.

Dave Blanchard

Fayette FACTOR meets March 23rd

"Continue to do more with less until you can do everything with nothing."

As the budget woes continue, The Governor, State Department Heads and Legislators are making tough decisions that are impacting every citizen in Georgia. Today, Commissioner B.J. Walker presented her FY2010 budget to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources. Line by line, she explained the impact on Georgia's citizens and how the Department was going to mitigate the impact of the cuts on Georgia's most vulnerable. (See message below for the rest of this message from Welfare Watch)

March 23@Fayette Family YMCA FACTOR Collaborative monthly meeting. 11:30 lunch (please RSVP) Meeting starts at noon.

Focus of the meeting:

How Have the State Budget Cuts Effected our County’s Agencies

We will hear from our state social service agencies-DFCS; Health Dept.; Dept of Juvenile Justice; Fayette Counseling/McIntosh Trail

Our goal for this meeting is to hear these agencies “greatest areas of concern” stemming from budget cuts and brainstorming together- determine collaborative efforts or partnerships that could address these identified areas of concern.

Please make every effort to attend. Granted we all are feeling the results of our country’s economic turmoil - however, unlike the non-profits, our state agencies do not have the fundraising opportunities. Even though they are able to solicit donations for projects - it takes programs and people (state budgeted items) to implement those projects. Keeping our state agencies around and strengthened is important to all of us! Collaboratively we - Strengthen Families and Strengthen Fayette

Becky Smith
Executive Director/FACTOR
404-291-1602 (office cell)
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Local Students work to Raise Money to Build Library in Africa

Sponsors Coffee-Houses to Support the Cause

Four years ago 14 families from Umuaka, Nigeria living in metropolitan Atlanta started raising money to build a library in their town so residents and young students especially could have a community facility to help support their education and increase literacy rates. This year a local youth organization challenged its members to choose and implement a community service project.

A youth member aware of the acute need for literacy in Umuaka, Nigeria suggested that her group raise money to help fund a project to build and equip a community library. It is a large town of 10 villages, 10 elementary schools and two high schools that has no community library. Consequently, illiteracy is a major problem in the region.

Fayette County High School senior, Ogechi Oparah, visited the town in 2004 and attended classes at the girls high school; says of the education system, “There is so much that needs to be done, and so much that can be done for the residents in Umuaka. I think as youth, it is our job to help encourage change for our generation, and building literacy is one way for us to do it.” She added, “Teens are often given a bad rap, however there are many youth in the Fayette community involved in very positive activities and I want our elders to see the capability and power of young people with a mission”.

Ogechi, a member of the Association of Village PRIDE, Inc. presented her idea to fellow students who joined in on the project. Together, the students from four different local high schools have set a goal to raise $10,000 by August, 2009. The students have scheduled four local coffeehouse events to raise awareness about the literacy needs in Africa and to raise money for the project. The first coffeehouse will be held on March 28, 2009 from 7-9:00 pm at the Fayette Family YMCA. Tickets are available at the Fayetteville Public Library.

This literacy project is youth driven and youth coordinated. The coffeehouse will feature local youth talent performing in drama, poetry readings, voice, instrumental music, dance, and more. The youth are also soliciting donations from local businesses to be used in a silent auction. The admission to the coffeehouse is $5.00 with a new or used book or $7.00 without a book.

The students are soliciting individual and group donations. Depending on the amount of the donations, donors’ names will be placed on group plaques and individual plaques to be displayed in the library once it is completed. Students are seeking help from local businesses, youth leadership and volunteer organizations, churches and other faith-based organizations. They have developed a website where interested people can get additional information or donate. Students also set up different groups on how to get involved through social networks sites.
Contributions for this project are tax-deductible because of the non-profit nature of the sponsoring organization, Association of Village PRIDE, Inc.

For information on school representatives, how to perform at the coffeehouse, how to volunteer, or how to donate you can send an email to or visit the website at
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fayette Senior Services to Host “Mayors For Meals Day” on March 18

Fayette Senior Services announced today that it will be hosting Mayors For Meals Day as a part of the March for Meals national campaign initiated by Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), which seeks to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of the local community. Fayette County Mayors Harold Logsdon (Peachtree City), Ken Steele (Fayetteville) and Don Rehwaldt (Tyrone) will be participating in the event to show their support for the community’s homebound seniors. Fayette Senior Services delivers more than 40,000 meals annually to help seniors improve their quality of life and remain independent. The meals are delivered by a team of volunteer drivers who are often the only social contact a homebound senior receives each week.

The mayors will attend a brief training session beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 at Fayette Senior Services located at 4 Center Drive in Fayetteville. Afterward, each mayor will accompany one of Fayette Senior Services’ regular volunteer drivers to deliver meals to homebound seniors in their respective communities.

Debbie Britt, Executive Director for Fayette Senior Services emphasized, “We are excited about having Mayors Logsdon, Steele and Rehwaldt participate in our event. Mayor Laggis (Woolsey) and Mayor Butler (Brooks) had previous commitments, but we look forward to having them with us next year. Britt adds, “The Fayette County mayors, along with the Board of Commissioners, have been long-time advocates of the Meals On Wheels program to ensure that no senior goes hungry in Fayette County. The national Mayors For Meals Day is an excellent way for our elected officials to meet the citizens who benefit from their support.”

In a show of solidarity, members of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners and Wal-Mart Community Involvement Coordinators, Theresa Thaxton (Fayetteville) and Fredia Jones (Peachtree City), will also be participating in the event. The Meals On Wheels Association (MOWAA) and Wal-Mart Foundation recently awarded a $9,845 grant to Fayette Senior Services’ Meals On Wheels program to alleviate some of the financial challenges as a result of state budget cuts and the current economic crisis. Britt states, “We want to recognize Wal-Mart for their community partnership and provide an opportunity through Mayors For Meals to observe the meaningful difference that Wal-Mart’s support has made in the lives of Fayette County seniors.”

Fayette Senior Services provides meals to nearly 175 homebound seniors throughout Fayette County. The average client receives 260 meals per year. The annual cost per client is approximately $1,380, not including the cost for holiday meals or doctor-ordered nutrition supplements.

Also in conjunction with the March For Meals campaign, Fayette Senior Services is hosting the first annual March For Meals Charity Run/Walk on Saturday, March 21 at 8 a.m. at Fayetteville First Baptist Church. Applications are available at Citizens can also support Meals On Wheels (MOW) by sending charitable donations to Fayette Senior Services, 4 Center Drive, Fayetteville, GA 30214. For information about becoming a MOW volunteer driver call 770-461-0813 ext.105.

Founded in 1978, Fayette Senior Services ( is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that offers older adults the opportunity to be involved in a variety of social, leisure, recreation, and educational activities at its Life Enrichment Center. The agency also helps seniors improve their quality of life and remain independent through programs such as Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Referral Service, Information & Assistance, Transportation, In-Home/Personal Services, and Case Management.

The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is the oldest and largest national organization in the United States representing those programs that provide meals to people in need. To obtain more information about MOWAA or to locate a local Meals On Wheels program, visit the MOWAA website at

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods.

Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability and health and wellness. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Adaptive Egg Hunt - A Community Disability Awareness Event

For kids with Disabilities, come and experience an egg hunt just for you.
For all kids, experience an egg hunt with a special challenge.

When: Saturday, March 28, 10AM to Noon
Where: Fayette Family YMCA Soccer Field, Huiet Road, Fayetteville (Behind the Playpark)

For more information, or if you need specific accommodations or modifications, please contact Raissa Chandler, Navigator Team, at

Our “Peeps” Sponsors: Fayette County Navigator Team, Exceptional OPS, Parent to Parent of Georgia, Fayette Family YMCA, Braelinn Elementary's Kindness Kids Club, Fayette FACTOR partners, and the Line Creek Civitans

Still accepting donations of gently used plastic eggs, mismatched (but clean) socks, and old tshirts. “Peeps” Sponsorships and "Peep Squad" volunteer opportunities available.

Friday, March 06, 2009

4-H Foundation Receives $25,000 State Farm Service-Learning Grant

Each year, the Georgia 4-H Youth Technology Leadership Team tries to award 50 computers to Georgia students who apply for them. Thanks to a State Farm service-learning grant, the computers this year will include modems, printers and speakers.

Through the Need-A-Computer program, the 4-H technology team has awarded more than 400 refurbished computers over the past 11 years, delivering them each December.

“I love to watch kids’ faces light up” when they get a computer, said Nicole Batten, who judges the applications. Batten is tech support engineer for Intuit, an Athens, Ga., company that designs money-management software like TurboTax and Quicken.

The $25,000 State Farm grant will help the Georgia 4-H Foundation improve access to higher education for Georgia students, too. It will allow the technology team to purchase a mobile lab and hold free Internet education classes statewide. The classes will teach students how to effectively use technology and about Internet and social networking safety and cyber bullying.

“Georgia is a high-need area with 91 of our 159 counties declared in persistent poverty,” said Cheryl Varnadoe, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist who leads the technology team. “We feel that this grant opportunity will allow many youth and families a new start to reaching their dreams for the future.”

Students who own a computer and learn basic computer technology have the tools to reach higher education, she said.

“Over 60 percent of today’s jobs require knowledge of technology operations,” she said. “Working with underserved youth … will help close the achievement gap for many youth.”

The Georgia 4-H Foundation was one of 73 applicants from across the United States and Canada chosen to receive a State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant. More than 500 organizations applied.

The youth advisory board is made up of 30 students who award and oversee the grants to organizations. Grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 and are evaluated by how well they utilize service-learning to address driver safety, environmental responsibility, financial literacy, access to higher education and disaster preparedness.

Georgia 4-H delivers programs that provide educational and life skills opportunities to more than 200,000 students each year. For more information, visit

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, March 02, 2009

University of Georgia Coach Mark Richt to Speak at Christian City's Night of Hope

University of Georgia Coach Mark Richt will be the guest speaker at a semi-formal dinner banquet on Thursday, March 5th at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

All proceeds from this wonderful evening will benefit the Children’s Village at Christian City. Christian City is a nondenominational nonprofit organization that has been caring for abandoned and abused children in a residential setting since opening the first cottage in 1965. With the help of community support, over 1,000 children have lived at Christian City and have received the benefits of a safe, loving home environment.

Come enjoy an elegant dinner, hear inspiring words from one of the greatest coaches in Georgia’s history, and help give children in need hope for a better future.

A sponsor reception with Coach Richt begins at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. Individual tickets as well as table sponsorships are still available. For more information please call 770-703-2636 or access
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Carithers Reaches Out to Help Teens Find "The Ideal Dress"

The Ideal Dress is an outreach that Alicia Carithers started through her Senior Bible class at Landmark Christian School. Alicia’s Senior Bible Project was inspired by an existing organization that serves teenage girls in the community. The outreach is for girls who are unable to purchase a dress for prom because of financial reasons. Alicia has been collecting dresses and accessories like shoes, jewelry, and purses. The Ideal Dress is located an unused Landmark classroom, which was renovated to serve as a dress shop boutique.

The Ideal Dress seeks to give girls the chance to attend their school’s prom. There has been a great response from the High School counselors in the community. With your help we can give the girls in our community the opportunity to enjoy their prom night and the events leading up to it.

So far Alicia has collected over 100 dresses surpassing the initial goal of 75. Girls who will receive these dresses are appointed by their school counselor to verify they are in financial need or they are a part of the foster care system. When Girls come in for their personal appointment they will be able to have a complete dress shopping experience; looking through the dresses and accessories, and then trying them on . The Ideal Dress provides girls the fun of shopping for that special prom dress.

All of the items at the Ideal Dress are for the girls to have free of charge. People from the community have also graciously offered their skills and talents by providing free hair and makeup on the day of their prom. A local florist has also offered free boutonniere coupons for some of the girls.

The Ideal Dress could still use your donations. If you would like to make a donation the following items are still needed: clean, in style, and lightly used short or long formal dresses, formal shoes, jewelry, purses, and any other accessories that would complete a prom night. Florists or drycleaners who would like to donate their services will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions you can contact Alicia Carithers at
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone