Giving Back: SAFFT Needs Forsyth County Community Help

SAFFT in Forsyth County, GAI just visited the lovely people at SAFFT, Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together. I donated a bag of stuffed animals for the foster children. They were so thankful and I know my girls will be happy that they will bring smiles to foster children in Forsyth County, GA.

My friend has adopted two children and is active with this nonprofit, so I had recently heard of them. I took a tour of SAFFT and learned more about the organization. They offer supervised visitation for foster children and their families. They have an art room, a play room and a backyard with toys.

“The SAFFT Family Visitation and Community Center is located in Cumming, Georgia. This supervised visitation center offers services such as parenting classes, case management, and supervised visitation. Our center works directly with the Juvenile Court, CASA, GALs, and the Department of Family and Children Services. All visits are video surveillanced and documentation of the visits are provided to the parties involved in the cases. Referrals are accepted directly from the Juvenile Court, Superior Court, and DFCS staff.”

I have a Junior Girl Scout troop and I asked them what kind of help and support that they needed from the community. They gave me a wish list and ideas for their upcoming open house, parents night out (they need volunteers), monthly craft sponsors, snack bag donations and more.

So, how can we as a community help?

  • You can give money.
  • You can donate items – provide diapers and wipes, paper towels, paper plates & cups, disenfectant wipes, art supplies, stuffed animals, toys, crafts, games, backyard toys and more.
  • You can volunteer – they have many events in the community and have an open house coming up soon. For more information, contact the SAFFT office.

Give them a call – they would be happy to hear from you!

Here is their story:

“In 2008, two foster parents in Forsyth County, deeply affected by a tough situation fostering a child, felt lost, burnt out, unsupported, and unsure about whether they should continue fostering or give up. They felt that they were traveling this journey called “fostering” alone. So, they decided to start a support group for foster and adoptive families. The group initially began meeting on a monthly basis at the local public library and started to support one another. Quickly, the community started to rally around our group and volunteers began providing child care for our support group meetings. This allowed everyone to participate and for the first time the foster children could begin interacting and fellowshipping with others like themselves. A monthly “Parent Night Out” program was established which enabled more contact between the children in care and provided a break for the families that care for them so often. After just a few meetings, the founders decided to form a board of directors.

SAFFT began supporting multiple programs including a child resource closet,  scholarships for foster and adoptive children to participate in extracurricular activities, a monthly “Parent Night Out”, social and support group meetings, as well as constant awareness and trainings. In June of 2010 SAFFT opened the Community & Family Visitation Center located in Cumming, GA. The vision for this center was to provide families a safe, uniquely comfortable, reassuring, and accessible homelike environment in which a structured, neutral alternative to unsupervised visitation can take place. This supervised visitation is the provision and maintenance of a safe, neutral setting in which the contact between a child (ren) and an adult (usually a parent) can be monitored by personnel able to protect the rights and safety of all involved.  The SAFFT Family Visitation & Community Center also offers an individualized, needs based parenting curriculum to enhance a caretaker’s ability to provide a nurturing and structured home environment. This parenting curriculum satisfies Juvenile Court and Department of Family & Children Services court ordered parenting requirements.

The Center now serves hundreds of people a year. SAFFT continues to launch new and unique programs with the goal to serve our families in the most need and help support those loving caregivers who provide a temporary or permanent home for children in broken families. The board of directors still includes some of the original founding board members and the original co-founders of the organization.”

The SAFFT Family Visitation & Community Center schedules supervised visitation and parenting services between the days and hours as follows:

    • Tuesday-Friday   10am-7pm
    • Saturday 9am-4pm
    • CLOSED Sundays and Mondays

Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together, Inc., 608 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040 Office: (770) 886-9505

Thrift Stores in Forsyth County – Shopping for a Cause.

humane society of forsyth county thrift storeI recently donated some kids clothing and toys to the Humane Society of Forsyth County’s new thrift store. It is located off Ga. 20 in a strip mall near the Publix and Big Lots. They take donations of household items, goods, clothing, furniture, and more.

I went in to shop and was surprised at the size of the store and wide selection of items. It is run by volunteers of the Humane Society of Forsyth County and all proceeds go to help the animals at this shelter. It was rewarding to donate and shop at this neat thrift store knowing that I was helping this wonderful no-kill animal shelter.

Here is a list of other thrift stores in Forsyth County that help a cause:

Humane Society of Forsyth County Thrift Store – 168 Tri-County Plaza, Cumming, Georgia. Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm. Donations are accepted 10:00am to 5:00pm  Monday-Saturday. If you have furniture or large items please call 770-886-5806 to schedule a pick up.

Abba House Thrift Stores in Silver City 6800 Dahlonega Highway Cumming, Ga 30028, and Dawsonville at 243 Stowers Road E Dawsonville, Ga 30534. Abba House Thrift Store location hours are Monday – Saturday from 9:00am – 5:45pm. At Abba House, their ministries are focused on “helping broken women be made whole” by helping them break free from addiction and abuse.

The PIER Thrift Store & Consignment Center provides individuals with disabilities work experience, thereby enabling them to discover and develop their unique capabilities and potential, and to help them achieve the highest degree of independence and the best quality of life possible. Located at 5185 Browns Bridge Rd. Cumming, GA 30041 & 1862 Buford Highway in Cumming. Open Tuesday-Saturday – 10:00-6:00 P.M.

Family Haven Thrift Store is located at 598 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040. Forsyth County Family Haven’s Thrift Store serves two very unique and vital functions for our organization. Victims of violence and their families are offered vouchers to shop in our store and obtain the items that they need free of charge. The vouchers enable individuals to select clothing for themselves and for their children, household items such as coffemakers and dishes, and furniture items like couches and chairs to assist them as they move into their self-supportive housing. Secondly, our thrift store is open to the public after our clients have selected the items that they need. The funds that are obtained from sales to the public go into the operating fund for Forsyth County Family Haven, Inc. Hours are 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Mondays through Fridays and 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturdays. Donations welcome.

No Longer Bound Thrift Store is located at 315 Dahlonega Hwy in downtown Cumming, Ga.  We offer an upscale retail environment offering a wide variety of affordably priced inventory for your shopping pleasure. No Longer Bound Resale is a non-profit industry of the men’s regeneration program, No Longer Bound. To learn a little more about our program and about how lives are saved, check out our main page at www.nolongerbound.com. Open Mondays – Saturdays from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.

The Place of Forsyth County Thrift Store – 2550 The Place Circle, Cumming, GA 30040. The Place is a nonprofit Social Service Organization that has been serving Forsyth County families in difficult times since 1975 with emergency basic needs.

Thrift Store

Monday – Thursday       9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday       9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Donations – Drop off in the back of the building
Monday – Saturday          9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Food for Thought Project – An Ongoing Community-Based Food Drive in Forsyth County, GA

Food for Thought ProjectLooking to give back to the community? Want to help the needy?

Thanks to two local families, Forsyth County now has Food for Thought Project, a community-based ongoing food drive that residents are supporting in growing numbers. The number of families is currently at 426 supporting the drive and has collected a total of 16,232 lb. since they formed in June 2011.

The concept is simple, sign up for free and you will receive an orange shopping bag. Simply buy an extra item or two every time you go grocery shopping, put it in the bag and on the second Saturday of every other month, hang the bag outside your front door for pickup.

Volunteers pick up the bags, sort them at a storage facility and distribute among local food pantries at local churches and organizations.

Looking to help even more? Volunteers are also needed to pick up food as well as sort and distribute.

Mia’s Pizza and Eats is also supporting the Food for Thought drive. Bring in a canned item for the Food for Thought food drive and they will donate 10% of your meal to the project.

Clean House and Support a Good Cause – Forsyth Freecycle

Now that Fall is here, it is time to pull out the warmer clothes and do a little shuffling of summer clothes and other items in closet. One group that I have supported for a few years is Forsyth Freecycle.

If you have any items that you can’t or don’t want to sell, but want to get rid of, think about joining this group and posting your message. I have donated everything from a stationary bicycle to printers to kids clothes and shoes. There is a wonderful community out there willing to share with you and keep things out of the dump at the same time.

One man’s junk really is another’s treasure! I have just finally received some items for my girls after years of giving, and it truly is a rewarding experience.

Holiday Tidings and Call for Volunteers

It is the two-week holiday break for my children and a busy time of year for us all. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for reading my blog, which started out as an online diary to chronicle my family’s adventures in Forsyth County! I appreciate your readership and I am thankful for a blessed life.

I will be taking a short Christmas break and returning to blog next week to resume letting you know about all things Forsyth County, GA for families! Until then, check out my Facebook page and Twitter feed as I will be updating anything local as I come across it. Please also share on my Facebook page if you find anything exciting to share for other families.

Here are a few tidbits of events going on this week plus a call for volunteers and sponsors for local nonprofits.

May your holidays be safe, merry and bright!

Holiday Giving Tree for Kids program, via the Forsyth County YMCA, will be accepting donations of clothing, toys, school supplies and other gifts throughout the holiday season. Many children are still in need of sponsorship. To become a community partner, donor and/or volunteer, contact Jerry Dupree via e-mail at jerryd@ymcaatlanta.org.

The Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band will perform its sixth annual Christmas concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Cumming Playhouse. Joining the band will be the Shades of Grace Choir of Cumming First Baptist Church. Musical selections include “Deck the Halls,” Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus, and more. For more information, visit www.soundsofsawnee.com, or contact Garth True at (770) 205-6000.

A fundraiser concert benefitting Family Haven domestic violence shelter will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 22 during the Christmas light display on Bryn Ridge Court in the Haley Farms subdivision. Judy Pancoast, a Grammy-nominated recording artist for the song “The House on Christmas Street,” will perform. Donations of cash and goods will accepted as admission. The neighborhood holiday light and music show will be ongoing through New Year’s Day, from 5:30-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Donations for Family Haven will be accepted every night.

Foster homes for cats and dogs and holiday volunteers are needed urgently through the Humane Society of Forsyth County No-kill Shelter. Regular and short-term foster homes needed. For more information, contact Laurie Hutchins, foster home/adoption chairwoman at rescue@forsythpets.org or (770) 889-1365 or go online at www.forsythpets.com and click “volunteer.”

DONATIONS

Act Together Ministries needs Christmas sponsors to provide toys and clothing to struggling families with young children. For more information, visit www.actogetherministries.org, or call Act Together Ministries at (678) 200-9125.

Many nonprofits are struggling during these hard times – donations of time, goods and money are greatly appreciated. Read my article in Around About Cumming, GA about local nonprofits in the Cumming, GA area and get involved today!

Donate, Volunteer, Give and Make a Difference in Forsyth County, GA

Every season I like to do a bit of cleaning in the house. For the girls, it means time to donate outgrown clothes and toys. There are many places in and around Cumming, GA that you can donate your gently used goods. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, these wonderful nonprofits would be happy for your services.

Here are a few organizations that we have donated items to for a good cause.

The Children’s Center for Hope & HealingWish List – dedicated to stopping the cycle of child sexual abuse and to preventing the exploitation of children. CCHH has an office in Cumming as well as in Gainesville on the square.

The Place of Forsyth County, GA – housewares, clothing, food donations for all ages.

Forsyth County Family Haven – shelter for victims of domestic violence – accepts food, baby goods, etc. Wish list on web site.

Goodwill of North Georgia – housewares, clothing for all ages.

Forsyth County Freecycle – post items that you want to give away, pick a recipient that responds, they pick it up!

United Way of Forsyth County - donate, give, volunteer locally.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office – donate stuffed animals for children who are victims of domestic violence.

Faith’s House – empowering single moms to better their lives through education. Donation and volunteer opportunities.

Abba House – long-term residential ministry where women with substance abuse and mental health issues can have a safe place to learn to receive God’s love and forgiveness. Volunteers welcome and thrift store located on Keith Bridge Road in Cumming, GA.

Forsyth County Humane Society – no-kill animal shelter. Seeks volunteers, donations. New thrift store in Tri-County Plaza on Highway 9 between Big Lots and Golds Gym in Cumming, GA. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Donations needed!

Here is a comprehensive list of some other charitable organizations in an around metro Atlanta.

What is your favorite place to donate to?

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