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October 2015 Newsletter

October 2015 Newsletter

A Note from Bill Searcey, Executive Director

A common issue that we confront almost daily at FOCUS is the matter of poverty. Poverty has many causes and its effects are manifested in many different ways. The efforts of our thrift shop result in funds that we use to assist families in various emergency situations. There are two types of poverty; one we call situational poverty. Situational poverty is a diminished lifestyle brought about by an extraordinary event, such as loss of a job or serious illness, even a death, or a break up of a family. FOCUS does a very good job of assisting families in situations like this.

The other type of poverty is called generational poverty. This is a lifestyle condition characterized by offspring following in the lifestyle habits of their parents and grandparents. Some of the symptoms of this are single parent families, teenagers dropping out of school, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of suitable employment, etc. This can continue for several generations. Various means have been used in the past to assist these families in breaking this cycle with very little success.

The conclusion that we may draw from this is that the only way to break this cycle is to reach the children. They must be taught that there is a better and more productive way to live and that they can have a better life than their parents and grandparents.

FOCUS is increasingly involved in ministry programs that are aimed at children who are at risk. There are words in scripture that give guidance for this. Jesus tells us how precious children are and He also tells us that anything we do for our brothers and sisters who are in need is the same as doing these things for Him.

So we are involved in a tutoring program at Park Elementary, which pairs up an adult tutor with a child having a special need. We also participate in a program called “Tiger Buddies”, which is another one on one program that has mentoring at its heart. Some are involved in a reading program for an entire class. Soon FOCUS, in partnership with the Harris County Board of Education and the local juvenile justice system, will begin a mentoring program aimed at children and their families who are on the verge of falling apart. We are also sponsoring the Cubs for Christ program at Park. In the future we hope to have other programs available also.

If you have some time and have a heart for children there is always a place for you in a volunteer position in school. You may call the FOCUS office to learn more or call me at 706-577-8488.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Board Meeting
The next FOCUS Board Meeting will be November 19th at the Harris County Community Recreational Center.

Volunteer Banquet
Don’t forget the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on October 29th at the Hamilton Fire Station. Invitations were mailed yesterday. Please don’t wait until the last minute, let us know if you can make it as soon as possible. RSVP mandatory.

How We’re Helping
In September, the FOCUS office helped 134 clients and distributed 437 bags of food to 111 families, which totaled 269 individuals and 49 families with children.

The Thrift Shop Needs Clothing Donations!
Please clean out your closets for FOCUS! The Thrift Store is in desperate need of men’s clothing and 16+ and up clothing for women. We would greatly appreciate any extra clothing donations in those sizes this time of year.

halloween ethan isaac 1Oops! Sherrie forgot to let the Impact 360 kids know that modeling was part of their volunteer “opportunity”!!! Thanks Ethan and Isaac for being such good sports!

winter hatsWe have winter hats for sale including these two which are modeled by a couple of our favorite volunteers! Grab a hat, a scarf, shoes or a purse, along with fall and winter clothing, household items, decor and more. Our volunteers are the truly the best!

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thanksgiving

FOCUS Thanksgiving Food Drive
We are getting ready for our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and can use your help in many different areas. Last year we helped 400 families and expect to help at least that many this year. Monetary donations are always welcome since we can purchase food at Feeding the Valley for $0.19 a pound. Items that we have not been able to purchase, but need, are canned tuna, soups, and jams and jelly. We also need plastic bags (Kroger, Wal-Mart) doubled, and we need volunteers.

On Friday, Nov. 20 we will be preparing the bags so we’ll need volunteers to man tables and fill bags. On Saturday, Nov. 21 our clients will be picking up their food and we can use volunteers to help carry the groceries out to cars.

If you can help please contact Judy Westbrook at jrw5@bellsouth.net, be sure to include Focus on the subject line or call her at 706-663-4505 or call Rhonda Howard at 321-945-4727 or rhondahoward59@gmail.com.

Thank you. Your support makes it possible for us to help the needy of Harris County.

Julie Nordin
Food Bank, Chairman