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November 2015 Newsletter

November 2015 Newsletter

A Note from Bill Searcey, Executive Director

Have you ever been hungry? Really hungry?

Just this week a lady came into FOCUS and said she had not eaten in two days and she was hungry. She and her family were in a deep crisis and, of course, we satisfied her need for food. It is not often that we see real hunger, but when it exists, we act.

Most of the people we serve are low income, elderly residents on fixed income. Social Security, SSI, disability, and food stamps are common and they come to FOCUS routinely for help with food. And we are generally able to help them one time per month, even though there is a cost. Just this past October we gave out 400 bags of food to our clients.

This past week we have had our Thanksgiving food signups. This is something that is above and beyond any regular food received by our clients. Residents who qualify may sign-up for food to be distributed on the Saturday before Thanksgiving at the Community Center in Hamilton.

Bags are made up the day before by some 70-75 volunteers who have a great servant’s heart. This process takes about 4-5 hours and the bags are grouped by the size of the family. The next day, Saturday, the clients come in and another group of 40-50 volunteers assist them in transporting the food to their cars. Some 300 families will receive an extra gift of food that day.

Food deprived families do exist, so the next time you sit down to a lovely, well prepared meal, think about the lady who had not eaten in two days and was hungry, really hungry. Perhaps you might feel led to either donate some food to the FOCUS food bank or even a monetary donation so we can purchase food from Feeding the Valley in Columbus. You will be blessed.
Next Board Meeting

The next FOCUS Board Meeting will be November 19th, 6pm at the Harris County Community Recreational Center.

How We’re Helping
In October, the FOCUS office helped 102 clients and distributed 368 bags of food to 88 families, which totaled 263 individuals and 46 families with children.

In FOCUS home repairs, Foy Pippin and his volunteers from the Cornerstone Baptist Church’s Carpenter’s Workshop, completed electrical repairs for an elderly lady in Pine Mountain. And through Bill’s connections, a new well water pump was installed for a disabled man near Pine Mountain.

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.

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.

We still need volunteers for Nov 21! If you can help please contact Judy Westbrook at, 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

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

Julie Nordin
Food Bank, Chairman


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Contact FOCUS Anytime
Call the office at 706-628-9955 or email