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April 2016 Newsletter

April 2016 Newsletter

A Message From Executive Director Bill Searcey

Increasingly, social service organizations, ministries and other groups interested in addressing needs of lower income residents look to education as a response.

The FOCUS ministry team (staff, volunteers, and board) is committed to an investment of time, people, and resources to further this emphasis on education. We are engaged in several ongoing endeavors that involve mentoring and tutoring.

One such initiative involves hands-on learning of how to grow plants. Shown in the accompanying photo is a group of volunteers constructing raised gardening beds at New Mountain Hill Elementary school in Fortson. A grant was secured by the Georgia Farm Bureau, which bought the materials for the beds. A group of FOCUS volunteers erected them.

Not only do children enjoy this kind of experiential learning, they also are being educated about some possible career paths in agriculture. Linda Luttrell, local instructor at Georgia Farm Bureau and also a FOCUS volunteer, teaches these gardening sessions. FOCUS has constructed four similar planting beds at Park Elementary in Hamilton. Comments from teachers and students confirm that “playing in the dirt is great fun.”

This illustrates how a working partnership involving FOCUS, local elementary schools, and the Georgia Farm Bureau has been hugely successful, teaching children, not only about growing plants, but also about personal growth as well.


News from the Thrift Shop

Thanks to all the volunteers and shoppers that made the Bag Sale a non-stressful success. During this one-day event, 177 bags of clothing and goods were sold. And then there was the clean-up! Wow, the place sure did look and sound different!

A special thanks to Rose Hill Church of Christ for once again helping us remove the excess after that bag sale. Rose Hill sorts and boxes the left-over clothing and ships to needed families in Africa.

Special Warning!!!!!!!!! We’re growing and you’ll soon see workers adding on a new addition to our current facility. We will be expanding our Thrift Shop retail and storage space as well as the FOCUS food pantry. Also, the Thrift Shop will be closed on Saturday April 23 because of parking lot construction so please shop that Thursday and/or Friday.

Upcoming Events

Look for Charlie Horse. The first person to find Charlie Horse each week in our store will be rewarded with something special — 10% off your purchase, 25%, a free shirt or maybe your purchase will be free! Please note that Charlie will only be seen once a week. Will it be a Thursday, Friday or Saturday?

Veterans Relief Fund Car Show. Please come support FOCUS and our veterans. For more info, please check out our Facebook page. FOCUS also will be gathering shoes for a shoe drive at the event so please bring used or new shoes and someone will be there to collect.

How We’re Helping

In March the FOCUS office helped 83 clients. In addition, we distributed 275 bags of food to 59 families, which totaled 142 individuals and 21 families with children.

Annual Empty Bowl 2016 set for April 16

Harris County High School’s annual Empty Bowl event benefitting FOCUS will be Saturday, April 16, at the high school from 6-9 p.m.. Tickets are on sale now through the FOCUS Thrift Shop or contact one of our Board members. Tickets are $10 each.

Thank You!

Thank you for the generous donation of groceries for the FOCUS food pantry from:
•Prospect AME Church in Fortson. Pastor: Willie Barber
•Pine Mountain United Methodist Church
•FBLA at Harris County Middle School . Leader: Mike Darbe

Sunday Best Quilts in Ellerslie had a magazine sale and donated the proceeds to FOCUS.

FOCUS’ Next Board Meeting

FOCUS’ next Board meeting will be Thursday, April 21, at 6 p.m. at the Harris County Community Center.