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December 2016 Newsletter

December 2016 Newsletter

December 2016

A Message From Executive Director Bill Searcey

As the Christmas season approaches the attitude of giving comes to mind. Children’s eyes are focused on the gifts they hope Santa Claus will bring. Adults are busy preparing for those gift giving opportunities and all the other tasks that come along with the season.

As a Christian ministry our hearts, hopefully and prayerfully, are upon the giving opportunities that we have. We have just completed our fund raising appeal and many of you, our supporters, have given to us so very generously. We have been blessed wonderfully, and our desire, indeed our reason for existing, is to take that blessing and simply use it to bless our neighbors who are in need.

And we have many opportunities. We have just recently distributed several thousand bags of food to people in need, just a little something extra for Thanksgiving. Over 150 volunteers showed up to help and it was a grand event for our neighbors and for our volunteers who served over 300 families. All of that was made possible by our generous supporters.

Some of the things we do are not so grand. When I think of the gifts my family will exchange this year, my thoughts turn to an elderly man living in our county. He lives alone, with no family, basically living in a shed, barely existing. We have helped him with food and a hand rail to assist with his mobility. His front door is so damaged that he cannot close or lock it. As I talked with him this week I asked him what his greatest need was. His response was “a front door”.

So, this elderly, sometimes confused, man will be getting a front door for Christmas. This is certainly no grand thing but he is overwhelmed and so grateful that we would even do this for him.

My mind then quickly goes back to that most grand and wonderful gift that we have all received. It is that gift of a baby in a manger, born I imagine, in a stall with no front door.

Merry Christmas from FOCUS

News from the Office

In November we served 355 clients and distributed 2,682 bags of food to 753 individuals, 329 families and 117 families with children. The FOCUS Thanksgiving Food Distribution was in November which is reflected in the numbers above. A huge THANK YOU to Julie Nordin for overseeing this annual ministry and to all the volunteers who helped to make it possible.

Thanksgiving Food Drive Report From Julie Nordin

Thanks to the help and support of so many individuals and organizations our Thanksgiving Food Drive was a success. We were able to provide 2550 bags of groceries to 670 individuals. The staff at the Harris County Community Center is always helpful and makes our job easier. The Carlisle Company allowed us to store food in their building until we needed it. Callaway Gardens loaned us their wagons to be used on bagging day and also when we helped our clients to their cars. The members of Rotary are always on hand to make deliveries to our shut-in clients. Many volunteers were on hand both Friday and Saturday to help bag the food and help families to their cars with the groceries. Food was collected by so many groups in the county: the schools, boy and girl scouts, the 4-H Club, churches, and businesses. Jenny Jack Sun Farms and Lil’ Bit Farms provided fresh collards and kale for our clients. We appreciate everyone in our community who helped to make this year’s food drive a success.

Report from Home Repairs

During November, the Harris County Rotary Club constructed a handicap ramp for an elderly home owner in Pine Mountain. The Carpenter’s Workshop from Cornerstone Baptist Church made flooring and foundation repairs for a disabled home owner in Waverly Hall. Our home repair volunteers performed roof repairs for an elderly homeowner in West Point. Thanks to Dick Weaver and our home repair volunteers for taking care of these projects.

News from the Thrift Shop

Customer service agent (aka cashier) needed immediately the 2nd and 5th Saturday of each month from 10AM until 1PM (but we can use more volunteers any day, any time!) Please give us a call for more information.

We will be closed December 22nd, 23rd and 24th to celebrate Christmas.
We will be closed December 29th, 30th and 31st to celebrate the New Year.
Although we will closed to shoppers on the above days, we will be working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Please give us a call and let us know if you are available to help during that time. Extra hands are needed because this time of year brings in extra donations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your contributions and efforts throughout the year.

We had our share of challenges but on the other hand, we managed to achieve many milestones, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you very much for the commitment, loyalty and passionate dedication that you have given FOCUS.

As the year comes to a close, I would like to wish you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year.


Mr. Bill Scrantom, Chairman
Mr. Charles Sweat, Chair-Elect
Ms. Sally Clay Smith, Corporate Secretary
Ms. Sally Cobb, Treasurer
Mr. David King, Past Chair
Ms. LaChandra Brundage
Ms. Faye Garrett
Mr. Willie Greene
Ms. Rhonda Howard
Mr. Jayson Johnston
Honorable Judge Gil McBride
Ms. Julie Nordin
Ms. Janice Owens
Mr. Bob Patterson
Ms. Mary Ellen Taylor

Executive Director Mr. Bill Searcey
Chaplain Mr. Garvin Gourie

Ms. Sherrie Mundy, Thrift Shop
Mrs. Sarah Culpepper, Emergency Services
Ms. Julie Nordin, Food Pantry
Mr. Dick Weaver, Home