We at Union County Family Connection would like to take a minute to recognize one of our continued sponsors. The Sawmill Restaurant consistently donates to our Emergency Fund, which helps to meet needs of students such as glasses, shoes and medication and family needs such as propane and utilities. Thank you to the Sawmill for recognizing the needs and taking action! When you stop by for a delicious meal, be sure to thank them for being active in their community.
Blake Canterbury, founder of Purposity, based the tool on the idea that people are willing to help if they who is in need. Family Connection has witnessed this on many occasions throughout our 18 year history. With the use of technology, it has gotten easier to share and meet needs. In less than two minutes, you can visit http://www.purposity.com/ and sign up to receive a once a week text informing you of needs within our school system. If you are already signed up, please share with others so that we can take advantage of this opportunity to serve students and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in school.
Union County Family Connection is a state funded agency that works within the school system to help meet the basic needs of students by connecting them to available resources. It is our belief that it is important for needs such as clothing, glasses and school supplies to be taken care of on a daily basis so that students can be successful in school and one day grow up to become active and contributing members of our community. We also believe that every child in need should be able to experience the giving spirit in our community. This spirit is especially evident at Christmas time. This year, we were able to help make Christmas brighter for 531 local children. These children were matched with various churches, businesses, organizations and individual families who wanted to be of help. Types of help included individual families who sponsored children by purchasing clothes and items on their gift wish list, food buckets, food vouchers for hot meals and stocking stuffers. Several organizations also coordinated shopping events at Wal-Mart and one organization held a party with food and gifts for 200 children and their families. I can’t say enough that we are truly blessed to live in a community that takes care of our children. For the work that they do throughout the year to make sure no child goes without during the Christmas season, we would like to thank the following: Glenda Gooch Foundation, Shop With a Cop/Blairsville Police Department, Trackrock Baptist Church, Liberty Baptist Church, Blairsville Cruisers, Goldwing Motorcycle Club, Robin Byers/Jordan Rogers family, Union County Fire Department Stations 1 and 4, Blairsville Vineyard Church, Bill and Alexis Noe family, Calvary Baptist Church, Harmony Grove Baptist Church, Dana Ensley family, Home Depot, Union County High School Shop With a Panther, Union County Board of Education, Donna Towery family, Young Harris College Shop With a Mountain Lion, Georgia Mountain Experiment Station, Regan and Mallory Gwynn family, Catalyst Church, Harry Norman Realtors, Alysa Anderson family, Union General Hospital Operating Room, staff of Union County Schools, Ginna Yost family, Country Financial, Brock Gordon and Gretchen Burrell, Sandy Bell family, Anthony and Stacy Olson family, Amy Henson family, United Community Bank debit and ATM division, Blairsville Realty, Jeanette Garrett family, Gay Cross family, Fellowship of the Hills Church, House of Prayer Church, Union County High School Fine Arts Department, Joe and Kim Tatman family, Michelle McKechnie, Andrea Schuette family and several other churches and families who wished to remain anonymous. The families you helped appreciate you, Union County Family Connection appreciates you and we look forward to working with you in 2017. We would also like to thank Becky Tracy, Amy Rogers, Amy Henson, Margie Porter, Kelly Sykes and Donna Towery for the time they spent working and volunteering during this busy time.
Family Connection would like to thank everyone involved in making Shop With a Cop a success. It takes a village and our community steps up to the task. The kids and parents were appreciative, the volunteers helpful and the mood festive. Close to 100 kids spent the morning of December 10th choosing gifts for themselves and their families and shopping with positive role models.
On Tuesday, August 2nd, the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at the Union County Board of Education offices for Union County Family Connection. Program Coordinator, Katy Jones, welcomed Chamber representatives, volunteers and community leaders. While Family Connection has been present in the schools and community for 18 years, joining the Chamber presents the opportunity to reach more of the population and spread the word about our organization and programs. We look forward to this new relationship.
As always, we are proud to have community support to help meet the needs of students in Union County and Woody Gap Schools. Thank you to the Knights of Columbus for once again donating warm coats. The coats are available to any child in the school system who is in need. Contact Family Connection at 706-835-4351 if you know a child who could benefit.
Katy Jones, Union County Family Connection Coordinator, got to spend some time in Gainesville on October 27th to check out the Teen Maze put together and well organized by Hall County Family Connection, director Elizabeth Fielden, and numerous volunteers. Students were able to have fun but also gain useful information about life choices. The students follow a path depending on choices they make during their time in the maze. Some choices lead to graduation and health, while others lead to pregnancy, arrest or even death. The experience is a hands on learning event for the youth. Several organizations such as mental health, public health, Department of Juvenile Justice and Right From the Start Medicaid, were on hand to talk to the students and give them pamphlets.
Thank you to the Blairsville PTO for another successful Fall Festival and the opportunityto raise funds for Family Connection. We have a fabulous Family Connection board and members Leslie Shields and Margie Porter volunteered their time to help out. We would also like to recognize Buds and Butterflies Nursery and Garden Center for the donation of beautiful mums and Ace Hardware for allowing us to borrow hay and corns stalks. Lucky winners of the mums were Nicole Smith and Crystal Nichols. Thank you to the families who came out and participated in the water balloon toss. It was lots of fun!
Family Connection was fortunate to be part of the Backpack 2 School Bash on July 30th of this year. This event brought together many churches, organizations, and volunteers in order to help families get the school supplies that they needed for the upcoming school year, at no cost to them. It was a fun day for families, with a meal and community resources. Some of the students also received a coupon for a free haircut. Thank you to the salons who helped make that possible. Thank you also to the First United Methodist Church for hosting the event and many other churches that collected supplies and provided volunteers. Of course, the day could not have been successful without the help of those volunteers who worked countless hours behind the scenes to make sure everything was organized and prepared for families. 269 students received supplies on this one day. We hope to make this an annual event for students and families in our community.