March Newsletter

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The sun is shining and the weather is beginning to warm up!! We are continuing serve our children and providing families with visits. Will you help us warm up the lives of children in foster care?

If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission! Just click one of the buttons below.

 

Donate HERE!!!

 

 

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Exciting news!! We have shirts for sale! Help us protect children by breaking the generational cycle of abuse and neglect by supporting us and purchasing a “break the cycle” shirt.

Let’s help “break the cycle” of abuse and neglect in families!

BUY HERE!!!

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Are you looking for a chance to roll up your sleeves and dig in to help? Check out the volunteer opportunity below!

  • Cleaning Supplies: We are in desperate need for the following items: Clorox Wipes, Lysol Spray, Paper Towels, Antibacterial Soap, Hand Sanitizer and Latex Free Gloves
    • Hall County: 430 Prior Street SE Gainesville GA 30501
      • 678-723-3890
    • Forsyth County: 219 Castleberry RD, Cumminga GA 30040
      • 770-886-9505

Tori has been working in our Hall location for three months. She has played a vital role in supporting our families since she became a part of SAFFT. We thank her for her hard work and support of our families!  Here’s what she said:

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“I have been working with SAFFT since January 2020. But I did an internship here in January 2019.I like hiking, watching scary movies, and hanging out with friends and family in my free time. I love working with children and helping children in the foster care system. Working with SAFFT allows me to do that daily. Seeing families that come through our program being reunited is the best part about this job..”

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We want to give a HUGE thank you to First Redeemer Church 9th grade girls for serving at SAFFT today. They did the following things:
-Wiped down all toys in all visitations rooms + gym
-Went through donated toys and separated new vs used toys
-put the new toys in donation closet
-put used toys in visitation rooms
-took down Christmas tree in the visitation room and put in storage garageThank you so much for all that you guys did! We are so grateful!
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We want to give a big shout out to Susan Radford. Susan has transformed our visitation rooms with her artistic talent!!! Check out her beautiful work at Hall County’s Beach Room!!

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ATTENTION: OUR FOSTER YOUR COLOR CRAZE 5K IS NOW VIRTUAL. You can run when you want and where you want, while still supporting SAFFT! Register below:

 


February Newsletter

In the spirit of spreading love this Valentine’s season, would you share the love with children in foster care? If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission! Just click one of the buttons below.

Donate HERE!!!

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It’s time for our VIRTUAL Foster Your Color Craze 5K on April 18, 2020 in Hall County  Interested in running? Sign up in the link below! We can’t wait to see you there.

REGISTER HERE!!!

 

 

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Are you looking for a chance to roll up your sleeves and dig in to help? Check out the volunteer opportunities below!

  • Deep Cleaning: Cleaning toys, rearranging visitation rooms, as well as organizing resource closet and gym.
    SIGNUP FOR DEEP CLEANING

 

  • Resource Recharge: Putting together goody bags for children in foster care, putting together helpful grab resources for our families (recipes, list of activities where kids enter for free, upcoming sports clinics, etc.)                                                      SIGNUP FOR RESOURCE CHARGE

 

 

Hailey has been working in our Forsyth location for seven months. She has played a vital role in supporting our families since she became a part of SAFFT. We thank her for her hard work and support of our families!  Here’s what she said:

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“Hi, my name is Hailey. I am a Family Success Manager in Cumming and I have been with SAFFT for seven months. I enjoy working at SAFFT because I enjoy working with the families that we serve. I love that I am able to help parents overcome what they are going through and help them achieve their goals.”

At the beginning of February, we received a check from Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. This came directly from officers who gave money during November and December.

Thank you so much for always thinking of us. We are so grateful for you!

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SAFFT’s Executive Director Natalie Milom saw Georgia’s Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. SAFFT is eagerly looking forward to the Lt. Governor’s work impacting foster care as one of his priorities this legislative season!

 


January Newsletter

We want to thank all of our volunteers who participated in helping us spread love to our families for this Holiday Season! If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission!  Thank you for helping us break the cycle of neglect and abuse one foster child at a time!

Donate HERE!!!

 

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Check out our logic model to see in detail what SAFFT will accomplish!

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Erica has been working in our Forsyth location for nine months. She has played a vital role in supporting our families since she became a part of SAFFT. We thank her for her hard work and support of our families!  Here’s what she said:

“Hi, my name is Erica. I am a the Program Coordinator and I have been with SAFFT for nine months. I enjoy spending time with my children, cooking and shopping. I enjoy working at SAFFT because I enjoy working with children and families. The best part of my job is seeing my families complete goals.”

We want to give a huge shoutout to Nike who donated 52 boxes of shoes for us to give to children who come through our doors! Thank you so much for the amazing donation!

 

 

We want to give a huge shout out to Jason, Lucia, and Jimena who brought us lots of snacks for our families to use when they are at the center for visits.

Jason serves his Community Service Day through his employer at SAFFT and helps us with our Foster Parent Resource Closet and general administrative tasks.

Lucia, and Jimena, we really appreciate all the support you guys have shown us! We are able to make an impact on the families we serve because of volunteers like you!

Thank you so much for always thinking of us. We are so grateful for you!


December Newsletter

ImageNovember and December were full of gratitude, giving, joy and cheer! We have had the wonderful opportunity to engage with many volunteers from the community who have shared so much with us. We want to thank all of our volunteers who participated in helping us spread love to our families for this Holiday Season!

We are continuing our #HopeForTheHolidays campaign!  With your help, we can ensure that holistic services are provided to children in foster care that support permanency through reunification or adoption! Without your support, we would not be able to do it!  If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission!  Thank you for helping us break the cycle of neglect and abuse one foster child at a time!

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Thank you Caitlyn for volunteering and advocating with us at The Sawnee Association of the Arts’ 2019 Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival. Check out the Forsyth County Community Connections’ T-Shirt that she is ROCKING!

 

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A Big thanks to South Forsyth Middle School for decorating our building and helping tidy our space in time for the Holidays! We greatly appreciate you all so much!

We want to give a huge shoutout to our amazing volunteers from Be Rich via Browns Bridge Church who came and helped with the beautification of SAFFT facilities!

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We  want to thank the men’s ministry at Cross Church Atlanta who worked over two weekends to remodel the play therapy/family therapy area and the hallway leading to it! They have definitely livened up the back part of the building so that it’s welcoming and conducive to family therapy. We couldn’t be more pleased and grateful! Thank you all so much! Image

Image#OperationSantasWorkshop was a huge success thanks to our wonderful Christmas sponsor, Stratix, and our Popbar Alpharetta and Be Rich volunteers! Your hard work and dedication ensured that several children in foster care in Hall and Forsyth Counties had a very merry Christmas! Thank you so much for pulling together to impact your community in an incredible way!

 

Thank you so much Stratix, for fulfilling the Christmas wish lists for the 52 children in foster care that we are serving and Big T Moving for getting it all to us in time to prepare it for distribution!



November Newsletter

SAFFT BY THE NUMBERS

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Christmas Parade Parking

What: Direct Parking at SAFFT’s parking lot

When: Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-5pm

Where: 219 Castleberry Road, Cumming GA 30040

Sign Up Here For Parade Parking

 

 

Office Painting

What:Paint walls of the office spaces and visitation rooms

When: Saturday, December 7th from 9am-4pm

Where: 430 Prior Street SE, Gainesville GA 30501

Supplies Requested: Paint and Painting Materials

Sign Up Here For Office Painting

 

 

Landscaping 

What: Trim bushes, cut grass, weed eating, and edging

When: Saturday, December 7th from 9am-4pm

Where: 219 Castleberry Road, Cumming GA 30040

Supplies Requested: Yard Tools

Sign Up Here For Landscaping Forsyth

 

 

Wrapping Party

What: Wrap Christmas presents for children in foster care

When: Saturday, December 14th from 9am-12pm

Where: 219 Castleberry Road, Cumming GA 30040

Supplies Requested: tape, wrapping paper, gift boxes for clothing, name tags, and bows

Sign Up Here For Wrapping Party

 

 

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Meet Katie! Katie is one of our Family Success Managers and has been with SAFFT for a little over a year. We asked Katie to tell us a little more about herself and the impact SAFFT is making on the families we serve and here is what she had to say:

“Several parents have told me in the past that they feel like they are heard and understood at SAFFT and that everyone here is nice to them. I think that makes a difference in their lives because most places they go, it seems like they feel judged or alienated. I’ve seen SAFFT make a difference in foster parents and foster children’s lives by offering duffel bags filled with new clothing and hygiene items.  It seems like a huge relief when we can save people some money on necessities like toothpaste and school clothes.

Our play rooms are kind of unique because they’re set up in a way that is supposed to feel like home. A lot of people have expressed that they enjoy spending time with their children here because it feels comfortable and allows them to do things they wish they could do at home like play board games, watch movies, and work on homework at the table.”

SAFFT IN THE COMMUNITY

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SAFFT ACCEPTING A GRANT FROM FROM THE NORTH GEORGIA COMMUNITY GRANT FOUNDATION

We want to give a big THANK YOU to North Georgia Community Foundation for a $10,000 Grant for Therapy Services!  This is sure to go far in helping families in foster care heal from the trauma they have experienced!

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NATALIE MILOM AT THE LUNCHEON

 

We thoroughly enjoyed Forsyth County Family Haven’s Purple Purpose Luncheon! They are doing an incredible job helping families experiencing domestic violence and we’re grateful to partner with them in this work!

 

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HALLOWEEN BAGS PROVIDED BY FIELDSTONE COMMUNITY

We are so grateful to the faBOOlous neighbors of Fieldstone Community in Cumming for providing Halloween treats for our kiddos! They provided 80+ bags and our kids enjoyed their treats! Thank you Fieldstone Community!

 

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A FOSTER FAMILY ENJOYING THE “FOSTER LOVE” EVENT

 

SAFFT would like to thank Christine Martinello with Original Lovebox and Miss Georgia, Victoria Hill, for inviting SAFFT to the Foster Love Party and giving our foster families five free tickets. We had a wonderful time with our foster families!

 

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MUSICAL PUMPKIN GAMES

 

What a blast at Bucky’s Boo Bash at Beaver Toyota! We had a great time playing Musical Pumpkins with the families who came out!

 

 

ImageBlack Friday  Cyber Monday →  Giving Tuesday!

We’d love for you to connect with us on Facebook on Tuesday, December 2, 2019.  Facebook is matching donations given to nonprofit organizations!  We’d love for you to double your impact while supporting children in foster care! Click the button below!

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Join us at PopBar Alpharetta on Small Business Saturday (11/30).  Popbar is located in the Halcyon at 6710 Town Square, Suite 130, Alpharetta, GA!

Treat yourself to an amazing gelato, sorbet, or yogurt ON A STICK while supporting an amazing cause!

 


 

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#HopeForTheHolidays Campaign!

As the season for gratitude, giving, and spreading joy and cheer is in full swing, we want to express our sincere thanks to you for everything you do to support our community!

As we enjoy our families this season, let us remember that children in foster care want to experience that same joy, cheer, and love within their families.

Today, we launch our #HopeForTheHolidays campaign!  With your help, we can ensure that holistic services are provided to children in foster care that support permanency through reunification or adoption!

 Please help us spread hope! Your support is crucial to our efforts to alleviate the generational cycle of child abuse, addiction, child neglect, homelessness, unemployment, and severe poverty.

If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission!  Just click the button below!

Give Online!

Give via PayPal!

Text GIVE to 770-415-8356!

 

 

 



Filling A Need By Adopting

By: Adlen Robinson

When I was a little girl, my mother used to tell me to be nice to everybody because you never knew when you might be speaking to an angel.

After leaving a meeting with my new friend, Melony Witt, I felt as if I may have met that angel.

Melony and her husband, Andrew, just signed the final adoption papers for not one, not two, but five children. The children, all siblings, range in age from 5 to 12.

They join the family of Melony, Andrew and their 12-year-old son.

So what was it like to go from having an only child, to having six?

“It has been an amazing experience,” Melony said. “They are very close to each other, and we feel incredibly blessed to have them.”

Before adopting them, Melony and Andrew were foster parents.

“Most people don’t know much about the world of foster parenting, but it was not a strange concept to me since when I was growing up my parents were foster parents,” she said.

Melony said her mother always had a heart for children, especially children with special needs.

“My mom is like Mother Teresa,” she said. “I saw her love all sorts of children, besides myself and my siblings.”

Melony married young, gave birth to her son and life seemed great. Tragically, her young husband died, leaving her a single mother of a 3-year-old.

In 2005, Melony met Andrew. After they wed in 2007, he legally adopted her son.

A few years ago, she brought up the subject of fostering and the couple decided to take some classes to learn more.

“When you learn about these kids, your heart just melts,” she said.

After fostering three other children, Melony met the five siblings. She and Andrew embarked on the journey to legally adopt them all.

Melony is quick to say she couldn’t do this alone.

“Andrew is such a great father,” she said. “He is such a patient person, with so much love to give our children. He is truly a special person.”

Ashley Anderson, executive director of Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together, knows quite a bit about foster parenting.

Besides being the director of SAFFT, she and her husband have been foster parents for years.

Anderson said becoming foster parents was absolutely “life changing.”

Since its formation in January 2009, Anderson said SAFFT has provided a support network for hundreds of foster parents and adoptive families and their children.

“We want to parents to know that they are not alone. If we can provide that supportive network for the parents, they can ultimately support the children,” she said.

Anderson said Forsyth County has about 80 children at any one time in the foster care system.

“Because we do not have enough foster parents, half of that number has to be moved outside our county,” she said.

That means children are moved away from their schools, family members and sometimes their siblings.

“We hope that people will consider becoming foster parents,” she said. “We have such a great need right now.”

Anderson said if someone is interested in learning more, he or she can call SAFFT and talk to someone about fostering or attend an information meeting.

In addition, Anderson said there are many other things people can do to help impact one of these children.

“My hope is that everybody will do something, these children are our future,” she said.

Melony said she has no illusions about the challenges ahead for her family.

“I am not saying it has been easy,” she said. “There has been anger, tears and frustration. But the good definitely outweighs the bad … we both feel it is worth it.”

Melony wants to advocate for foster parenting, but does so with a note of caution.

“I want people to know that it is not always going to work perfectly, there are children who may not be a good fit in your home, and that is OK,” she said.

“We look at our own situation and say, we fostered three children that did not work out. But if we had of given up, we wouldn’t have our family.”

I want to thank Melony for sharing her inspiring story. I know six children who are so blessed to have such wonderful and compassionate parents.

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.

Originally posted on Forsyth News