Family Connection distributes hurricane recovery funds to those who need help

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Community Foundation of South Georgia asked Family Connection (FC) to create a hurricane recovery committee to decide how to distribute donated funds in Decatur County.

Ronnie Burke, FC Coordinator, and Debbie McIntyre, FC Board Chair, gathered and charged a group of service providers with how best to do that.  Representatives from Family Connection, DFACS, GA Pines, Mental Health, Decatur County Schools and Salvation Army met and discussed what happened immediately following the storm and the continued needs in the community.

The shared stories were overwhelming. The employees of the organizations and the people that they served were all impacted. The generosity, kindnesses and sacrifices were inspiring.  Almost to a person, they heard that as bad as things were, it could have been worse.

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They discussed how best to help the community. One strong need that kept coming up was in the area of mental health.   It was decided supporting the organizations that were already doing the work was the best way to start.  Gift cards for the school social workers and DFACS social workers were a strong suggestion as well. 

The following organizations have received funding to help with the costs they incurred immediately after the hurricane and for continued assistance to families and children.

– Decatur County Senior Center to help with costs of Meals on Wheels.  They served 4500 meals in the months following the hurricane.  They also provided shelf stable meals and emergency packages to their clients before and after the storm. The center was a staging area for FEMA meetings.

– The YMCA to remove a huge oak tree from the playground area in the back.  The YMCA provided showers to the community for weeks after the storm.  As always, the YMCA continues to provide a safe place for families and children.

– Decatur County schools created Bearcats Have Heart to assist individuals that work in the school system in a process that is respectful of individual needs and circumstances.  The school social workers work closely with families and are aware of immediate needs. 

– The Salvation Army provided 58,000 meals in 4 counties, maintained a shelter, donated gift cards to emergency workers and continue their regular ongoing support to our community.

– The Samaritan Counseling Center has seen a significant increase in clients with hurricane related issues and continue to provide compassionate counseling.

– The playground in the city of Attapulgus was damaged in the storm.  This donation is to repair the fence and replace equipment.

– The Department of Family and Children’s Services received gift cards to help them offer immediate assistance to the many families that they help each day.

Gift cards were purchased from Stones, Pic and Save, Winn Dixie and Walmart.   

David Carlton, President of The Community Foundation of South Georgia, has been so supportive in the hurricane recovery process and Decatur County is appreciative of the foundation’s gifts.