Family Connection assisting with back-to-school needs

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With back to school time upon us, both the Barrow County Family Connection and Jackson County Family Connection have offered opportunities to help local students prepare for a new school year.

Linda Foster, who serves as Jackson County’s Family Connection coordinator, had been working hard to aid families who are in need. Family Connection works alongside all of the agencies, churches, businesses and organizations for the betterment of families in the area.

“I am working with several families who struggle to purchase supplies and clothes needed to go back to school. I search for organizations that will meet each family’s needs and match them with the organization that will provide support,” Foster said. There are several businesses, churches and organizations that host school supply or backpack drives, and this generosity is what provides children with everything they need for the new school year — pencils, markers, paper, notebooks, backpacks and more. It allows families to focus their finances on things that may be more urgent and it alleviates the stress of using dwindling or even non-existent money on school supplies.

Jackson County Family Connection not only aids in providing school supplies, but food as well. The Nutrition on Weekends (NOW) Program assures that no child is hungry on the weekends.

“Many children in our community only have meals at school. This program sends children home with a backpack of easy to prepare food on the weekends,” said Foster. “The students who participate in the NOW program receive written permission from their parents.”

The bags are prepared by volunteer organizations such as churches, and are distributed to the children on Fridays.

Barrow County Family Connection also works diligently to reach out to families. An event called “Pack the Bus” was recently held for students of the Barrow County School System.

The Barrow County News sponsored this effort to collect school supplies including new book bags, calculators, paper, notebooks, pocket folders, binders, markers, crayons, glue sticks, rulers, scissors, pencils, sharpeners, pens, erasers, dictionaries and related items. For four days, a bus was parked at the Barrow County News office, located in the Holly Hill Mall Shopping Center on West Athens Street in Winder, for donors to load their donations on the bus.

The school supplies were distributed in coordination with Barrow County Family Connection/Communities in Schools on July 30 at the Barrow County Recreation Department.

Barrow County Family Connection is also hosting a BBQ fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 10. A plate is $8 and a pint of BBQ is $10. Pickup is at Winder First United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Meg Loggins or Melinda Shealey at 770-868-2910.

“We also did a Youth Conference will held a back-to-school bash on July 30,” said Loggins, executive director of the Barrow County Family Connection. This is a fun and beneficial organization to be a part of.

For more information on Family Connection, visit www.gafcp.org