Mary Yarbrough, Volunteer Coordinator, answers questions about the Fig Leaf Friends program for this week’s Highlighting Helping Hands.

What is the purpose of your organization? The purpose of the Fig Leaf Friends program is to supplement the gently-used children’s clothing donated to The Hope Chest Clothes Closet at The Restoration Rome Center for foster, adoption and family services with necessary new items such as packaged diapers and new pajamas, underwear and socks.

How is your organization funded? Fig Leaf Friends is endorsed by The Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth (RFCCCY) and funded through community donations of requested new items or cash to purchase needed items. Upon request, donors will receive a receipt from the RFCCCY outlining what was donated to Fig Leaf Friends. RFCCCY has 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status and all donations are tax deductible. All donations serve local children and families.

What do you enjoy most acting as a part of this organization? I especially enjoy opportunities to meet the donors who take great interest and pleasure in serving our county’s foster children with new Fig Leaf Friends items needed for The Hope Chest Clothes Closet.

What is your organization’s biggest challenge? The biggest challenges for the Fig Leaf Friends program are finding new ways to publicize the needs of Floyd County’s foster children and connecting with more people and groups interested in helping.

Volunteers

In what capacities are volunteers used? Volunteers are needed to help spread the word about the program, find others willing to donate needed items or cash, and help with organizing donated items. Any interested volunteers should contact Program Director Mary Yarbrough at m7mybro@gmail.com. To volunteer in The Hope Chest Clothes Closet contact Clothes Closet Coordinator Jeanne Mathews at 706-676-1039 or jmathews1@aol.com.

Training? There is no formal training other than communicating with Program Director Mary Yarbrough for needed information.

Is the program open to new volunteers? Yes, we welcome new volunteers with ideas to help us better serve the Floyd County foster children and other identified in need local families through the Fig Leaf Friends program.

Something else to say to readers? I would like for the readers to understand why there was a need to create the Fig Leaf Friends program and how this program is meeting a continual and growing need as we strive to prevent families from entering the foster care system and support families that are taking care of foster children. Helping with the Fig Leaf Friends program is an easy way for groups to help. It provides an opportunity for outreach ministries or community service projects.

With approximately 280 children from Floyd County homes currently in foster care, 1/3 of whom are under 5 years old, we have one of the highest numbers in care per capita among Georgia’s 159 counties. Mental health issues, poverty, homelessness, incarcerated parents, substance abuse and child neglect are underlying reasons for children going into foster care. Until the children can be safely returned to their parents, a relative can care for them or they can be adopted, they will remain in foster care. The Restoration Rome Center for Foster, Adoption and Family Services houses various service agencies to assist these children and their birth and foster families. Reconciliation and restoration of families, whenever possible, are the primary purposes of Restoration Rome.

The Fig Leaf Friends program was put in place to help supplement The Hope Chest Clothes Closet’s gently-used clothing with necessities for the children. Floyd County children and teens in foster care and other children who are being served often need pull-ups and all sizes of diapers, especially sizes 4 and 5, packaged underwear for children ages 3-18, socks for ages 2-16, pajamas for ages 7-12 and teen sports bras. These items needed for the Fig Leaf Friends program can only be new items, not gently-used items. Monetary donations and gift cards are especially helpful and appreciated in allowing us to make emergency purchases specific to a child’s needs. Donations serve our local children and families.

Drop-off site for Fig Leaf Friends donations: The Restoration Rome Center for Foster, Adoption and Family Services, 1400 Crane Street, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Checks: Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth (RFCCCY), P.O. Box 244, Rome, Georgia, 30162-0244

For Information: Mary Yarbrough Coordinator, Fig Leaf Friends m7mybro@gmail.com

To volunteer in Clothes Closet: Call Jeanne Mathews at 706-676-1039 or by email at jmathews1@aol.com

THE FACTS

Name of non-profit: Fig Leaf Friends is a program endorsed by The Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth [RFCCCY] a Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Director: Carol Willis, Executive Director of RFCCCY

Location: RFCCCY office is in The Restoration Rome Center for Foster, Adoption and Family Services, 1400 Crane Street

How long organization in Rome /Floyd County? The Commission has served in Floyd County for 29 years. Fig Leaf Friends has been endorsed by the Commission for one-and one-half years.

Hours open to public: Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Public contact phone: RFCCCY, Carol Willis, 706-766-8880; The Restoration Rome Center for Foster, Adoption, and Family Services, 706-528-4033

Email: Mary Yarbrough m7mybro@gmail.com, Carol Willis carol.willis@comcast.net

Recommended for you