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LOCAL COMMENTARY: A resounding ‘Thank you!’

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Floyd County volunteers, may I offer a resounding “Thank you!” to all of you who have stepped up to provide comfort items for our Floyd County foster and special needs children? Although the tactile emotional comfort items provided may not decrease the number of our children going into foster care in Floyd County, the articles made and donated by many of our county’s serving hands and loving hearts can greatly enhance the lives of those in foster care and children with special needs. Organizing and coordinating ministries for the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth has been, and continues to be, one of the most fulfilling volunteer services in mine and my husband’s lives.

Blanket Buddies are gifted by DFCS to each child being placed in foster care. The child may have gone into foster care with only the clothes on his/her back; a Blanket Buddy will serve each during his/her traumatic life event as a tactile emotional comfort aide. The single-layer fleece fun-to-make blankets are being made by many gracious volunteers. A “Blanket Buddy and a Book” is a smaller Blanket Buddy gifted to a child being served by the Rome Exchange Club Family Resource Center Parent Aides for local at-risk families with in-house parent education and life skills training. The blankets encourage the families to cuddle and read while properly bonding with their child. Again, our county’s volunteers, 8 to 80 years, from church mission groups and individuals, are committed to making the blankets for the toddler to elementary school age children.

The Fig Leaf Friends ministry provides donations of diapers and new underwear, socks, training bras and especially pajamas (children 7-12) to supplement the clean, gently-used clothing provided by donors to Restoration Rome’s Clothes Closet for our county’s foster children.

Garden clubs, church mission groups, Sunday School classes and individuals are generously supporting the Fig Leaf Friends ministry.

Ivey’s Octopals, a ministry to serve our county’s children with visual and hearing losses and other disabilities, brought forward talented serving hands and loving hearts of individuals and Rome Knitterati members to knit and crochet colorful Ivey’s Octopals to benefit these special children of God with their occupational and physical therapies while providing emotional and tactile comforts from the curling tentacles. Some 50 of the Ivey’s Octopals will be gifted to children who will benefit from having one by Babies Can’t Wait Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Sensory Assistance Project (federally funded and under the University of Georgia College of Education and Communications).

Yes, these are our Floyd County foster children and children with special needs whose lives are being, and will continue to be, enhanced by our Floyd County volunteers who historically are the very best as they volunteer to help foster and special needs children in our county. In blessing these children with our services, we will find the blessings returned to us.

As a volunteer with the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, I’d like to extend my ongoing appreciation to our exemplary Floyd County volunteers who have gone above and beyond the realm of simply volunteering by their making possible the creative promotional logos, flyers and displays and by the generous commitments of church mission groups, Sunday School Classes and Church Outreach Programs and individuals.

Our foster and special needs children need us; Floyd County’s volunteers will continue to share their time, talents and treasures with these special children of God because that is what we do in our Floyd County. Please join our volunteers in making a difference while serving together.

Joyously serving together with you in Christ!

Mary M. Yarbrough is a volunteer and member of The Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth.