Children First’s summer friend-raising series, “Stories from Childhood: From a Tiny Acorn,” got off to a rousing start with three amazing memoirs from prominent Athenians. About 40-50 people attended each of the July sessions: Doc Eldridge, former Athens-Clarke County Mayor and current head of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce; the Reverend Archibald “ A.R.” Killian, retired businessman and one of the first two black policemen in Athens; and Claude Williams, communications entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Mr. Eldridge discussed how, in high school, he worked with Michael Thurmond, former Georgia Secretary of Labor, to defuse racial tensions during school integration. He also reminisced about how small Athens was during his childhood -- the Beechwood area was in the country.
Mr. Killian recalled paying five cents a week for a good preschool education. He also talked about letting white students from the University of Georgia eat at his restaurant, Killian’s Four Seasons. That is, until Governor Lester Maddox personally came to tell him to stop.
Mr. Williams remembered narrowly escaping injury in the deadly 1936 Gainesville tornado because he stopped at a friend’s house while walking to elementary school. He said that his parents instilled in him a love of education, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to charitable giving.
Children First is launching a 7-week series called "Stories from Childhood: From a Tiny Acorn" on July 14th. Each week's event will feature one of seven iconic figures in and around Athens who will tell about the challenges, happy times, and cultural happenings that marked his or her childhood.
Each speaker will be interviewed by another notable Athenian in a lively conversation. For example, Flagpole editor Pete McCommons will interview Doc Eldridge in the kick-off event on July 14th, and Clarke County district school board member Vernon Payne will interview Bertis Downs on August 18th.We will be working on having audio, video, and commentary available on our website for those that miss any of the events. We hope you all can join us for this exciting series!Click HERE to read an article about the event at OnlineAthens.
Wednesday, April 25 was a great day. It was the day on which Administrative Professionals Day marked its 60th anniversary. Around 65 Administrative professionals from six different organizations in the Athens area came out to our luncheon at Trumps Ballroom. The luncheon has raised around $2,000 for us to help more neglected and abused children.
Administrative Professionals Day is known as part of the Administrative Professionals Week. This year, the week was from April 22 to 28. According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), the theme for this year is: “Admins, the pulse of the office.”
Today, facing the advanced technology and the complex economy, the job of administrative professionals has changed drastically. They not only need to maintain their traditional role as the gatekeepers for customers, clients and employees, but also need to efficiently manage the accurate and speedy movement of digital information. They are the masters of data and are one of the engines of business.
There are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working nationwide, and 8.9 million working in various administrative supporting roles, according to U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. Nowadays, job titles for administrative professionals cover a wide range including associate, coordinator, office supervisor, office manager, legal secretary, etc.
To celebrate the special day and to honor the work of administrative professionals in the Athens area, local organizations were invited to treat their admin staff for lunch. At the luncheon held by us, attendees enjoyed a salad plate lunch and the classical guitar music of Mark Maxwell, along with numerous door prizes from area businesses.
We are glad to see the smiles from the admin professionals. It was the day for them, and for everybody to recognize their hard work and contributions. Actually, every day is the day them, because they are the pulse of the office and the engines of business. Meanwhile, we are also looking forward to the smiles from children. With the proceeds from the luncheon, we will be able to help more children get through the times of family crisis.
We would like to say thank you to all who came out at the luncheon and to our donors--Trumps Catering, A Lafera Salon, Young Actors Studio, Merrill Lynch, Athens Home Organizer and Curtis and O'Hara Foundation for making the event possible.
For more information about our donors, please visit our EVENTS
On March 1, our eight new volunteer advocates of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program were sworn in at the Children First Pope Street Cottage. They will advocate for 10-15 abused and neglected children in the Athens-Oconee court system.
These volunteers, as appointed by a juvenile court judge, will be gathering information about the children’s cases, attend all court proceedings and give independent reports to the judge in the best interest of the children. They will help to ensure that the children they speak for will have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.
Carol Pickersgill, one of our volunteers, expressed her excitement for this moment and cannot wait to start working. “I’ve already made an appointment to see my girl to get things moving forward.” said Carol. Knowing that the little girl likes to read Stephen King, Carol decided to bring her a book of Stephen King and a snickers bar for her. At the same time, the volunteers are also aware that being a CASA means taking responsibilities. “It’s an awesome responsibility in every sense of the word.” said Julie Bower, a new CASA volunteer.
An appreciation dinner was followed after the swearing in. Friends and families celebrated this special moment together with our volunteers and staff. More pictures of the ceremony and celebration can be found on our EVENTS
page and FACEBOOK
Our Athens-Oconee CASA program now has 54 volunteers working with over 110 children. We are currently recruiting new volunteers for its May training session. You can find the information on the CASA page of our Website by clicking HERE
Thank you to everyone that came to our Volunteer Appreciation BBQ on Saturday! We had a great time, in spite of the rain. It was wonderful to have staff, board members, and community supporters all come together and celebrate the achievements fo Children First Volunteers!
Thank you to everyone that came out to help Children First provide gifts for children in foster care this holiday season. A special thank you to the UGA Geography Graduate students and the American Medical Student Association for their assistance with this event. A great time was had by all wrapping the gifts and getting them ready for the Foster Parent Association Holiday Dinner. The Holiday Dinner went on without a hitch thanks to all the volunteers and especially Mrs. Clause, who handed out a gift to every child.
Thank you all again for all your hard work!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Casa Mia, Mi Corazon
event! We had a fantastic turnout, filling Casa Mia with 120 people for the evening.
Thanks to our auctioneer, Mr. Sam Williamson, the auction raised more than $10,000 for our Pope Street Cottage construction. All accounted, the event raised approximately $20,000 for our agency's work with abused and neglected children.
Thank you all! Please check out our Facebook Causes page to view photos from the evening. (If you wish to be redirected to our Facebook Causes page, please click here
Thank you especially to our sponsors: Casa Mia, Young Actors Studio, The Wraga Family, The UGA Institute for Nonprofits, Regina Quick, the Vestry of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Chastain Jenkins and Leathers, St. Mary's Hospital, WUGA, Nicholas Orobello and Athens Area Health Plan Select.