We are excited to announce that Fannin County Family Connection and our Executive Director Sherry Morris were featured in the January issue of the Georgia Family Connection Partnership newsletter!
"Fannin County, a once sleepy Appalachian poverty-stricken mountain community, has evolved over the past two decades to one of the 10 best places in the country for retirement, changing it to a dichotomy of “have and have-nots.” Affordable rentals are nonexistent because investors pour money into vacation rentals. Local tourism and retail jobs offer few benefits and low wages. Workers without higher education struggle to make ends meet, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the issues among underemployed or unemployed families. The food pantry and resource center FCFC operates recently had its busiest week in 22 years when we distributed 18,540 pounds of food, which translated into 15,450 meals. We freely share needs and resources among 20 agencies and focus on serving families while eliminating duplication.
"FCFC has become a trusted source and a friendly face among those who need us. We visit families’ homes when transportation issues occur, and we speak with our neighbors as they visit us for food assistance and resources. This communication process helps us quickly spot trends in needs. We take this data to every Collaborative meeting to compare notes with other agencies. The open sharing among our partners is usually the most gratifying time at meetings. Often, a question is posed and the answer lies within a partner organization at the table. Sometimes we have to pivot to best meet our families’ needs. We have a responsive Board of Directors, 70 dedicated volunteers, and financial support from our community.
"The sheer number of FCFC supporters involved in other organizations gives us the breadth of our reach. Our Board of Directors reviews the tools GaFCP provides and completes a self-assessment, continually strengthening our partnerships. When the community needed after-school care, we formed a working group and reached out to the regional Boys and Girls Club. Fannin County wasn’t on the list to develop a new club, so Collaborative members stepped up to serve and fundraise. Our new club was chartered within a year. COVID-19 has changed the face of the operation, but the club is operating as best it can in the current environment. One discussion and a few dedicated Collaborative members changed the community to offer a new service to families.
"Several years ago, I went through a divorce, lost health insurance, and was putting my life back together when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m a seven-year survivor now! Unable to meet travel and work demands, I lost my job of 30 years. I found myself a single mom, without a support system, without income, and in the throes of situational poverty. When the position opened at FCFC, I knew this was for me. Knowing how difficult everyday life situations can be gives me the strength and desire to do my best to help my struggling neighbors. Thinking of ways our Collaborative can become even more useful keeps me up at night. I wake up each morning with a glad spirit that I have the opportunity to serve. Aside from being a mother to two incredible children, this is the best job ever," concluded Sherry Morris.