How to help
Donations to Loving Forsyth should be bagged or boxed, labeled “Loving Forsyth” and taken to any Forsyth fire station by the end of the day Wednesday. Financial donations can also be made by calling (404) 803-8899. To learn more, or to volunteer to sort items or provide services on Aug. 21, call (678) 858-1177.
Food items sought for Loving Forsyth include: canned carrots, corn, green peas, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, tomato sauce, apple sauce, chicken, beef stew, tuna, black-eyed peas, pinto beans; salt, pepper, sugar and powdered milk; lentils, rice, jalapeno peppers in vinegar, vegetable oil, corn masa, red and green chilies, chick peas; and large cans of apple, orange and tomato juice. Organizers have asked that no glass containers be brought.
Loving Forsyth, a recently formed Christian and community coalition, will be seeking donations through Wednesday.
Founded by Jim Sharp, director of Abba House, and Jerry Dupree, community development coordinator for the Forsyth YMCA, Loving Forsyth seeks to bring area churches, businesses and the general community together for large projects that couldn’t be handled on a small scale.
“This organization is designed to ‘love all of Forsyth to life,’” Sharp said.
The coalition’s first undertaking is to collect some 25,000 pounds of food and 4,000 pieces of “gently used” clothing to be distributed to 200 local families living in poverty.
The clothing and food — as well as personal hygiene items, winter coats and work boots, which Loving Forsyth is also seeking — will be distributed to the families during an event Aug. 21.
The families, who have already been selected, will also have the chance to receive first aid kits, hair cuts, and medical and vision screenings that day.
Sharp said he and Dupree had the idea to start Loving Forsyth after working with the Forsyth County school system’s Transition Center.
The facility helps students who are not native to the United States, as well homeless and disadvantaged families.
“With the help of [school system staff] we were able to identify these 200 families who are really struggling and need our help,” said Sharp, noting that he hopes the program will continue beyond Aug. 21.
“We want to do more than just give items to these families,” he said. “We hope to really help them get out of the poverty situation. We’d like to see them getting jobs and bettering their lives.”
Sharp said to help meet that goal, the program wants to enlist “mentors” from area churches to work on a long-term, one-on-one basis with the families.
“We’re working with area pastors to recruit church members to sign up,” he said. “This also works as a screening process so we know the families are in good hands.”
But for now, he and Dupree are asking the community to drop off donations at any Forsyth County fire station through Wednesday.
Dupree said biggest need currently is food.
“If people have clothes to donate, we’ll still take those, but we’re really locking in on the food right now,” he said.