If you have lived in Forsyth County for any amount of time, chances are you have heard of Jesse’s House, an emergency and long term shelter for adolescent girls.
This amazing organization provides much more than shelter for these girls and young women in need. In fact, besides offering a warm and home-like environment, those at the shelter are committed to providing counseling, tutoring, healthy meals, as well as teaching life skills the residents will need when they leave the shelter.
I first learned about Jesse’s House many years ago when I wrote an article about the newly renovated shelter. I was so moved by the work they do, I got involved and for a time worked as their volunteer coordinator.
I can tell you first hand the women who work there as well as the board members, truly care about the well being of the girls they serve.
During those years I met so many wonderful people — employees of the shelter, board members as well as hundreds of dedicated volunteers — many are dear friends to this day.
Amber Black has been the executive director for the past almost four years, but her history with the shelter goes back even further.
Amber did her internship at Jesse’s House while she was getting her Masters Degree in Counseling and then, after earning her degree served as the shelter’s residential coordinator. I remember when Amber was an intern and noted her passion and enthusiasm for helping the girls — she was all about wanting to see the girls get the help they needed and achieve success in their lives. Her compassion for helping others is truly contagious.
“We love hearing from past residents about their successes,” Amber said. “Just recently a young woman who was here for a time while she was in high school came back to speak to our girls — she is now a student at SCAD in Savannah studying fashion.”
Even after all of these years, I can still hear the hope and optimism in Amber’s voice when she talks about the shelter and its residents.
“Even though school and homework are a top priority, we also encourage our girls to be involved in extracurricular activities such as track, softball, basketball and even color guard,” she told me.
Please consider donating to Jesses House — even if you just pick up some paper towels, trash bags, or laundry detergent on your next shopping trip.
The shelter depends on donations from the community — gift cards are also always appreciated. Another way you can support Jesse’s House is by participating in their upcoming Fairy Tale Dash — a 5K Fun Run on Oct. 15 at Fowler Park. This would be particularly fun if you have any little princesses in your life who might want to dress up and attend the run.
“We know it’s going to be such a fun day, and we love that participants in the run are helping our residents who live and go to school in our county — your help is going to directly help Jesse’s House.”
Please help spread the word about this incredible organization right here in our midst. Check out their web site and register for the Fairy Tale Dash for Jesse’s House at www.jesseshouse.org.
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at email@example.com.