Bartow County Georgia’s Children need your help. Sign up today to be a CASA volunteer

Bartow’s Children Need Your Help!
CASA Training to Start January 22nd
Article Image
“Helping an abused or neglected child can be one of the most rewarding forms of volunteerism,” according to new Advocates for Children President Rachel Castillo. “Our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provide a source of support for children in foster care and are a vital part of the process to move these children to a safe and permanent home.”
Beginning Jan. 22, a series of training sessions will prepare new volunteers to evaluate a child’s situation by talking to anyone who knows the child and reporting recommendations in the best interest of the child to a judge. CASA’s are vital to the outcome of children in the foster care system, according to Castillo.
The number of foster children is growing in our area, so we are looking for people with “strong communication skills, compassion for children and ability to be objective,” she said. Typically, the Division of Family and Children’s Services caseworkers have such an extensive caseload that their time with each child is limited. CASA volunteers can invest time in investigating, interviewing and researching what and who will best serve the children.
“CASA volunteers are the support and the voice for the children we serve,” Castillo explained. Abused or neglected children can have multiple DFCS case managers and even multiple foster family placements.  The one constant and stable presence in their lives is their CASA volunteers. “It’s a priceless relationship.”
The qualifications are simple. In addition to a deep compassion for children, volunteers must be 21 or older and undergo a background check. In addition, a 40-hour training program prepares prospects for a wide array of situations and guides them in managing the process.
Each day, Georgia has an average of 33 confirmed cases of child abuse. That devastating figure is indicative of a broad-spectrum problem that stems from drug and alcohol abuse, anger, a family history of abuse and other issues. CASA volunteers can help children navigate the foster system to find safe, stable and permanent homes.
The training will equip volunteers to help transform the lives of children who need trusted adults. “Becoming a volunteer will definitely change the life of a child,” Castillo said, “but it also changes the life of the volunteer. It’s a wonderful way to enhance your purpose in life.”
For details on the training program, call Ava Lipscomb at 770-386-1060 or email ava@advochild.org.

Thank Congress For Supporting SNAP

On December 12, 2018, Congress crossed the finish line on a final bipartisan Farm Bill, with the House voting in support of the bill 369-47 on the heels of the Senate’s passage, 87-13.  The final bill largely resembles the bipartisan SNAP provisions in the original Senate bill that the United Way network strongly championed throughout 2018. The Farm Bill conference report preserves access to nutritious food for those who need it most by keeping the current SNAP eligibility requirements and work provisions and maintaining state flexibility. It also makes incremental changes that support work by strengthening the SNAP E&T program and its connection to employers and existing workforce infrastructure, and improving program integrity by modernizing verification systems and instituting checks to prevent duplicate receipt of benefits across states. ‘

We celebrate this victory as a bipartisan win that helps children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and working Americans keep food on the table andthank our entire network for your strong advocacy efforts. You came together and fought for SNAP through hundreds of legislative meetings, powerful stories, strategic op-eds, informative digital campaigns, and engagement with hundreds of partners and volunteers.

We also want to thank our legislators for voting in support of SNAP.

How Can We Make Mental Health A Priority in the Workplace – author – Darlene Slaughter

Have you ever known someone who worked non-stop? They’re the office go-getter, always available to support the team and take on extra work. But what do you do when their enthusiasm seems out of balance?

Passion for work is common. Using passion for work to mask a mental health issue is common, too. Even people we think we know well can put on a public face to protect themselves from its associated stigmas. Mental illness is one of those equalizers that doesn’t care who you are.

Today, 1 in 5 people in the workplace have some form of mental illness – from drug and alcohol addiction to depression and bipolar disorder. But we don’t talk about it openly and honestly enough. For managers, it can be difficult to strike a balance between noticing warning signs of someone in need and getting past the trust issues they have about disclosing that need. For some employees, it’s terrifying to disclose their diagnosis because they’re afraid of the potential judgement and repercussions that may follow.

The bar for frank conversations about diversity and inclusion is already difficult to reach. And judgments around race, gender and orientation are exacerbated by mental health stigmas. America’s corporate culture hasn’t done enough to make the 16 percent of Hispanics, 18 percent of African-Americans, 13 percent of Asians and 28 percent of American Indians with mental illness — and the LGBTQ community who are at least twice as likely to be living with it — feel secure in just showing up.

So how do we protect colleagues who have been hurt and isolated by previous encounters with racism, sexism and homophobia from feeling even more hurt and isolated? I don’t think there’s a one-size-corrects-all solution. But I know the effort starts when leaders make themselves available to hear the concerns of their employees. Many managers aren’t aware of the resources available to help employees navigate these issues.

As leaders, we increase the productivity and responsiveness of our teams when we show compassion, concern and empathy for them. When we humanize mental illness, we introduce the tools and language to talk about it and save lives, particularly for people of color and LGBTQ people who are already less likely to receive treatment and confront insensitivity if they do. We make people a priority. Just as important, we give our colleagues permission to let their masks slip so we can help them when they need it.

About the author: Darlene Slaughter, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer of the United Way US Network, is a recognized leader in diversity and inclusion. She recently authored a chapter for a book promoting women’s leadership advancement, offering honest insight and advice into how she gained confidence in the workplace, opening the door to more leadership opportunities and helping her better understand how to use her strengths to support others’ growth. Mastering Your Inner Critic … and Seven Other High Hurdles to Advancement” hits newsstands Dec. 3, 2018. 

Our Impact at United Way

Problems. The ones most people don’t have the stomach for. The ones nobody talks about at cocktail parties. The ones that can’t be solved. We go looking for them.  We have one life. To live better, we must Live United.

 

Harbin Clinic Turkey Trot and 5K Wobble Walk to benefit UNITED WAY OF BARTOW COUNTY

Get ready to kick off your Thanksgiving week festivities with the Harbin Clinic Turkey Trot 5K and Health Wobble benefitting the United Way of Bartow County on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The long-running event adds Harbin Clinic as the title sponsor this year but keeps the same great course and the fun, frivolity and fitness local athletes have come to expect.

“We look forward to this race each November, and we are happy to be partnering with Harbin Clinic this year,” Brenda Morehouse, United Way of Bartow County president, says. “I can’t wait to see everyone participating and having fun in this event.”

The certified 5K course is fast and scenic while encircling Sam Smith Park, and it also serves as a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race.

Along with the 5K race, which starts at 9 a.m., the event will have a pre-race costume contest and a two-mile health wobble. The wobble is a two-mile, non-timed walk for those that want to take part but may not want to run 3.1 miles.

As in previous years, age-group winners get to claim frozen turkeys as their prize. The top three finishers in each age group will receive special awards newly made for this year’s event.

“Harbin Clinic is excited to become a part of this Cartersville tradition and be able to help put a focus on health and wellness in Bartow County while also supporting the many great things the Bartow County United Way does in the community,” Harbin Clinic CEO Kenna Stock says.

Wire2Wire running will provide timing and results for the event. Registration for the 5K is $25 and $20 for the health wobble, and people can sign up at active.com. To guarantee t-shirt size, participants need to be registered no later than Sunday, Nov. 11. Race-day registration for the 5K is $35 and $25 for the wobble.

Packet pick up will be on Friday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the lobby of the United Way of Bartow County located at 320 West Cherokee Avenue in Cartersville.

Sign up now at https://www.active.com/…/the-harbin-clinic-turkey-trot-5k-a…

Labor Day – Celebrating and Fighting for all workers

I grew up with Labor. Not lower-case labor, but Labor, the world of unions made up of steel and construction workers.

Back in the 1970s, getting a union card was important. Without it, it was tougher to get consistent, good-paying work in northwest Indiana. In many ways, it was the Midwest depicted in the movie Rudy, where workers in hard-hats toiled in tough conditions.

When my father helped me get a union card to pay for college, it provided me with a good wage and taught me the value of hard work. But I recognized, increasingly so as the years passed, that not everyone received the same opportunities that I did.

After college, I was grateful to be able to return home to work construction, but at the last minute an internship with United Way opened in North Carolina. Just like that, my life changed.

I’ve never forgotten the opportunity that union card provided to me, which is why I shared this story recently at a recent gathering of United Way staff, labor liaisons and Labor leaders.

Labor and United Way have a long and deep relationship. Over the years, we’ve both gone through evolutions, but always worked together to do right by our members and partners. We’ve put people first – something that will be key going forward as societal changes bring more information to individual’s fingertips and demands for accountability.

When I think back to my union card, I recognize that a personal connection helped me get it. I also recognize that not every teenager in my town had that advantage.

That’s why I’m determined that United Way and Labor work together – and with all sectors of society – to fight for greater opportunity for all. Every race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. An inclusive mantra will build our membership and strength, helping us to leverage our scale for more solutions that empower workers and families, such as our recent efforts with businesses to develop apprenticeships that lead to good jobs.

The tradition of Labor Day goes back to the 1800s. It’s a tribute to the contributions made by workers to the prosperity of the United States. Over the decades, the holiday has evolved to celebrate new groups of people, all striving to provide for themselves and their communities.

United Way proudly stands with these hard-working men and women in the United States and all around the world. Hard work and the pursuit of greater opportunity should be recognized and supported no matter who you are or where you grew up.

That’s what we celebrate on Labor Day, and what we fight for every day.

Brian Gallagher – President and CEO United Way Worldwide.

Turkey Trot 2017 Results – UPDATED

UnitedWay_TurkeyTrot2017Mascot

All:

We had to re-run the results because of one missing runner. We apologize for the duplication, but wanted to be sure we have everyone’s time and place published properly. We appreciate all of you have supported our run, whether this has been your first time or if it’s an annual tradition. All of those funds raised help support over 15 different non-profit partner agencies right here in Bartow County. So, by helping us, you are actually helping a wide range of agencies all at once. Thank you!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah and Happy Festivus!

2017 Turkey Trot 5K OVERALL RESULTS 11182017

2017 Turkey Trot Age Group Results 5K 11182017