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Alliance continues meeting needs of Dawson community

POSTED: May 30, 2012 4:00 a.m.

You may have been aware of the Alliance of Churches of Dawson County as that group has prepared and served "open house" Thanksgiving dinners for the past two years. The dinners were especially for families who currently could not provide such a feast for themselves and for individuals who might otherwise be alone on that holiday.

The alliance is now offering assistance to those same citizens who may need minor home repairs.

It is a new program called "Help Around the House."

The group has already completed its first project, a new porch with railings and steady stairs to replace some unsafe rickety ones.

The alliance works through Family Connection with other community agencies and organizations that provide services to those in need.

The "Help Around the House" program is aimed toward the elderly, the disabled, those living alone, people who can't do their own repairs, have no one they can call to do them, and can't easily hire someone.

Because the group consists of volunteers and currently has no budget, the repairs will necessarily be of the "handyman" type, unless, of course, there are licensed professionals among the volunteers.

For the same reasons, it is expected that materials will be paid for by the occupant or owner of the house.

The group hopes to get some money through donations, grants and fundraisers, so that eventually they can assist the truly indigent.

But there may also be requests that don't require funds, such as one from a lady living alone who needs help putting her air conditioner unit in the window.

Residents who want to request this aid will need to contact Family Connection, whose staff will do the initial screening, determine eligibility, and then contact the alliance who will assess the project, decide whether and how they can do it, and move from that point.

The Family Connection office is in Suite 105 of the K.H. Long Government Building on Hwy. 53 West, call (706) 265-1981 or e-mail, mmiller@DawsonFamily-Connection.org.

Jim Bohl, chairman of the alliance, explained to me that there are currently 13 local churches with representatives in the group.

The group is hoping that other churches will join them.

At present, members meet monthly to plan and coordinate, although committees working on specific projects have their own planning and working meetings.

Bohl says that they also welcome individuals who would like to help with the program. He invites anyone interested in learning more about the alliance and this particular project to visit a meeting. He can be reached at (706) 344-1281 or through e-mail, jimbohl@windstream.net.

My hat's off to this group who is putting their faith into practice!

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.

 

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