Community Spotlight - Paulding Family Connection
Resolve To Help Paulding in 2018
By George Fandos
Are you ready for 2018? As we turn the page from last year, putting away Christmas gifts, beginning to think about new resolutions, anticipating an early Georgia spring, this might be the year to find some way to serve your community or even get more involved than 2017.
Paulding County can boast a fantastic quality of life with a growth rate that is 50% higher than Georgia’s fast pace, household income that is 20% higher than Georgia’s, beautiful landscapes and plenty of natural resources. We live in a vibrant community, with wonderful people, caring governmental agencies and a strong faith-based community.
Unfortunately, some of the national trends crippling our society are making their way to Hiram, Dallas, and the surrounding areas. Two of the most alarming trends, nationally, are reason for concern. In 1960, nearly 90% of American children lived in a traditional family home with married parents. As recently as 2014, this number had fallen to roughly 60% and it continues to fall. At the same time, illicit drug use now regularly affects over 10% of the population aged 12 and older, having risen 25% in only 15 years. Clearly, these trends contribute to each other, but that is a discussion for another time. However, these two trends alone are putting our families and most importantly our children at risk.
What can you do this year? To continue being a great community we need diverse gifts and as many people working together as possible. Our children, especially those in challenging home situations need love, support, basic life skills, and as they age, a better understanding of how to make good decisions. Many of our younger parents also need support, that might be financial, supply of basic needs or services, or just encouragement.
As the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you… because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
So how can I get involved you might ask yourself? The Paulding Family Connection is a great start. This collaborative is set up to have strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with a variety of community members, agencies, churches, and non-profits to accomplish two things: Improve the School Success of Our Children and Improve Family Stability. The PFC believes that for the collaborative to make a difference in Paulding County, volunteer opportunities should be widely available and community members need to work together to focus on our unique challenges like preventing substance abuse, providing healthcare to those who are in need, and ensuring the safety of our citizens.
Every second Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. like-minded citizens informally gather to connect and learn about where to get involved and how to help. Opportunities are varied and examples include mentoring a school age child an hour a week or becoming a child advocate when their family is involved in legal proceedings or providing assistance to military veterans or supporting one of the more than 100 foster families in Paulding County by becoming part of their care community or serving low-income and struggling families.
Check out the website at Paulding.gafcp.org for more information and come get to know where your community needs you. Bring a friend. The next meeting will be January 11, 2018 in the board room at the Paulding School District Office at 3236 Atlanta Hwy., Dallas, GA 30132. The spotlight topic will be The Opioid Crisis in Georgia.
Everyone has much to contribute, their time, knowledge, money, and prayers!