January 12, 2016

In This Issue:
The Center for Children & Young Adults (CCYA) is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment with comprehensive services for homeless youth and young adults who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or are at risk.
The kindness and generosity of individuals and organizations continue to make a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. 

Thanks to those who gave in
October 2015:

Mark Brinkman
Lee Ann Sherry, Impact Supplies, Real Estate Account
Brenda Rice
Sandra Penton
Gerald & Barbara Dyck
United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta
Tyler Johnson
Moe Shafer
Mark Steele
Eagle Creek Brewing Company, LLC
Clifton Dortch
Karen Slack
Cobb EMC Community Foundation Inc.
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
United Way of Greater Atlanta
IBM Employee Services Center
GE United Way Campaign
Rabbi Shalom Lewis
Martha & Bill Bechtel
IBM Employee Services Center
Hallford Bros. Inc., DBA Security
Wells Fargo Foundation
United Way of Greater Atlanta
Sean & Christine Taylor
Mike DeWitt, Smith & Howard Wealth Management
Pattie Jackson, Keller Williams-Atlanta North
Austell Smiles Dentistry
Cynthia Baron, Assistance League
Sara Zimmerman, Kennesaw Mountain HS Beta Club
Rosalind Rawls 
Anne Smith, CCA
Donna Shafer   
Martha Bechtel
            Kevin Dandridge              
Glennda Baker & Associates
Melissa Sneed, Mt. Bethel Reservation
The kindness and generosity of individuals and organizations continue to make a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. 

Thanks to those who gave in
November 2015:

Arthur Gumer
Amelia Olson
Angela Namkung
Frey Elementary PTSA
Clay & Julie Gilchrist
Thomas & Bethhellen Warren
Susan Jenkins
Jeremy & Sari Jansen
Erin & Keith Kaminsky
Clay & Julie Gilchrist
Bradley & Enders Safalow
Kemp Elementary PTA
YourCause Employee Giving
Elizabeth & Brett Young
Schwab Charitable
America's Charities
The Circle for Children
Schwab Charitable
Katrina McRoyal
Community Foundation for Greater ATL
Midtown Atlanta Nephrology, P.C.
Murdock Elementary School
IBM Employee Services Center
Jabari Brunson
David Pearson
Rodney & Yolanda Wilson
Barry & Mary Greenway
Joe Shubert
Donna Najafi
Tomicka Yates
Brian Newsome
Betts Fisher
Mary Harrison
Christopher Harrison
R.J. Briscione
Melinda Schwear
Joseph Harrison
Elea Hammond
Lee Moore
Anthony DePalma
Kimberly Pullen
Steve Lester
Baileigh Borna
Venitia Smith
Joanne Shellman
Victoria Baldwin
Catherine Anderson
Eddie Turner
Alma Harrison
Mike Watkins
Rebecca Brewster
Vincent Morton
Maia Cogen
Monica Mosley
Cherri Fustino
Katherine Cohen
Michael DeWitt
Raj Patel
Elaine Gill
Brenda Rhodes
Mike Kaufman
Steve Herzog
Mary Howie
Suzannah Gill
Laura Searcy
Lynn Levinson
Jane Detzel
Kelly Healy
Petra Mote
Willie Daniely
Bob Fyfe
Karen Williams
Kimberly Burd
Tracy Moore
Lee Ann Sherry
Carole & Mark Steele
Judy Jackson
Margeret Lundy
Paul Johnson
Maureen Donoghue
Eric Yeager
Toni Moore
Ned Goepp
Suzette Carney
Monque Spaulding
Martha Cannon
Nancy Wells
Patty Kendrick
Alice McQuade
Kyle Collins
Cindy Brock-Hamilton
Mary Tallman
Anthony Wells
Ann Cannon
Gina Wyatt
Bridget Dickinson
Sandra Lok
Paul Gregory
Cheryl Mobley
Melina Stuk
Christina Pellicano
Nancy Young
Jeff Loftin
Melvin & Cheryl Hibbler
West Side Elementary PTA
Randall & Barbara Tahsler
United Way of Metropolitan ATL
Shelley Williams
Andrea Watkins
Brett Green
Victor Brown
Michele Green
Rick Gibbons
Sheila Piccirilli
Patricia Sprinkle
Kimberly Tinsley
Mike Samples
Kelly Johnson
Lairlaine White
Peggy Baer
Steve Yarish
Dasha McCollough
Tiffani Andrews
Patricia Rowe
Brandon Crawley
Jeff Loftin
Regina Myers
Steve Budow
Tracy Turner
Marsha Brenner
Kimberley & David Borna
Jim Newman
Joyce Herring
Marcia Keiter
Joy McTyre
Donald & Doris Meadows
Karen & E. Martin Slack
Todd Lok
Marybeth Barfield
Kay Vaughn
Shari Scheiblauer
Toni Brewton
Karen Beddingfield
Barbara Hall
Kari Sisson
Leslie Ayox
Sindy Marvin
Karen Anderson
Kari Figueroa
Buddy & Gina Solomon
Kat Wilson
Susan Fanning
Christy Spurlin
Kerri Grant
Lisa Thorner
Siobhan Cummins
Dawn Miceli
Lee Ann Sherry
Allison Milligan
Mark Steele
Gerald & Barbara Dyck
Kendra Pope
Sandra Penton
M. Ann Hall
Brenda Rice
The Konnichiwa Club
Jan & Maureen Lok
Dunwoody Baptist Church
Thomas Alexander
Sean & Heather McIlhiney
SunTrust United Way Campaign
Audrey Wilkerson
Adam & Kelly Johnson
Sherry Shellman
Una Nyhan
Paige & Saul Mamula
Glenn & Karen Pugh
United Way of Greater Atlanta
Georgia Power Foundation
Atlanta Braves Foundation
S. Bradley
Gretchen Musser
Lynn Levinson  
Kalen Redmon
Jeff Loftin
Home Depot
Harrison Fisher
Langston Hughes High School JROTC
Glennda Baker and Associates
Atlanta International School
Wells Fargo Bank, ATL Learning & Development
A Christmas to Remember

We were truly blessed this holiday season. We can never fully make up for what our kids have been through and material possessions cannot erase the worries and hurt they feel. But a special Christmas can do wonders for the heart and restore a sense of hope that someone out there does care about them. We are so grateful for our donors and community partners that gave so generously to our kids to make sure they had the Christmas they deserve.  Leading up to Christmas they attending the annual
Christal Sellers Smith Small Group Christmas Party at the Marriott NW, Libby Bradley's Cookie Decorating Party and AT&T along with many other small groups brought dinner, activities and treats out to CCYA.

We were amazed at the individuals and groups willing to purchase just the right gifts for our kids so they could have the exact things on their wish lists. We are so appreciative of   The Circle for ChildrenLockheed Martin, Tritt Elementary, Sandra Penton, United Way, ABATE, RBC Wealth Management, Lee Oesterling's Group, Sope Creek Elementary, Double Tree Marietta, Gina Wyatt and Friends, Comcast, Paul Fuge & Cartoon Network, Automated Logic, Linda Petkus & Friends, Timber Ridge Elementary, Alere, DHS, Ryan Employees and Gene Coker.

Wrapping presents for forty kids is no easy task! We could never do it without the help of our wonderful elves  Kelly Johnson and  Hallie Campbell. These ladies give us a week of their time and lead our volunteers in sorting and wrapping each individual gift with love. Thank you to all the volunteers that came out to wrap in our Santa's Workshop!

From all of us at CCYA we thank you. We were touched by your generosity and love for our kids! 

Highlights of 2015  

As we bid farewell to 2015 we are reminded to reflect on our accomplishments as well as the highlights from this past year. We never could have achieved all we did without the help of our community. We are truly grateful for everyone that believes in our mission. There are so many wonderful causes out there and we realize that you have a choice. Thank you for your kindness and support! 

We built and opened an Outdoor Basketball and Recreation Center. CCYA was awarded a $100,000 grant from 
A Million Matters 
in order to make this possible. To celebrate we had a ribbon cutting ceremony and our boys played basketball in their new shoes and basketball uniforms and our girls played volleyball in their new shorts and custom t-shirts donated by  The Assistance League of Atlanta We also were awarded funds from  The Car Max Foundation  for a body movement therapy called "The Game of Life" which we partner with an experienced partner in the field. (The Showcase Group) This type of therapy is specially designed for youth that have experienced trauma. 

Game of Life  is a unique opportunity for the boys we serve to experience an innovative therapy through basketball modality which engages them and keeps an interest level that traditional therapy does not. When teen boys actually participate in therapy without consciously realizing it, the treatment outcomes are increased. We have seen our boys thrive from this program and are grateful for our community partners that made it all possible! 

We launched a GED School Home Literacy Program.  Many youth in our care have been rejected or struggle to get enrolled by the public school system. There are sometimes gaps in their education due to truancy or there is a lack of documented credit hours. These youth are too far behind to take or prepare for the  GED  test as recommended by the public schools. Instead, they need 9-18 months of intensive one-on-one home school instruction prior to  GED  testing readiness. This is the approach that CCYA is taking with its  GED  Literacy Home School program. 

Classes are currently offered in the following basic core subjects: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Individual learning plans are created to meet the unique needs and educational levels of each youth. Youth may enroll in multiple GED sessions (8 weeks per session) as needed to achieve their learning plan goals, and they will graduate from the program when they achieve readiness to enroll in the 5-week Paxen GED test-prep course. We have already had two graduates go on to get their GED and look forward to helping future youth in our care to do the same. 

With the help of The Master Gardeners of Cobb County, Captain Planet and The Community Foundation we were able to expand our Farm to Table Program in 2015. The Master Gardeners of Cobb County started a basic vegetable garden in 2006. The current CCYA garden is now comprised of 4 specific gardens: a vegetable garden, berry garden, vine vegetable garden, and herb garden. Youth participate in the gardens as apprentices when their schedules allow. This year, CCYA has produced over 1000 pounds of produce for the dining room.

We received funding to purchase new plants, producing and landscaping materials to secure the gardens in place and to separate into sections for care. Funds were used to expand the drip irrigation system to conserve water and to purchase a chicken coop that will be home to 13 chickens this spring. The youth will help care for the chickens as part of animal-assisted therapy.

CCYA was awarded "Volunteer of the Year Award" from  GA Homeless Coalition at the 2015 Humanitarian Awards!   We nominated long- time volunteer,
Marsha Brenner.
We are lucky to have Marsha Brenner as a volunteer for The Center for Children & Young Adults for the past 6 years. She is very connected in our community, she does not just meet people she forms relationships and realizes the true meaning of connecting with people. She is part of a large organization called The Circle for Children, a group of over 400 ladies that help at-risk children in Atlanta.

These ladies support our children for some of the most special and important times during their stay with us. Marsha has formed and hand-picked a group of special ladies that call themselves The Fairy Godmothers. These salt of the earth ladies focus on activities and special opportunities for the youth we are care for. Her fellow Circle for Children members also honored her by purchasing two benches that sit outside the front entrance of our building. We are grateful for Marsha and the entire group of women from the Circle for Children.