Your monthly newsletter about The Place and how serving with purpose helps change lives. 

May 2022

Dear Joni,

In the words of Voltaire, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” May is the month when we say thank you to our mothers, our soldiers and, here at The Place, we joyfully say thank you to all our volunteers.  


Without our legion of volunteers, The Place’s impact on our community would be greatly diminished. Every client program and service we offer is assisted by our volunteer helpers. From our dedicated food pantry volunteers, who help feed over 250 families weekly, to our Holiday House support team, which helps provide Christmas joy for over 2,000 children, to the newsletter you are reading now, we appreciate the dedicated, selfless volunteers who support our mission.  

In 2021, our exceptional volunteers donated over 20,000 hours of their time, valued at over $575,000 in equivalent salaries. Those dollars, in turn, went to supporting our programs and helping those in need in our community.  

We are so fortunate to have the excellence, the dedication, and the overwhelming generosity of our volunteers. They make the greatest impact to our community, and we truly appreciate them. 

Serving with Purpose,

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President & CEO

The Place of Forsyth County

News and Events


Donated Car Given to Client

People who don’t depend on others for transportation have all the freedom they need to get to work, to appointments, and to other activities on time. 

Thanks to the generosity of an incredible donor, a car now provides the gift of transportation to one of our clients. Cammie is part of our Adult Training Program and, as a paid employee, is learning skills to give her an opportunity to get a better job. She also attends GED classes to earn her high school diploma. 

Receiving a car through our donated car program has been transformative for Cammie and her family. She no longer needs to rely on others for transportation to her job at The Place or to her GED classes. She can take her young children to their appointments without worrying if she will need to cancel them because a driver backed out.

Thanks to generous donors who donate a car to The Place, we are helping change the lives of our clients.


Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

We love our volunteers! 

The Place held a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for Forsyth and Dawson volunteers on April 25. Management and staff served the BBQ luncheon to volunteers and several board members who attended. Everyone enjoyed chatting with each other, and the great BBQ from Big D’s BBQ was a hit.  

About 100 people attended the event, which was designed to show our gratitude for our volunteers and the work they do to assist us help families in crisis.


Thrift Store Updates

The Place’s Retail Operations Manager Colette Kemery recently announced changes to the RIC-Rack Thrift Store, which is part of The Place of Dawson County. Colette is responsible for the thrift stores at both The Place of Forsyth and The Place of Dawson. 

“Since we merged about a year ago,” Colette said, “We’ve been working hard to ensure both thrift stores have the same look and feel, use the same pricing system, and have sales every week.”

As a result, the Dawson County News recently announced that RIC-Rack was voted best thrift store in Dawson in 2022!

Congratulations, Colette, for updating RIC-Rack and for ensuring it always has great deals for Dawson County families!

New Staff


Lisa McIntosh is New Community Engagement Coordinator

Please welcome Lisa McIntosh to The Place as the new Community Engagement Coordinator for Forsyth County. Lisa acts as a representative in the community and organizes various collection drives to ensure The Place has the tangible resources it needs to fulfill its mission. 

Lisa has lived in Forsyth County for over 25 years and has a background in healthcare and real estate. She has also held many different volunteer roles in the community. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time on the lake with friends and family. 

Our previous Community Engagement Coordinator, Kim Mitchum, has moved to the role of Youth Program Coordinator.

Partners with Purpose


Hot Easter Meals

A big Thank You to PWB Joy of Hope Foundation and Project Life Students at Forsyth County schools. Joy of Hope prepared 200 hot meals to be distributed to our clients in celebration of Easter. The amazing kids from Project Life Students helped distribute the meals.  


Easter Baskets Donated to Clients, Delivered to Homebound Seniors

A special thank you to Saint Benedict Catholic Church and Otwell Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for donating almost 300 Easter baskets to be distributed to our clients.

Representatives from the Vietnam Veterans of America and Altrusa International donated and helped deliver Easter baskets to our homebound senior clients. They rode with the food delivery volunteers to present the baskets to the seniors. It was a great success for all involved!!

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Thank You for the Gift of Prom

We are in the middle of prom season, and The Place been able to help dozens of deserving students with the Gift of Prom. We has been able to provide dresses, tuxedos, shoes, jewelry, haircuts, meals, and flowers to deserving students. 

We want to extend special thanks to Northside Hospital Forsyth, South Forsyth High School, and the many generous donors who helped these students feel special at one of life’s memorable occasions.

Honor Joni's Service


Give to Workforce & Education Development Program

As previously announced by The Place of Forsyth County’s Chairman of the Board Robert Otwell, the board is honoring Joni Smith’s service with a fundraising campaign for the Workforce and Education Development program. 

The Place’s program helps more than 250 clients find jobs every year, for a total of $3,000,000 in salaries. This important program is the service that can directly change lives.

Joni said, "This year we've added a new class, English as a Second Language, which is open to everyone, including GED students. We have also added a virtual program called Essential Ed, which enables our students to log in to complete individualized learning plans. These enhancements are a complement to the GED® instruction offered at East Forsyth High School."

To contribute and honor Joni’s service, please mail your check to P.O. Box 2607, Cumming, GA 30028 or click here to donate online. Please indicate that the funds are for Workforce and Education Development.

Thank you for your consideration!

Paid Positions Available


Adult Education Coordinator

With the growth of the Workforce and Education program, The Place is searching for an Adult Education Coordinator. Responsibilities include coordinating, administering, and overseeing all Adult Education programs of The Place of Forsyth and Dawson Counties. 

Click here to see the job description. 


The Driver plays an important role in the successful operation of the thrift store. Responsibilities include creating and maintaining a great customer service experience for our donors—and driving a truck for pickups and deliveries to both the Forsyth and Dawson thrift stores.

Click here to see the job description. 

To apply for one of our open positions, go to our website and click About Us > Job Opportunities.

Why I Volunteer


Gary's Top Ten

Gary Mau, who volunteers twice a week at The Place, made a list of the top ten reasons he loves volunteering and working with the people on the food distribution team. The reasons are presented in “countdown” order a la the David Letterman TV show. 

"10. It’s chance to give back by serving others.

9. I work with a great group of volunteers who quickly became good friends. I look forward to seeing them every week.

8. It helps keep me busy during my retirement years.

7. It’s a chance to get to know the great clients who come every week for food assistance. I enjoy listening to their stories and offering a smile or word of encouragement. 

6. It’s great exercise. 

5. It’s an opportunity to better understand those in our community who don’t have the same resources and luxuries that I have.

4. I have fun conversations with fellow volunteers. We talk about everything from vacation plans to Wordle, including our gardens, kids, sports teams, and last night’s game. 

3. I enjoy the occasional free treats we get from Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, or Dunkin Donuts.

2. I get a sense of pride that comes from my involvement with a great organization like The Place. It’s an organization that offers so many badly needed services to families in Forsyth and Dawson counties. 

1. And did I mention the most important reason to me: the chance to give back by serving others."



Become a Volunteer!

The Place was voted the best place to volunteer in Forsyth County in 2021! If you’d like to join our amazing team, please fill out an application and attend a one-hour orientation session at The Place.

To fill out a volunteer application, please click here. You’ll be able to sign up for an upcoming orientation session during the application process. Thank you!

For more information, contact [email protected].

Give a Gift Today


Your continued support is needed and appreciated so we can continue to help our neighbors in need.

Please consider a gift a today.

Amazon Smile: Make The Place of Forsyth your favorite charity at smile.amazon.com.

Leave a Legacy: Please Include The Place of Forsyth in your Estate Planning.