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Sheriff pitches in for youth homes

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POSTED: March 18, 2009 9:41 a.m.
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Sheriff Don Martin

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Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin supports the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes and works to help the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association provide children in need a place to call home; a secure environment filled with love and guidance, along with medical care and educational opportunities.
 “These children are our future,” Martin said. “It’s our responsibility to care for them and their right to be cared for. The youth homes provide not only the basics of life, but also the chance for children to take part in holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.”
Martin, along with other sheriffs in the state, participate in Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations by offering gifts, hayrides, activities, special events and more.
“In the world today, stories of corruption, drugs, abuse, death and more fill the media morning and night,” he said. “Unfortunately, these negative situations have become part of daily life, including that of children who have been neglected, abandoned and abused.”
According to the association, the problem was first recognized in the 1950s. At that point, the GSA began making efforts to eliminate these issues by opening youth homes throughout the state. Today, there are five homes, with boy and girl homes, now known as the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes, Inc.
“They care for more than 200 children per year through residential facilities, camps and other programs,” the sheriff said. “Homes and programs such as these teach boys how to be gentlemen and girls how to be ladies.”
He said the Boys Ranch of Hahira, Cherokee Estates of Dalton, Herrington Homestead of Nunez, Mountain View of Chatsworth and Pineland of LaGrange, all work to support children.
But with the current economy the cost of maintaining the facilities has become difficult.
That is why Martin said the LCSO and the GSA participate in fundraising and efforts to support the homes. From financial donations to supplying goods and materials, Martin and the association ask that the citizens contribute, support and donate to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes. For more information or to make a donation, call Martin or the GSA at (770) 914-1076 or visit www.georgiasheriffs.org/Display.asp?Page=YouthHome.
 

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