2016 Spring Picnic

It was a gorgeous spring day. A day not unlike what you’d imagine as the setting in a storybook, the temperature neither cool nor warm and the sun shining high in the sky, gently eclipsed by the occasional string of white, puffy clouds. The hamburgers sizzled on the grill, emanating a mouth-watering aroma in smoky tendrils that surrounded the gathered crowd of friendly faces, producing bright smiles and eager stomachs.

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What a fantastic day it was! In total, there were close to 270 attendees at the CCS spring picnic this year, and that includes the most volunteers we’ve ever had for a spring picnic! We are so grateful to all of those who came out to help or donated to this event. Tom Vooris, President of ChoicesToYou donated hundreds of hamburgers, cheese, hotdogs, and buns and worked that grill like a Master Griller.

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We would also like to thank the AKA Lithonia – Tau Pi Omega Chapter for their assistance. Their members are such incredible, warm-hearted individuals and we appreciate them so much.

This year, CCS was proud to host Chopper, the Gwinnett Braves’ mascot! The kids had a blast meeting, playing, and dancing with Chopper!

The kids also got to enjoy face-painting courtesy of the splendid talents of Cathy’s Creative Faces and Body Art joined by Bert, and balloon shapes twisted by our guest clown, Don’t Kno.

Our springtime activities also included corn hole, a wet sponge relay, and a sack race! All of which was fueled by the sweet, sweet sugary treats that were donated for the Cake Walk. Thanks to all who contributed!

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The park was bright with smiles on Saturday. On the faces of our foster children, our adults with developmental disabilities, our volunteers, and our staff members and guests. We made lasting memories and received wonderful feedback from so many.

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Thanks again to all of those who made this picnic possible! As always, our event coordinator, Paula Fine, put so much effort into making this picnic a success! Zoe and Austin, long-time volunteers, Joe Freeman, Doug, Carol Moses who donated her delicious homemade chocolates, and our DJ, Keith Jr. Wilder with Positive Impact International, and all of our staff, board members, and volunteers: Thank you so much for your time and dedication!
Photography by Milo Wesley with contributions from Lori D. Brickman

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Camp Will-A-Way

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This past Saturday, our DD adults and staff ventured out to Camp Will-A-Way in Fort Yargo State Park. The day was filled with such a great variety of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy: archery, zip-lining, fishing, boating, dancing, and a bonfire!

In the morning, we split into three groups: Team Dragon, Team Nighthawk, and Team Wonder. Everyone had time to do every activity on the schedule. Though the idea of zip-lining was intimidating for some, Larry showed no fear when he volunteered to go first, and even inspired others in his team to face their fears, which, in fact, were unfounded because each of them had a blast! The smile on Joel’s face as he slowed to a stop was proof of that!

Over at the archery station, the camp Will-A-Way staff made the sport of archery accessible and fun for all! Those who had difficulty holding the bow didn’t have to sit out on this one, because the camp staff rigged a special way to shoot while sitting or kneeling. Those targets were full of arrows and the station full of victorious cheers!

We all had time to wind down and enjoy the great outdoors with an hour of fishing on the pier, where many fish were caught, and out on the lake itself in pedal boats.

We all had so much fun and the camp staff said we were one of the best groups they’ve ever worked with! Our adults didn’t want to leave at the end of the day, but perhaps next year we’ll be able to stay overnight in their cabins!

Thanks so much to the staff at Camp Twin Lakes and Will-A-Way and to our CCS family who did an amazing job of making sure this adventure was a success!

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Sneakers4Funds!

CREATIVE COMMUNITY SERVICES Needs Your Clean Sneakers!     

Fundraiser begins April 15!

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WHAT:

The public is invited to participate in a sneaker/athletic shoe collection drive to raise funds for Creative Community Services. Donations of used, gently worn (good condition) and new sneakers will be accepted. The amount of money raised is determined by the number of shoes collected.

All donated athletic shoes will be redistributed to microenterprise partners through Funds2Orgs, a for profit social enterprise, and used in developing nations for impoverished people to start their own businesses.

WHEN:

April 15th –June 1st

HOW:                       

Please have a large drop box placed in your company/facility and we will send you the rubber bands to hold the pairs together.  We will arrange a pickup time.

WHERE:

If anyone needs to drop off sneakers at our facility:

Creative Community Services
4487 Park Drive Suite A
Norcross, GA 30093

DETAILS:

In the US alone, approximately 630 million pairs of shoes are thrown away per year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills. By donating your gently worn used and new sneakers to Creative Community Services, they are given a second chance to make a difference in the world.

About Creative Community Services:

www.ccsgeorgia.org

CCS improves the quality of life for children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, and their families, by providing direct services and community based support throughout the state of Georgia.

CONTACT:

Paula Fine
Creative Community Services
Phone: 770-469-6226
Fax: 770-469-6210
Email: pfine@ccsgeorgia.org

A Community Coming Together For One Purpose:

Imagine a world where the unimaginable is a normality and the struggle of life is a daily reality.  Where you have no place to call home and you don’t feel privileged to your own birth family.  Where it’s hard because you might float around every year to different homes, and you simply feel like you’re an outsider.  This is the story that holds true for so many foster youth and adults with developmental disabilities around the world.  With the alarmingly high number of foster youth and adults with mental, developmental, emotional, learning, and physical disabilities; as well as toxic home environments, abuse and neglect, these individuals struggle with life altering challenges.  The goal for the individuals we serve is to live healthy, happy lives and to become self-sufficient, contributing members of their community. There are subsets of these individuals who cannot reach these goals with ease without adequate support.

The children in foster care and the adults with developmental disabilities that we serve are just like anyone else you may know, but with one difference, they have all suffered some type of trauma and or challenge through no fault of their own.  They have the same needs, dreams, and unique potential like all of us and want the same opportunities that we all equally deserve to reach their full potential.

This is why, the existence of CCS and the support of our community partners who share our vision is so vitally important to the future of those we serve.  At CCS, our mission is to improve the quality of life for children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, and their families, by providing direct services and community-based support throughout the state of Georgia.  Yet, there is still much to be done to ensure the health and well-being of the individuals we serve.  It’s true, the old homage “it takes a village to raise a child”, and we could not achieve as much as we do without the support of our community partners and volunteers.

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to all our individual donors as well as recognize the following companies for their continued commitment and support of CCS.  A heartfelt thank you for your unwavering dedication to our most vulnerable children, adults, and families:

Aerotek http://www.aerotek.com
AKA Sorority http://www.aka1908.com
Cisco http://www.cisco.com
Coldwell Banker Residential Cares Foundation http://www.coldwellbanker.com
Comcast http://www.m.xfinity.com
Comverge http://www.comverge.com
Fifth Third Bank http://www.53.com
Grayson United Methodist Church http://www.graysonumc.org
Hodges Mace Benefits Group http://www.hodgesmace.com
Hungry Howies http://www.hungryhowies.com
Iberia Bank http://www.iberiabank.com
Ivy Creek Church http://www.ivycreek.org
Mitsubishi Electric http://www.mitsubishielectric.com
Rose Paving Company http://www.rosepaving.com
St. Benedicts Catholic Church http://www.stbenedict.net

IMG_0269  “Giving Thanks”

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20151211_134919                           Mitsubishi Employees “Making Dreams Come True”

IMG_0936CCS Christmas Party with the Executive Director & Family

 

 

DD Adult Program Thanksgiving Lucheon

This past Saturday was our annual DD Adult Program Thanksgiving Luncheon. It was a great success and turnout for both individuals and their staff member.  Paula Fine, our Special Events Coordinator and guest blogger for today:

CCS wants to thank Iberia Bank (https://www.iberiabank.com) for donating the turkey & ham from Honey Baked Ham for the DD Adult Program Thanksgiving Luncheon.

We also want to thank our servers from Mitsubishi Electric (http://www.mitsubishielectric.com), a great company that has supported CCS on several occasions.  Please join us for more holiday celebrations to come!!!

 

CCS Halloween

This past Saturday was our annual Halloween party. It was a great success and here to tell you all about it Megan Nelson, our DD Program Co-Director and guest blogger for today:

Halloween at CCS had a great turnout for both individuals and their staff alike! Accompanying great music and food, everyone enjoyed spooktacular games including ghost bowling, witch hat ring toss, and the ghostly bean bag toss. Our individuals donned a variety of costumes ranging from scary, to heroic, to comedic. Every costume was a winner on this night, as everyone enjoyed prizes for their participation. The evening wound down with dancing and crafts of foam pumpkins, ghosts, and witch heads, and making popcorn witch hands. Tune in again next time when CCS hosts a Thanksgiving Luncheon!

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LONA Gallery Event

A few weeks ago the CCS team put on an amazing event at the LONA Gallery in Lawrenceville, GA. About seventy guests gathered to learn about our vision and the programs we’ve created to see that vision come to fruition. It was a great night of awareness, connection, food, and general merriment!

We wouldn’t have been able to pull off this event without the generosity of Carolyn Wright and Sylvia Culberson, owners of the LONA Gallery, who donated their lovely venue for the event. We’d also like to thank La Cazuela, McCray’s, Special Kneads Bakery, and Karren Amidon for donating food, desserts, and wine respectively.

In the words of one attendee, “It was a great experience to attend the event and meet a bunch of good people so devoted to such a great cause.” Aw, shucks, we’re glad you enjoyed it!

Please enjoy the following photos, courtesy of Clear Craft Photography.

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Anne carefully arranging the flowers.

Goody bags for all our guests.

Goody bags for all our guests.

The food was scrumptious! Big thanks to McCray's for the chip bar.

The food was scrumptious! Big thanks to McCray’s for the chip bar.

Special Kneads Bakery donated the most spectacular cupcakes. They tasted even better than they looked!

Special Kneads Bakery donated the most spectacular cupcakes. They tasted even better than they looked!

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Guests arriving.

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Sally Buchanan, CEO of CCS, and Mayor Judy Johnson address the crowd.

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What a lovely venue! Our guests enjoying the words of Sally Buchanan and Mayor Judy Johnson.

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Carolyn and Sylvia, owners of the LONA Gallery, were presented with an art piece in recognition of their generosity in donating the space for the event. Art work done by CCS employee Alison Ganse.

The CCS team who made the event happen. A job well done, everyone!

The CCS team who made the event happen. A job well done, everyone!