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Henry Extension reaches out to displaced families

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Officials with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Henry County said they wanted to lend a helping hand to needy families during the holiday season.

The Extension's Family and Consumer Sciences Leadership committee recently delivered 50 care packages to people who have been displaced from their homes. Extension Coordinator Susan Howington said the project is part of the local group's goal of educating families in need.

"Team members wanted to expand the resources to families that have found themselves making their homes in motels due to the economy," she said. "Team members visited these areas, and found the need for us to put together a care packet."

The packages contained information on topics like food safety, microwave safety, first aid, personal hygiene and the swine flu, Howington said. She said the committee also provided families with information on nutrition, assistance for the homeless, and securing employment.

Monica Pollard, program assistant for Family and Consumer Sciences, was one of the people who participated in the project. Extension workers considered it an "obligation," as county residents, to "do anything we can" to help displaced families, Pollard said.

"With the current economy, many of these people are finding themselves in this situation for the first time ever, and don't know the resources that are available to them," she said.

Pollard said the committee's efforts were "well received" by the families they assisted.

"They were grateful to know someone cares," she said.