0

Making A Difference

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz D’Neille Ellis (far left), of the Clayton Center, presented the donations to Sherita Turner (second from right) and her family on Monday. 

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz D’Neille Ellis (far left), of the Clayton Center, presented the donations to Sherita Turner (second from right) and her family on Monday. 

A single mother of four in Hampton, now has an opportunity to provide the four youngsters in her care with everything they need this Christmas.

The Clayton Center, a non-profit organization, donated more than 20 items, Monday, to Sherita Turner. She is raising her 13-year-old daughter, her autistic twin boys, 9, and a nephew.

A long table inside the meeting room of the administrative office of the Clayton Center, in Jonesboro, was covered with toys, wrapped gifts, a turkey, fruits, and non-perishable food items, for the family.

Turner’s eyes were wide with surprise and appreciation.

“I feel blessed that people still care,” she said. The single mother said she is very grateful for the donation, especially for the diapers and food.

Without the gifts provided by the Clayton Center, she said, her children would not have a complete Christmas. “Thank you a lot!” said Turner, with excitement. “We appreciate it.”

Jenise Clark, a behavioral specialist at the Clayton Center, said the organization adopted Turner’s family, because it is part of the center’s Family Support Services program. The program is mostly used by modest-income families who can’t afford diapers for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Terry Cole, CEO of the Clayton Center Community Service Board, said the non-profit organization serves consumers with issues involving mental health, addictive diseases, and developmental disabilities.

He said it has been in existence since 1971, and donates items for the families they’ve adopted from their programs each year.

Several families have been adopted for the holiday season, with two more receiving donations today, he said. “We serve so many people that are below poverty level,” he added.

Behavioral Specialist Clark said most of the items given to the adopted families are purchased by Clayton Center staff members.

Cole said he is glad staff members were able to buy various items, especially since budget cuts have left the Clayton Center struggling. The community organization receives funding from the state of Georgia, Medicaid and Clayton County. It operates through a contract with the Georgia Department of Human Resources’ Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Addictive Diseases.

“We are proud of what we do,” Cole said.

For more information about the center, visit its web site, www.claytoncenter.org.