The sun was shinning Saturday, but it was not nearly as brilliant as the smiles on the faces of the children, men and women who enjoyed the fall festival at Nash Farm.
People First of Henry County serves special needs families in Henry, Clayton and surrounding counties and the services they provide throughout the year, year after year, are nothing less than inspirational.
Families with special needs sometimes can be overwhelmed with those needs and sadly they must also battle with the stigma that can come with whatever their individual special need happens to be.
This weekend, however, there was no stigma and the only real needs were for another hayride, some more ice cream or a little rest after an exhausting bit of jazzercise.
There was music.
There was dancing.
There was a lot of socialization, but the sound that drowned out all the other sounds of life at the People First of Henry County Fall Festival was the sound of laughter.
The real goal of People First, it seems, is to bring normalcy to life and to help everyone see the value, importance and beauty inherent in other people — all people — regardless of the challenges they face each day of their lives.
People First says its mission is to create social opportunities for special needs families.
They do much more than that.
They create a sense of community, a sense of purpose, a sense of place, a sense of home, a sense of love, acceptance and understanding.
Whether it is at the annual spaghetti dinner, participation in the Special Olympics, the Easter party, the annual Walk-a-thon, the Mr. and Miss Special Henry County Pageant, an Atlanta Dream game or other social events throughout the year, People First of Henry County lives up to its name time and time again — they truly do put people first.
People First deserves strong community support.
Donations can be made by mail at: P.O. Box 806, Lovejoy, GA, 30520.
— Editor Jim Zachary