Urgent Donations Needed

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Update 1/25/18


To those whose names we know, and to those whose names we don’t know, what can we say to thank you? Words are truly not enough to express our gratitude for what you – our dear friends and supporters – have done for us! Without you all, and your amazing generosity, we would have faced losing our home.

On behalf of The Open Arms Home for Children’s staff and Board of Directors, we thank each and everyone of you for being there for us in our time of need. With your overwhelming love and support, we were able to purchase a new home and we were able to get our girls into this new home on Christmas Eve. Rest assured that you were a part of a true miracle and we thank each of you for playing a role in making this miracle happen.

We know it has taken more than 45 days to reach out and thank you for your support, but we want you to know that the two months have been non-stop but we are just now catching our breath. To those within the Blue Ridge community and those throughout the state of Georgia, the southeast and from all of the United States, and to all of the kind and understanding people at the State agencies that worked so closely with us throughout the past 30+ days, your commitment, generous donations and daily prayers, provided all that was needed for Open Arms to navigate through this crisis. Most importantly, your collective efforts illustrated to our young girls that there are many, many, many, people that care for them and that they are important. I hope you all can understand how important and powerful this message of love has been for our girls. They experienced a level of love and support like never before. And they know deep down inside that there is a place filled with people that cares for them and who will do what is necessary to see that they have what they need to build a better life for themselves.

There are simply no words that can communicate our deep and heartfelt appreciation for all that you have done for our organization. And we ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as we have much more work to do for our girls!

We will continue to keep you informed on our progress as we continue to get back on our feet.

Forever grateful –

The Open Arms Home for Children – Board of Directors

Update 12/11/17 – It has now been 14 days since the fire destroyed the Open Arms Home for Children and we are pleased to communicate that our girls remain safe and sound, our staff continues to work their normal shifts, and we are making excellent progress on our search for what will be the next phase of housing for our girls. We continue to work closely with state and local agencies, each of whom have been extremely helpful and responsive, to get our girls out of temporary housing and into “their home” for Christmas. As you can imagine, the work in front of us continues to stress the organization, but the incredible support from the Blue Ridge community, Gilmer, Union and Towns County, and from new friends in Atlanta, Florida and states all over the country, we hope to have our girls snuggled up in a warm and cozy home, filled with furniture, clothes, food, and Christmas cheer by the 23rd of December.

In an effort to make this happen, we will need continued support from those who are willing to donate their time, their expertise, items that are on our needs list and monetarily. The support we have received so far has been nothing short of incredible. We thank everyone who has called, emailed and messaged us, as well as those who have given us time, money, clothing, and other items that provide love and support… we wouldn’t be where we are today without you… so THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE TO GET US THIS FAR SO QUICKLY!

We are formulating a logistical plan now that will, given we receive approval from the state, provide our girls with a furnished home, filled with nutritional food, clothing, and some well-deserved Christmas cheer in the next 12 days. For those who have reached out to us already with specific items to donate, we will get back to you with next steps as soon as we get the thumbs up from the state. For those who are interested in donating a household item or furniture, we will be posting an updated donation wish list later this week. We ask that you stay close to us on Facebook and visit our website often to view these updates.

This will be a very busy week and we will do our best to keep you updated on our progress. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

The Open Arms Board of Directors.

  • Monetary donations so our girls can purchase new clothing that aligns with their own preferred style. As donations come in, we will provide each of our girls with a reasonable budget to build a new wardrobe, as they lost everything. Additionally, some of our local clothing store owners have offered to donate items, so we are excited and very thankful for the opportunity to work closely with them to ensure the girls get what they need. As we receive donations and clothing from these store owners, we will update everyone on where we are with our need for any additional clothing.Donate for girls’ clothing
  • Monetary donations so our girls can purchase hair, nail, and other beauty items. Hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons, other basic essentials including make-up, hair products, etc. Again, these are very personal items for girls, so providing them with a reasonable budget so they can purchase what they need will be a real blessing for them.Donate for health and beauty items
  • Equally important will be the funds needed to pay our incredible staff and all other operational expenses. We had no debt on our home that burned down, so no monthly payments, but that will all change in the near-term as we will most likely have to rent or lease a new home, which will add additional expenses to our existing budget. So no donation is to small or too large!Donate any amount using PayPal

We are now set up to receive clothing donations at Studio 1 Performing Arts on Hwy 5 from 3:00-7:00 PM, Monday-Thursday.

  • Pant sizes: 15 girls, teens – 3,5,6, and 14-16
  • Shirt and blouse sizes: small, med and large
  • Shoe/slipper sizes: 7-10 only with size 7 being good for most of the girls.
  • Arts and crafts, posters, paints, canvases, and small stuffed animals.

We are also in need of cookware.  A big part of the goal of Open Arms Home for Children is to help the young ladies in the home prepare for life after living in the home, and that includes cooking.  Most of the young ladies that we have currently already has a passion for cooking and we would love to have more cookware to practice/learn with.  Please contact the home, 706-632-2029, to coordinate any donated items or monetary donations, thank you.  Below are some suggested items that the girls have asked for:

  • Pyrex Casserole Dishes
  • Platters/Serving Trays
  • Large Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Roasting Pan
  • Mixing Bowls (Stainless Steel/Pyrex)
  • Miscellaneous Bowls (Salsa, Dip, Snacks)
  • Cutting Boards

Monetary donations can be made at the following locations: OAhome.org (PayPal), The Open Arms Home For Children Facebook page (click on “Donate” to be directed to PayPal), United Community Bank (Main Branch), Blue Ridge Cotton Company and Gather (East Main Street, downtown Blue Ridge and Blue Ridge Cotton Company on the square in Blairsville), Harry Norman, Realtors at 252 West Main Street, Blue Ridge.

NOTE: Blue Ridge Cotton Company, Gather Blue Ridge and Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters each will be donating 1% of their December sales revenue to The Open Arms Home for Children… so stop in and purchase Christmas gifts from these stores (which are incredible stores) and help them support Open Arms!

While we will soon have a very organized and well thought out plan to rebuild (WE WILL REBUILD), the aforementioned will help us focus on our immediate short term needs. We will share more in the coming days. If you need to communicate with Open Arms directly, please email us. As you can imagine, we cannot field every phone call so please email us and we will get back to you ASAP.