Your monthly newsletter about The Place and how serving with purpose helps change lives. 

April 2022

Dear Joni,

As I look back over my past seven years at The Place, I am amazed at what we and our incredible supporters have been able to accomplish. With your financial contributions and volunteerism, we’ve been able to provide both short-term and life changing support to our clients.  

  • Our Workforce Development program helps an average of 250 people find jobs each year and puts $3,000,000 in salaries into our community. 
  • Youth services has expanded into several large outreach initiatives. Our largest, Holiday House, serves over 2,000 local children each year 
  • The Cottage, which opened during the pandemic, provides a safe home for young women 18 years of age or older as they transition into careers or college.
  • The Place’s food pantry now serves 250 households each week. 

As we all look to make 2022 a better year, please consider a more intentional partnership with The Place by becoming a monthly or multi-year donor. 

Your support of our programs helps our clients help themselves.

Serving with Purpose,

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President & CEO

The Place of Forsyth County

News and Events

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A Night at the Prom

This is The Place’s fourth year helping at-risk and/or homeless students by giving them the gift of going to their senior prom.


President and CEO Joni Smith said, “We believe every person has a purpose, and we want so badly for our local youth who may feel forgotten or left out, to know that they are worthy of a great prom. We want them to know they are remembered, valued, and they have people in their corner cheering them on.” 


Based on your donations, The Place sets up a “Prom Boutique” filled with dresses, shoes, suits, and accessories. Students, who are referred to The Place by Forsyth and Dawson County schools, shop at the boutique by appointment.


We plan to help many students this year, and we want to show them their community is standing beside them. 

To donate, please click here. The funds will be used for tuxedo rentals, flowers, hair, shoes, prom tickets, and/or alterations—everything a student needs to feel special at the prom.


Food and Gas Cards Needed

Some of us remember when we could only afford to put a few dollars’ worth of gas in the car and ate a lot more ramen noodles than fancy filets. 

With the prices of gas and food these days, our clients are struggling to make ends meet more than ever. The next time you are shopping, please consider adding a gas or grocery gift card to your shopping list. 

Please drop off your cards at The Place of Forsyth’s administrative offices at 2550 The Place Circle Cumming, GA 30040 during business hours (Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays 8:00 am to 12:00 pm). If you prefer to drop them in the mail, send them to The Place of Forsyth County, P.O. Box 2607, Cumming, GA 30028.

Thank you!


Vietnam Vets Team with The Place

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) #1030 Cumming, GA and The Place of Forsyth are working together in a joint effort to help veterans in need. 

On March 1, the VVA donated $5,000.00 to The Place to help veterans. The donation both helps veterans in need and frees up funds so The Place can spend them for non-veterans who need assistance. 

The Place extends a big thank you to the VVA for its generous donation!

The VVA’s mission is to help veterans and help our community because “even though our active service is over, their obligation to God, country, and our community never ends.”


Cereal Box Dominos!

The Place of Forsyth County would like to extend a mega-sized THANK YOU to South Forsyth High School’s DECA club, Daves Creek Elementary, Haw Creek Elementary, and South Forsyth Middle School for collecting over 2,000 boxes of cereal for us! 

Before donating the cereal, the teens created a domino maze of falling cereal boxes that tumbled throughout the halls of the school. Click here to see the excitement.

As Tony the Tiger would say to these students, “They’re Gr-r-reat!”


Shop at Kroger? Donate to The Place

Did you know Kroger donates to the Place each quarter? When you shop at Kroger, all you do is swipe your existing Kroger Plus card to contribute to The Place of Forsyth County. We are part of the Kroger Community Rewards program, which donates to The Place each quarter based on the percentage of spending.

To register, go to krogercommunityrewards.com. Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy so you can associate your card with The Place as your favorite charity.

New Staff


Paige Whalen is New Client Services Manager

Please welcome Paige Whalen as the new Client Services Manager for The Place. Her team includes client benefits, financial assistance, The Cottage program, and young adult and high school Initiatives. Client Services’ responsibility is to meet the immediate needs of clients, and to work with clients over time to help them become self-sustaining and successful. 

Paige has worked in the non-profit sector leading projects that promote the value of families and children as essential members of their communities. Paige has led committees to improve quality in programs, created successful partnerships among diverse community leaders, and led coalitions involving multiple agencies working to benefit the client. 

Paige is passionate about helping ethnically and culturally diverse families, especially refugees and immigrants, recognize their potential and worth to their community. Paige also feels it is important to educate others about the challenges of diverse families so that supporting them comes from a place of trust, respect, and authenticity. 

When not working, Paige volunteers in her community and at the local school. She and her family enjoy watching almost all sports but are proudest when attending collegiate soccer matches (her son) and high school basketball games (her daughter).

Partners with Purpose




Why I Volunteer

We asked Joy Powell, who volunteers at the food warehouse twice a week, why she volunteers.

What does volunteering mean to you?

“Volunteering has always been an essential part of my life as well as the lives of my siblings. We started volunteering as children and are all still continuing to do so. Volunteering gives purpose to my life and a sense of accomplishment to my days. I cannot imagine not being involved with my community, giving of my time to help others in some way.”  

What do you like about working at The Place?

“I started volunteering at The Place soon after moving to Cumming. It was the perfect way to meet people and build a connection to my new community. It was pre-COVID, so I enjoyed getting to know the clients when they came into the market and shopped each week.”

“Now, working in the warehouse sorting and doing inventory on the many donations we receive, I get a sense of satisfaction as well. I always enjoy my hours spent here.”

“I have made some wonderful acquaintances and we have become great personal friends outside of The Place.”

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering at The Place?

“If you want to feel needed, volunteering at The Place will certainly give you that sense of accomplishment each day. There is always work to be done and you will definitely be helping others in our community by your service. Also, there is a group of wonderful "friends" just waiting to welcome you!”


Become a Volunteer!

The Place was voted the best place to volunteer in Forsyth County in 2021! If you’d like to join our amazing team, please fill out an application and attend a one-hour orientation session at The Place.

To fill out a volunteer application, please click here. You’ll be able to sign up for an upcoming orientation session during the application process. Thank you!

For more information, contact phillip@theplaceofforsyth.org.

Give a Gift Today


Your continued support is needed and appreciated so we can continue to help our neighbors in need.

Please consider a gift a today.

Amazon Smile: Make The Place of Forsyth your favorite charity at smile.amazon.com.

Leave a Legacy: Please Include The Place of Forsyth in your Estate Planning.