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

February 2022

Dear Joni,

Happy February. Happy Valentine’s Day. Welcome to the month of love. 

What is love? Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate? Stuffed animals with heart-shaped paw prints? A romance movie? Is love truly a many-splendored thing? 

Love presents itself in many ways. Yes, in February it is can be seen in over-commercialized displays of affection, but love is also time spent with someone, an encouraging note, a thoughtful gift, a gentle touch, or even an act of service. 

In whatever way love is presented, love is always a choice. 

Daily, minute-by-minute, we are faced with a decision to love, or not love, those around us. Those in our homes, our schools, our places of work, our places of worship, our community, and beyond. 

So, what choice are you making today? 

Every day at The Place when we turn on the lights and open the doors, we are choosing to love each and every person who comes to us. Sometimes, it’s easy and sometimes it’s not so easy. In the end, we would rather err on the side of loving too much than of not loving enough. 

We are ever grateful for this community that shows us love through volunteerism and donations of food, clothing, and money. We are ever grateful that you invest in our “love bank” so that we can love those most vulnerable in our community. 

This February, allow yourself to enjoy the heart shaped-boxes of chocolate and displays of affection (even if none are sent your way). Every day may you, may I, may we all choose to show love. 

Serving with Purpose,

Joni Smith

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President & CEO

The Place of Forsyth County



Why Help Others?

The programs and services sponsored by The Place of Forsyth counties run on volunteer power. We are very grateful to all the people who donate their time to The Place by volunteering. 

People decide to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.

Here are just a few reasons people volunteer:

  • There is a personal tie to the cause.
  • It’s a great way to build a resume.
  • It’s a good way to bridge the gap between yourself and others.
  • Volunteering sets a good example for others.
  • “Doing good” is important.
  • Volunteering can help you stay healthy.

~ From “12 Reasons Why People Volunteer” by Positive Force Consulting


Volunteers Discuss Working at The Place

We asked two The Place volunteers, Ann and Mary, why they volunteer one day a week. 

What does volunteering mean to you?

Ann: “My husband passed about three years ago and I had to do something. I started in food distribution at The Place, and now I work in the Thrift Store. Volunteering at The Place saved my sanity. Volunteering provides something to do. It changed my life.”

“I love the people I work with. They are helpful and friendly. I am also friends with some of our customers outside of work.”

Mary: “Volunteering means giving of yourself and making yourself useful to serve people who could use some help.”

What do you like about working in the Thrift Store?

Mary: “Seeing what people donate. We offer a good bargain for high-quality stuff. I just love working here at the Thrift Store. You meet good people and have fun.”

What would you say to people who are considering becoming a volunteer at The Place?

Ann: “Come as soon as you can—we need the help. There is always something that needs to be done. It feels good to serve the community.”

Mary: “Don’t hesitate. There’s a job for everyone at The Place. I’ve been a life-long volunteer and enjoy serving the community.”

Editor’s note: I am a volunteer who started at The Place by scanning barcodes during the pandemic-necessitated food delivery program. I discovered The Place team works with you to find your best volunteer fit based on your skills and abilities. I am proud to be working at The Place and to be included as part of this amazing team. 


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. We have current needs for a truck driver and opportunities in food distribution and the thrift store.

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 P

News and Events


Dawson Chamber Holds Ribbon Cutting for The Place of Dawson

On January 20, 2022, the Dawson Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ribbon cutting for The Place’s office in Dawson County. Everyone got to see our new location and tour the office. 

Dawson County Chamber President and CEO Mandy Power welcomed The Place and was excited to have us be part of the chamber. Dawson County Chamber Board Chair Shannon Voss said The Place is a much-needed resource in the Dawson community. The Place of Dawson County is a local nonprofit aimed at helping people in need in the community through providing them with essential resources.

The Place President and CEO Joni Smith said, “The leadership from The Place relies on the community and partnerships to help keep their mission going. The Place of Forsyth County has been here 46 years, and it’s all by the community partnership. The funding, the volunteer support, the donors giving your stuff for to the thrift store—that is what has kept us going and that’s what will keep The Place of Dawson going, too.” Joni is in the red jacket in the picture.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the office for The Place of Dawson County. We are so grateful for the amazing support from the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and everyone in our community. It is an honor to serve Dawson County and help give clients purpose and hope. We love partnering with businesses, organizations, churches, and volunteers to help those in need. Thank you to the generous donor who provided lunch and Because Coffee for donating coffee for this event.

The Place of Dawson is located at 517 Allen Street in Dawsonville, GA. Current office hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Joni Smith said, “Our goal is to have enough volunteers helping out so the office can be open five days a week in the future. As it is now, social workers for Dawson County Schools, which has offices in the same building, can access to The Place office in the case of an emergency need.”

Contact The Place of Dawson at (770)-288-0088 or email Outreach Coordinator Amy Palmer at

Click here to read the story about our ribbon cutting that appeared in the Dawson County News.


The Place is Hiring!

If you want to make an impact on your community and live a life of purpose, consider joining The Place team. We have multiple full- and part-time positions available in retail and food distribution.

  • Food Distribution Coordinator (part-time)
  • Retail Driver
  • Retail Sales Associate
  • Retail Clothes Quality Control 

Click here to view job descriptions and apply. 


Prepaid Gas Cards Needed

The Place needs a supply of prepaid cards so we can provide them to clients who need to get to work but have trouble paying for gas for their cars.

Many gas stations offer prepaid gas cards that are available in person or online. Donations of all types of gas cards for $25 would be greatly appreciated. For more information, contact

Please drop off donated gas 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). Thank you!


New Forsyth County Outreach Coordinator

Please welcome, Kim Mitchum, who recently joined The Place of Forsyth as outreach coordinator. Kim acts as a representative in the community and organizes various collection drives to ensure The Place has the tangible resources it needs to fulfill its mission. 

Kim has experience in project management, teaching, and has participated in many different volunteer roles. She has lived in the area for over 30 years and moved to Forsyth County in 2017.  

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time on the lake with her husband and two sons.

Training Updates


Register for Parenting Classes

The Place is sponsoring “Love and Logic” Parenting Classes in Forsyth and Dawson counties. Participants must attend all three classes to receive a certificate of completion. 

  • The Dawson classes will be held on February 3, 10, and 24 at Local Church, 31 Successful Way, Dawsonville, GA
  • The Forsyth classes will be held on March 7, 14, and 21 at East Forsyth High School, 9030 Jot Em Down Road, Gainesville, GA

The classes teach parents or caregivers how to “learn a loving and balanced approach to managing your kids. We demonstrate how to practice discipline without losing love and respect for your child.”

All class times are 6 pm to 8 pm. All classes are free, and include pizza supper for adults and children.

To register, contact Tara Hardwick at or call 770-887-1098, ext. 224.

Give a Gift Today

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

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