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

October 2022

Dear Cristy,

Most of us have never experienced food insecurity. For some of our clients it’s an experience they know all too well. Having to ask for help is hard for all of us, but asking for help with our most basic need, food, can be disheartening.  

An integral part of The Place’s commitment is to provide hope and encouragement to our clients. Our food pantry volunteers get the chance each week to connect with our clients, provide reassurance, and grow relationships. When clients pick up their food order, they can share a conversation with a volunteer, grab a cup of coffee, and leave feeling uplifted. Through these volunteer connections, we are able to identify client needs for additional services, such as rental assistance, employment help, etc.

Our food clients range in age from very young to very old. Some have fallen on tough times recently and some have struggled to make ends meet for a while. One family recently lost their wife and mother. They had been a family with two hard-working parents providing for their children. Now, the father is doing his best to care and provide for their children without the love and support of his wife.  

With food expenses continuing to climb, so has the number of families we are feeding each month. Last month, we fed 530 households (1,615 people), which is 17 percent higher than the previous month and 23 percent higher than two months ago. 

We purchase produce each week and have felt the impact to our budget. Adding to our growing need, food drives are historically low during the summer months when schools are out. We recently sent an Urgent Food Need request to which we’ve had great response. The request has initiated several food drives. 

The Place is extremely grateful for our generous volunteers and donors. Without your time and financial support, we could not meet the growing needs of our community.

Serving with Purpose,


President & CEO

The Place of Forsyth County

News and Events

We’ve Updated Our Website!

Check out our new website! Our goal in the redesign was to make our site more user-friendly and more reflective of The Place’s community offerings.

We strived to make it easy to navigate by our clients, volunteers, and donors.

If you have questions, please contact Gaynell at

We Need Food!

Click here to shop our Amazon Smile food list.

Click here to open a printable food list and shop locally.

Bring locally purchased items to The Place, 2550 The Place Circle, Cumming, GA 30040 or The Place @ RIC Rack at 829 HWY 9 North, Dawsonville, Georgia 30534.

Witches Night Out on October 13 Benefits The Place

Join us on October 13 from 6 to 10 pm at Halcyon Mall for the third annual Witches Night Out event benefiting The Place. Gather your friends and have a great night of wine, dancing, games, and more!

“We’re honored to be chosen as Halcyon’s charity partner for Witches Night Out 2022,” said The Place’s Director of Development Robyn Rotunda. “Grab your broomstick and join us in making this a truly spooktacular event!”

To purchase tickets or for information, click here

Scare Away Hunger! October 24 - 28

The Collection at Forsyth is sponsoring a “Scare Away Hunger” food drive from October 24 through 28. Participating businesses will be collecting food donations, or you can drop food donations off at The Place tent at the Enchanted Halloween party from 4 to 6 pm on Friday, October 28. All donated food goes directly to our food pantry to help feed our clients!

What’s Thanksgiving Without a Turkey?

We need $20 donations for the the purchase of turkeys and $25 grocery gift cards to create a true Thanksgiving meal. 

Thanks to your generous food donations last month, we believe we have enough non-perishable Thanksgiving food for our clients.

If you can make a financial donation, please click here.

Please drop off grocery gift cards at 2550 The Place Circle Cumming, GA 30040 or The Place at RIC Rack at 829 HWY 9 North, Dawsonville, Georgia 30534. Thank you!

Eighth Annual Holiday House

Our annual Holiday House will be here before we know it. Last year, The Place, with its army of volunteers and donors, provided gifts for over 2,000 children.

If you would like to donate toys, host a drive, or become a sponsor, please email us at or go to and click the Holiday House. Thank you!

DoorDash Delivers to Food Pantry Clients

DoorDash operates an online food ordering and delivery service. It recently offered food pantries across the country the ability to deliver food to clients at no cost to the pantry or the client. The Place has happily taken advantage of this service. 

We currently use DoorDash to provide weekly food deliveries to about 15 clients, including:

  • Mothers with young children who have difficulties picking up food each week
  • Families and older clients with limited transportation options
  • Clients who are sick or who have recently been discharged from the hospital
  • Households that are otherwise unable to pick up food each week

Community Partnership Helps Homeless Client

The Place recently received a call from the director of the Dawson County Library inquiring about resources for a homeless client. The director explained that a senior had been dropped off at the library that morning. She had nothing--no phone, no transportation, and no friends or family to turn to.  

While speaking with the client, we learned that she had been evicted and dropped off at the library. The client agreed to go to the shelter in Gainesville but had no transportation to get there. The Place arranged for a taxi to take the client to the shelter. 

Later the director sent a message saying, “I was telling my staff that before you and The Place came along the best I could offer her was a Sheriff’s escort to where she needed to go as long as it was in Dawson. I’m glad she has a more dignified way of getting some help through The Place.” 

The Place is so grateful for our community partners and give a huge thanks to the director of the Dawson County Library for reaching out to us. 

Ukrainian Update

Heartwarming Ukrainian Dinner

Two days after Ukrainian Independence Day, we hosted a dinner for our Ukrainian clients. 

Chef Roman, who fled Mariupol this summer, made an authentic Ukrainian meal that included borscht (a beet, vegetable, and meat soup) with other meats and vegetables. He was helped by his wife, Olga, and another Ukrainian client, Olex and his wife, Olga. In total, almost 60 Ukrainian clients attended, with 15 to 20 additional staff, volunteers, resource people, and a board member.

While our clients were meeting and connecting, we introduced several resources to them. They included the chaplain of local Slavic Evangelical Christian Church, who said a prayer during our event. We had several Ukrainian born/speaking counselors, an English as a Second Language resource from the First Baptist Church of Cumming, an immigration lawyer, and a Ukrainian born/speaking mortgage broker. 

“It was heartwarming to see families connect,” said The Place’s Director of Client Services Paige Whalen. “It was a very emotional evening for all who attended.” 

“The Place was lucky to have Rotary volunteers to help us set up and clean up,” Paige continued. “A special thanks to Chuck Pugh for his monetary and manpower support for the dinner.”

To date, The Place has assisted 37 Ukrainian families (over 100 people) with food, clothing, and other resources.

Staff News

Welcome Director of Development Robyn Rotunda!

Robyn Rotunda recently joined The Place as the Director of Development. She is responsible for strategically planning and executing all aspects of revenue- generating activities to support annual programs and services of The Place.

Robyn grew up in Roswell and St. Simons Island. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication/Public Relations and a Master of Educational Leadership, both from Valdosta State University. She has over 18 years of fundraising experience, raising over $25 million for a variety of nonprofits, including American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, The Drake House of Roswell, and Memorial Health Medical Center of Savannah. 

Robyn is a graduate of Leadership Brunswick-Golden Isles, as well as Leadership North Fulton. In her free time, she loves to paint, garden, bike, kayak, fish, and spend time with her two golden retrievers, Charley and Milly. 

Partnering with Purpose

Bridle Ridge Subdivision

Hawthorne Subdivision

Nestledown Farms Subdivision

The Church of Latter Day Saints, Coal Mountain Stake

Fideles Christian School

Denmark High School

Sharon Elementary School

Youth Leadership Forsyth

Local Church Dawson

Alex Williams – Modern Woodmen of America

To learn how your organization can help support the programs and services at The Place, contact Lisa at (Forsyth County) or Amy at (Dawson County). 


Why I Volunteer

Jennifer Patterson has been volunteering at The Place since February 2022. She currently helps distribute food to clients, works in the food warehouse, and works in the Thrift Store.

What does volunteering mean to you?

“I retired in December 2021 and wanted to find a way to stay busy and give back to the community.”

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?

“My favorite thing about volunteering is the spirit of The Place. Everyone is working together to help others. Also, knowing your time and energy--combined with the time and energy of the other volunteers--makes a difference. I am particularly touched when food pantry clients tell me that seeing and talking to volunteers is the highlight of their week.”

What would I say to people who are considering volunteering at The Place?

“Just try it and I'm sure you will find it as rewarding as I do. There are so many different volunteer opportunities at The Place.”

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. For more information, contact Thank you!

Give a Gift Today

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

You can help advance our efforts by:

  • Providing monthly financial support
  • Making The Place of Forsyth your favorite charity at
  • Adding a bequest in your will
  • Giving the gift of a percentage of your estate or a specific asset
  • Naming The Place as a beneficiary in your life insurance or retirement plan
  • Creating a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) and direct your IRA distributions to a qualified 501(c)(3) charity

The Place of Forsyth County, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN 58-2355072.

The Place of Forsyth County, 2550 The Place Circle, Gumming, GA 30040

The Place of Dawson County, 517 Allen Street Dawsonville, GA 30534 and RIC-Rack at 829 Hwy 9, Dawsonville, GA 30534