Circle of Care Center for Families celebrates new building, 25 years of service

Published 10:00 am Saturday, September 18, 2021

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On Friday, Circle of Care Center for Families held a ribbon-cutting and open house to dedicate its new building and celebrate 25 years of service. In attendance were various community members from numerous organizations.

“We’ve got people from everything from the department of commerce here, we’ve got the sheriff’s department, we’ve got the county commission, we’ve got development authority, we’ve got Interface, we’ve got the credit union, we’ve got the chamber of commerce, we’ve got some folks from the hospital, we’ve got some local pastors,” said Circle of Care Executive Director Jonathan Herston. “We’ve just got a range of folks from all over the community.”

At the event were food trucks, a gift basket giveaway, and video presentations inside the building about Circle of Care’s past, present and future progress.

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“We were in a different facility that we rented over in Shawmut,” Herston said. “And we had been out of space for quite a while and unable to meet new needs in the community because we didn’t have the space to house programs. And so, we were able to acquire this building and then, through all the support here locally, both acquire it and get the renovations done. That took us from about 6,000 to 10,000 square feet and has allowed us to provide a lot more resources.”

Herston explained that Circle of Care Center for Families partners with individuals and families to ‘help prevent and overcome life’s challenges.”

“We really strive to be a resource for every family,” he said.

“We focus on five areas of family life: safety, resources, finances, healthy relationships and basic physical, mental health. Whenever you have those five areas going well as a family, then the family thrives. When the family thrives, the children thrive.”

Carrie Royster, executive director of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, said it was a blessing to have Circle of Care Center for Families in the area.

“We are honored to be here today to welcome and celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting of their new facility here and home in the medical park,” she said.

Circle of Care Board President O’Neil Shaw made a few comments before leading the audience in a prayer.

“As you look around and realize everybody here has been touched in one way or the other by the services that are provided through the Circle of Care,” he said.

“But more than that, you can probably multiply that times 100 of the people that you have come in contact with who are impacted through the services that the staff provides. And for that, we say thank you to everybody.”

Chris Busby, deputy director of the Chambers County Development Authority, said that Circle of Care has a trickle-down effect on the local community and economy.

“Everyone knows that they support the family from start to finish,” he said. “But what that also does is it provides an impact to us on entrepreneurship, on workforce development, on the betterment of our community through several different processes, whether it be transportation, healthcare, education, they touch so many areas of Chambers County that make us better.”

Herston said that in the mid 90s, the Valley area was identified as one that would be at-risk for children. As a result, the state DHR decided they wanted a family resource center in the area.

“I do want to thank all of the supporters, the individuals and families that have supported us with prayer, with volunteering, with financial donations,” he said.

“All the different foundations, the state departments — we’ve got a couple of them that have come today — and we thank you for traveling. The partner agencies, we’ve got a couple of family resource centers from across the state that have made long trips to be here with us today, and we’re deeply grateful to them.”

Herston also thanked the Christian Service Center and EAMC-Lanier Hospital Administrator Greg Nichols for their support.

After Herston cut the ribbon, many people went inside to tour the building.

Sponsors for the giveaway basket were Chambley’s, Davis Construction, Callaway Gardens, San Marco’s, Maples’ Flowers & Design, Milltown Nutrition, Kenny Knox Tires, Ponder’s Nursery, Terri’s Mill Village Cafe and Johnny’s Pizza.