Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Backpacks for Foster Children" - how it all turned out

Earlier this month, my daughter's 3rd grade class at Holy Redeemer kicked off their grade service project to support the requests of the Foster Care Support Foundation, which provides for the needs of foster care children across Georgia.  We're very grateful for the support received from our local community after the first post.  Maggie has written a thank you letter to each of you and those should be in your mailboxes any time now.

A total of $175 was raised via the DWG blog and SDOC Publishing matched those donations for a total of $350 contributed.  The FCSF specifically requested backpacks, new underwear, and new socks.  Backpacks are important because when a child is taken to foster care, the move is fast and the children have neither the time nor the luggage to pack.  If they bring anything with them, it's usually in a trash bag and what they bring is whatever they can lay their hands on.  Which isn't much, hence the need to change their custody.  New underwear and socks are often an afterthought.

The big purchase day started off with those storms and tornado warnings rolling across North Fulton.  Holy Redeemer's kids spent the second half of the day in the hallways and pod areas in tornado drill while the buildings were deluged with hail.

By dismissal time, the danger was passed, the sun was out, and we headed down to the perimeter Target to select the needed supplies.

Each student was instructed to select items that were the same size and style that they would want to wear and carry with them.  Maggie was looking for items suitable for another 9 year old gitl.

Backpacks from the luggage department.  She wanted to make sure there was room to grab a favorite toy, maybe some books in addition to keeping essentials handy.

FCSF also requested if possible, to send in new pairs of comfortable shoes.  Maggie is searching here for the requested sizes.  Because of everyone's support, she was also able to include a pair of new shoes (espadrilles or girls' sneakers) in each pack.

Checking out.  All of the donations were used in one shot to purchase four sets of supplies for four girls.  When all of the supplies were turned in at school, there were over 60 backpacks with new supplies and shoes for boys and girls.

Every grade at Holy Redeemer has a service project to be completed at some time in the school year.  In this exercise, children learned about how to raise money for charity - either by doing extra chores, taking small jobs in their neighborhoods, or - in this case - the role of social media in advertising and corporate sponsorship in community service.  Most importantly, they learned that not every kid out there has life as good as they have it at home and it is their responsibility as Christians and as human beings to help others to the best of their ability.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday - April 30

Brook Run Park from 5:00PM till Dark

This Week’s Sponsor 

Musical Guest 

Additional Entertainment
Braves batting cage and freebies on the music field

Adult Beverages 

Dinner Trucks


Dessert Vendors

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Take the poll to contribute to Dunwoody's Comprehensive Plan

Online, easy to use.  Don't say you weren't asked for input because they're inviting EVERYONE to give their thoughts.  (Note:  there's a special focus on seniors and perceived senior needs.  Hopefully that's just one of several focus areas and not a bias.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays - April 23

Let's have some fun at Brook Run without the rain, shall we?

Time:  5 PM til Dark


Musical Guest
The Fletcher  Family Trio

More Activities
Bounce House and Atlanta Braves BAT Team

Adult Beverages 

Dinner Vendors

Dessert Vendors

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Backpacks for Foster Children" UPDATE and Many Thanks

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and read about Maggie's 3rd grade service project, or shared it via social media and email, and especially those who contributed.  Every little bit helped to raise $175 for the purchase of requested supplies.  SDOC Publishing is matching this total and will cover all admin costs.  That means that $350 of supplies will be purchased for the project.

Originally we had planned to complete the purchase on Sunday.  The storms had our family hunkered down at home.  So Maggie and I will be headed out tonight and the donations will be turned into school tomorrow.

Thank you all again.  Donors, please keep an eye on your mailboxes.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Please Support Holy Redeemer 3rd Grade Service Project "Backpacks for Foster Children"

This is going to be one of those rare times I focus on my children in the DWG blog.  :-)

My eldest daughter, Maggie is in the 3rd grade at Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Johns Creek, GA.  Every class at HR has a community service project and the 3rd grade supports the Foster Care Support Foundation in Roswell (  FCSF visited with the 3rd grade classes to talk about their services and the children who need them.  They went into detail about what kind of family situations cause a child to go into foster care and what their lives are like.  They learned that foster children often feel forgotten and value simple things they own and can carry with them when they are picked up and transported to a home on short notice.

FCSF has requested new backpacks, socks, and underwear.  That sounds really basic but these are items that children don't think to grab when they're being taken to a foster home.  A backpack that is theirs and theirs alone makes the process easier.

All of the 3rd grade students are raising money to make the purchases and we are now in the final week.  I am asking, if you are so inclined, to please donate to the cause using the secure PayPal button below.  This donation gateway will be open until 12 noon EDT on Saturday, April 18.  All monies donated at this time will be taken to purchase the items to be contributed to FCSF the following week during school.

As an added incentive (and as a lesson for my daughter in the role of corporate sponsorship in charity fundraising) SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions will match all contributions made, dollar for dollar up to $1,000.  If you include your name and address, Maggie will send you a personal letter of thanks with a description of what your contribution made possible.   I'll also follow up on the blog with how the donations are spent.  There will be no overhead/administrative costs - all donations will go to purchasing items to support children in foster care.

Thank you in advance for your support.

UPDATE:  The donation period is now closed.  Thank you to all of our donors.  Please stay tuned for a project update on Monday, 4/20.


Foster Care Support Foundation is a volunteer driven 501(c)3 non profit.  We collect new and like-new clothing, toys, and infant equipment to give free to Georgia's at-risk youth.

There are thousands of children in foster care and most of them are being cared for on half of what it costs for a child's daily care.  The rest must come from the foster parents' own finances or the child may go without.  We are here to help change the face of the forgotten child.

Foster Care Support Foundation receives no government funding and relies solely on donations from our communities, businesses, private citizens, faith-based and civic organizations for their support.  Located at 115 Mansell Pl in Roswell GA, this program serves thousands of children throughout the State of Georgia each year.


Phone  770-641-9591  or 404-729-3374

Tuesday through Saturday 10 am - 2 pm

115 Mansell Place
Roswell, GA  30076

Foster Care Support Foundation
3334 Trails End Roadd
Roswell, GA  30075


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Food Truck Thursdays - April 9

Brook Run Park
5 PM til Dark

(ignore the time in the graphic, a fix in progress)


Musical Entertainment
John Lawson, singer, songwriter

Adult Beverages

Dinner Vendors

Dessert Vendors

Next week, Thursday, April 16 enjoy Lemonade Days in the Park and their food vendors. Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays will be back April 23 and every Thursday through October.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Talkin' Trash Too

DeKalb County has finalized their plans to convert all garbage pickup to one day per week for all items - trash, recycling, and yard debris.

Here's the bottom line

  • The issue was cost:  delivering pickup service without raising taxes/fees.  
  • Workman's comp costs are reportedly down, along with on the job injuries due to the new mechanical "dumpers" on the backs of the trucks and the new county-issued trash cans.
  • No one is getting laid off or fired; workforce reduction is via attrition
  • Sanitation is promoting additional recycling for their benefit as well as the global "green" initiatives;  recycling materials is not a cash cow for the department but it does reduce trips to the landfill that will reportedly keep it open for another 70 years.

That's the party line coming from County government.

This is the business card of Tony McBride who visited the March DHA meeting to talk about the transition.  Helluva nice guy and faced all kinds of questions head-on.  Councilman Terry Nall brought up difficulties he heard from his constituents.  Trucks too early or too late.  Items not getting picked up at all.  Difficulty maneuvering the new cans.  He's heard it all, and I imagine so has the rest of City Council.  Tony said in this meeting that if a resident has any kind of difficulty with their collection, or they need assistance to give his office a call and he will see to it that it gets worked out.  Numerous anecdotes have come out about residents on steep lots who cannot get the cans up and down safely, residents who are disabled and can't move them at all.  Tony's contact is above:  give him a chance to help fix the problems.

Now for the up-close-and-personal perspective on this new normal.

With one-day pickup, that means more trucks are on the road on that particular day, all at the same time.  I see the new process on my front porch with PJ waiting for his school bus.  Keep in mind our subdivision's streets are very narrow:  3 passenger cars wide, at best.  No sidewalks. Two cul-de-sacs, one on a steep hill.  It's spring so neighbors have their contractors lining up their vehicles to begin work.  Carpools are coming and going for school and work.  In the midst of this activity around 8:30-ish, the first garbage truck comes down the street.  Closely followed by the SECOND truck.  So two garbage trucks are do-si-do-ing around each other and the other vehicles in the neighborhood to make their pickups.  Here's the photo if you don't believe me:

Then in the midst of all this maneuvering, PJ's school bus shows up and joins in the dance.

I'm filing this under "new normal" because I can imagine Tony looking at the vehicle and route scheduling and saying "Welcome to my world."  To the credit of all the drivers involved, nothing was bumped, scratched, run over, scattered, or left behind.  They even picked up my old garbage can and carted it off as trash itself  when I flagged them down - complete with bed hair, pajamas and slippers.

Next concern is not so funny.

We all know that home business owners have to go several extra miles to prove that they are good neighbors even though there are extremely few complaints filed against them.  Homeowners are assessed $265 per year for trash pickup.  However, homeowners with a home business permit in good standing, are assessed $400 per year.  I confronted Tony with this fact and he just acknowledged it as a matter of course.  Even though Dunwoody requires home business owners of all kinds to ensure that their homes remain residential in nature, even though there is no change in zoning designation, the very fact that a home business permit exists is enough for DeKalb County to override Dunwoody's zoning and permitting process and classify the property as "commercial".   It has nothing to do with the amount of trash being produced or the zoning designation of the residence.   Hence the additional fee is tantamount to a fine for working from home.

Both Commissioner Jester and State Senator Millar heard this presentation and both agreed that home business owners in Dunwoody and across the County are being unfairly penalized by this fine. I don't intend to bother with Dunwoody City Council on this iissue.  Three of them are openly hostile to home business owners and they're perfectly happy to see them get screwed.  But it still presents a problem for Dunwoody government:  additional arbitrary fines may be enough of an incentive to not seek business licensing.  And many of the other regulations are easy to ignore for residents who are already conscientious of their neighbors.

Hopefully Commissioner Jester can take some action to eliminate this penalty.

Bottom line - no fooling - Sanitation is one of the few departments that DeKalb gets right.  The truck crews are heroes to the little boys on the street that love the big trucks and machinery.  They do a backbreaking job that is essential to living in our neighborhoods and most of us couldn't do it ourselves.  Most of all, I have never met an employee of this department that wasn't a lady or a gentleman.  Especially the guys who posed in the picture at the top of this post.


I can't believe this was broadcast on April Fool's Day.

Police say just when you start to think people would know better than to show up at the police department with dope and a gun, something like this happens.

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