Cobb Cares gone, but local agencies still helping needy
by Jeri Barr
Columnist
December 16, 2012 12:46 AM | 1220 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

The announcement on Nov. 30 of the pending dissolution of Cobb Cares has caused some confusion, even creating concern that The Center for Family Resources (CFR) is being dissolved as well.

We would like to clarify and stress that is not the case.

In 1987, when Marietta Daily Journal general manager Jerry Huff wanted to raise money to help people in our community at Christmastime, I collaborated with him on setting up the process and ensuring community donors would also receive a charitable tax deduction.

For more than 25 years, many needy people in Cobb County were helped through the generosity of readers like you. During that time, several social services organizations came together to collaborate on delivering services to those in need through the donations to Cobb Cares (The Center for Family Resources, Cobb Legal Aid, Cobb Senior Services, Department of Family and Children Services, YWCA of Northwest Georgia, and the United Way in Cobb County).

When the late George Keeler left $500,000 in his will to support the annual Christmastime effort, Cobb Cares became a separate 501(c)3 organization. This also allowed for us to provide year-round assistance. Leaders from the collaborating agencies served as board members for the new nonprofit and case managers from each served on a steering committee to help guide service delivery for those in need.

As the money from the Keeler estate was expended and the recession hit, collaborating agencies experienced budget and staffing cuts. We found it more and more difficult to absorb the case management (personnel) costs associated with delivering the services on behalf of Cobb Cares.

With all of this in mind, and after careful deliberation, the current Board of Directors for Cobb Cares made the decision to dissolve.

The good news is that those in need in our community still have a place to turn.

The collaborating agencies deliver services every day that align with the intent of Jerry Huff and George Keeler.

Their vision still lives on through our missions.

I think I speak for all of the collaborating agencies when I say even though times have been tough, people in Cobb County take care of their own.

Thanks to your continued generosity, each agency continues to receive the critical private support needed to help meet the varied needs in our community.

For more information on The Center for Family Resources please visit www.TheCFR.org.

Jeri Barr

CEO

The Center for Family Resources

Marietta
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