Debra Moon: Hello, this is Debra Moon. I’m with HomeSold GA and I’m a realtor here in Forsyth County. And today I have Jacob Granados with us. He’s the director at The Place of Forsyth. I’ve taken a tour with him, and I’d really love what I see. I personally contribute to The Place because I believe in it. So, I’m going to get him to tell us a little bit more about The Place and answer some of your questions or give you insight. So good morning, Jacob.
Jacob Granados: Good morning, Debra. Thank you so much for coming today and for being with me and taking a tour and for your support. We’re so grateful for what you do for The Place and are just thankful for this time to be here.
Debra Moon: Good, thank you. Tell us a little bit about the beginning of The Place of Forsyth.
Jacob Granados: Yes, so The Place was founded in 1975 by four nuns who came to Forsyth County to help the rural poor. There is an amazing story of strong women leaders, forward-thinking to help the community. They came with master’s degrees in counseling, education, and art. And so, in 1975, began offering counseling and art therapy, but also raised chickens and goats for eggs and to make goat’s milk, to help people in this area. They created a thrift store, started helping people financially, and it just grew and took off. People started calling it The Sisters’ Place. “Oh, you need help. Go to The Sisters’ Place.” And that eventually morphed to The Place to where we are today.
Debra Moon: Well, it’s amazing all the services you provide here. One of the things I like about The Place is it’s in the community. You serve in the community that I live, work and play, and it goes right back into the communities. And that’s what I really like about it. But I also love your motto, every person hour and…
Jacob Granados: Dollar.
Debra Moon: What?
Jacob Granados: Every person, dollar and hour has a purpose.
Debra Moon: That’s right, has a purpose. And I love that because you really use everything to the max. I really like that. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Jacob Granados: Yes. So that is our commitment to the community, to be a place where every person, regardless of income, backgrounds, socioeconomic status, et cetera, has a purpose. Maybe you need help living with purpose and you want to give financially or your time, or maybe you struggle to feel like you have a purpose and are downtrodden because you need assistance with something. We want to do that. We also want to honor our volunteers time when they’re here. And of course, people’s investments in The Place that we are going to use those to help people to do the best that we can with that so that every dollar has a purpose here.
Debra Moon: I love that. I’m really proud of that. Okay. Tell me about some of the… One of the questions I get asked a lot by people is, who will pick up household goods that are in good condition? What are your thoughts on that? How can you help people? Or what donations do you take?
Jacob Granados: Yes. So that’s a fantastic question and we have an amazing thrift store. In fact, I’m a walking billboard today for the store and we take good furniture, gently used, a little bit more used as long as it’s in good condition. We want people who purchase it or who receive the donation to be proud of it. And so, we will pick up furniture. We will pick up clothes and other items if furniture is involved. You can go to our website, www.theplaceofforsyth.org. Go to the thrift store page and you can schedule a pickup for your furniture items.
Debra Moon: One of the things I was impressed about on our tour was your workforce. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Because I know some people are still unemployed or struggling.
Jacob Granados: Yes. We are very proud of our workforce program, and we have an amazing workforce development and education director who will help you find a job that’s right for you. If you need help with your resume, if you’re intimidated by interviewing, she can help you with that. She has a team of wonderful volunteers that helps people from entry level to professional positions get into the job that is right for them. And so, you can email Lynn@theplaceofforsyth.org for more information, but she would be thrilled to help you find a job that’s right for you. She has daily communication with companies who are hiring, and she would just be thrilled to work with you. So please, if you’re looking for work, we want to help you get there.
This program is very important because while we love giving food out and we love helping people with utilities and rent, we also want people to be able to supply for themselves. And so, if we can help you do that, then we feel like we have done our job to the best of our ability.
Debra Moon: Right, right. Yeah, I’d like to see what’s going on. So, you’ve mentioned about the food distribution. You do that, and you have a youth program. You want to tell us a little bit more about the youth program?
Jacob Granados: Yes ma’am. We love everybody at The Place, like I said, where every person has a purpose. And so, we do have youth outreach programs. Some of you will be familiar with our Holiday House toy giveaway. Last year, we provided toys for over 2,100 Forsyth County children, but we also have teen internships for teens who are maybe at risk who live in rough homes or have rough circumstances. And they can work with us 20 hours a week, earn some money, but be encouraged and have some stability in their life and a sense of peace and normalcy. As part of that program, we are opening up The Place Cottage.
Debra Moon: Oh, good.
Jacob Granados: Which we are so, so excited about, it is a home for girls who are aging out of foster care or who are eighteen, in school and are homeless on. It’s very sad that we have high school students right now who are going through their senior year without parents and without a home of their own. And so, we want to be able to provide a place for them. And so, we will be taking our first resident and the next couple of weeks, we are so excited and look forward to this program, helping as many young ladies as we can.
Debra Moon: Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s a really big need. You think that’s not happening in Forsyth County, but it is.
Jacob Granados: Oh, yes.
Debra Moon: And it’s nice that these girls are going to get some help. I was really impressed with your garden. I guess you need some garden volunteers this summer, right?
Jacob Granados: Yes. Come roll up your sleeves, get your knees dirty, your hands dirty and help us with our garden. You can see it in the background a bit. We have a garden that all the produce comes directly into our pantry. And so we’re always looking for volunteers to help plant, to help weed and then to help harvest. But if you like to be out in the sun, you like comradery with other people and you want to live with purpose and you think you can do it this way, please give us a call or email Dana@theplaceofforsyth.org and she can get you connected with our garden folks.
Debra Moon: One thing I wanted to point out, the sign right behind us. Is The Place of Forsyth was voted Best of Forsyth for 2021. That’s amazing. And I just see what I’ve seen on tour and want to know about it. I’m fully supportive and very pleased that we have this inner our community.
Jacob Granados: Well, thank you so much, Debra. We love our community, and we are just so proud to serve here and honored that we were chosen for four different categories, but it’s really about the people who make this happen, our volunteers who work tirelessly to serve our community, our donors who give of their own to help us help others. And so, it really is a community initiative and we’re just so grateful that this community has rallied behind us to help us feed over two hundred families a week, to help us provide rental and utility assistance and to help people remember that they’re not alone, that there are people in their corner, that they do have a purpose. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Debra Moon: It’s been my honor to be here, and I want to get the word out about The Place and help you keep growing. So, thank you very much for your time and all you’re doing here and thanks to all the staff and the volunteers.
Jacob Granados: My pleasure.
Debra Moon: Thank you so much.
Jacob Granados: Thank you so much.