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Foster Care Foundation to hold awareness event

DULUTH - In an effort to raise awareness about foster care in Gwinnett County, a local foster care foundation is having a weekend foster care awareness celebration in Duluth.

Earlier this year Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners declared the month of May in 2007 Foster Care Support Month in Gwinnett. In honor of the special month the Foster Children's Foundation in Duluth is having a foster care awareness event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Foster Children's Foundation Resource Center located at 2300 Pleasant Hill Road suite A1.

"This is a way to raise awareness about the needs that foster children have and ways the public can help and get involved," said Mandi Geske, administrative assistant for the foundation.

Geske said the weekend event will include entertainment and activities, including face painting, fortune telling, ice cream booths, prizes and other entertainment.

Although Geske said there will be opportunities to make donations to the foundation, the event is free to the public.

"This is an event for everyone," Geske said. "Parents can bring their kids - everyone can learn how to get involved. We have volunteers from kindergarten to 80 years old."

Geske said those who attend the event will also have the opportunity to tour the Foster Children's Foundation Resource Center, which serves as a place where foster children can visit to pick out clothes, hygiene products and other items they may need.

Geske said the center is also a place where community members can take donations of new or gently used clothes and other items the children might need.

"This is a place where the foster children and their families can go to shop for needed items like clothing, books, schools supplies and personal hygiene items at no charge," Geske said.

Every year for the past three years Geske said more than 1,000 foster children have been served through the foundation.

Geske said this is the third year the foundation has held an awareness celebration.

"We really want people to know what we're about," Geske said. "Most of the time children come to us with just the clothes on their backs, so the resource center is a place were they can get what they need and comfort as well."

IF YOU GO

•What: Foster Care Awareness Day open house

•When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

•Where: Foster Children's Foundation located at 2300 Pleasant Hill Road Suite A1 in Duluth