Supporters raise funds for Southwest Christian Care expansion
It is a non-profit organization that has a long history of providing hospice, children’s respite and elder care services to southwest metro Atlanta.
Now Southwest Christian Care is raising funds to expand the facility on Lester Road in Union City to construct “Byron and Jim’s Place” that will house the DayBreak program for seniors and provide hospitality accommodations for the families of those receiving hospice care.
As with all the ministry services provided by Southwest Christian Care for the past 29 years, those provided in the new facility will also be free of charge.
Southwest Christian Care board members, staff and friends met Aug. 30 to let the community know about the plans for the Founder’s LegacyCampaign that is raising $1.4 million for the expansion project.
The new facility on 4.67 acres of donated land adjacent to the existing property is expected to range from 4,500-5,000 square feet and will be the setting for the DayBreak program for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other issues. The expansion will pave the way for the DayBreak program to transition from its current location in the main facility’s conference room and lobby to a larger setting. The new cottage-style building will also be the site of two efficiency apartments for use by the families of hospice patients.
The “Byron and Jim’s Place” expansion project carries a cost of approximately $1.4 million, said Executive Director Mike Sorrow. To date, nearly $900,000 has been raised.
A $100,000 challenge grant for the Founders’ Legacy Campaign has been offered by an anonymous Atlanta-area foundation. Those funds will be available if the remainder of the $1.4 million can be raised by spring 2014.
Sorrow said the door to funds from other foundations will be opened if Southwest Christian Care can reach the $1.4 million goal.
Sorrow said information about the legacy campaign will be one of the highlights of the organization’s 20th Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction Gala to be held Sept. 28 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. Olympic gold medal winner and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton will be the guest speaker.
Sorrow said that while the annual benefit dinner and gala serves as the organization’s main fundraiser, 85-90 percent of the $2.3 million annual budget, excluding the legacy campaign, comes from individual donations.
Southwest Christian Care was founded in 1983 as an in-home mission outreach program of Southwest Christian Church in Atlanta.
By 1987, the funds had been raised to build, debt free, the nation’s only free-of-charge, in-patient hospice facility. Then, as now, all the services provided by the organization are free of charge. The requirement for admission to the facility is simply that the individual must be referred by a state-licensed physician, said Sorrow.
“People from all walks of life are served, including the homeless,” Sorrow said.
The current services provided include the hospice, the DayBreak seniors program and Hope House, a respite service for children with significant disabilities that currently serves 75 children. Hope House in an off-campus program works with Peachtree City Christian Church in providing worship services for children.
As important as any service provided by Southwest Christian Care is the spiritual component.
“Spiritual care is here to give people comfort and to let them know that God is with them, and to minister to their needs,” said Sorrow.
Southwest Christian Care board Chairman and Woolsey Mayor Gary Laggis at the meeting spoke about his affiliation with the organization, noting the selfless work that has continued for so many years.
“My parents died here. As a result, I came to know the ministry and its services,” Laggis said. “So many of the staff and volunteers are here because of the Lord’s leading. They are angels in disguise.”
For information on the Founder’s Legacy Campaign or the 20th Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction Gala call 770-969-8354 or visit www.swchristiancare.org.