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Grant to fund new education center for group home

Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:38 PM

CEREDO -- The staff at the Golden Girl Group Home works daily to make sure each of the 24 girls living there has everything she needs to encourage positive change and growth.

However, while the space the girls are using for educational purposes is adequate, it isn't quite enough to completely equip the girls for the challenges they are likely to face when they go to college or work in the real world, said Susan Huff, education coordinator at the facility.

"The girls have access to computers to finish their work, but they are outdated," said Huff. "This is not a place for bad girls. This is a place to help young ladies, who have been battered and abused, by nurturing them and giving them a chance to make a real life possible by giving them the right tools to make that possible. With the right tools here at the center, we can do a better job of that."

A new set of tools were on their way to the center Friday afternoon when the home received a gift of $50,000 from the American Electric Power Foundation for a renovation that will improve the center's education facility, creating a larger space with new computers and a library, said Nikki Thomas, advancement coordinator at the center.

Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power, was there to present the check Friday, and he said he hoped this grant was a sign of even better things to come for the residents at the home.

"They should take away that they are not alone and that there are people out there, who they might not even know, who care about their success," said Patton. "It's imperative for their own success and our community's success that these folks are able to acquire those skills that will allow them to be effective and viable in contributing to society."

Even before the walls come down to create the new space on the third floor of the Golden Girls facility, Huff said the residents there already have taken notice to the changes that are coming.

"I have talked to them about it, and they said they are totally psyched," said Huff. "It really makes an impression on them to know someone does care enough to do something like this to get this new facility. It really means a lot to them, and it makes a difference in pushing them to achieve their goals."

To make a donation to the Golden Girls Group Home, contact Thomas by calling 304-939-5726 or visiting www.gggh.org.

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