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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

First Lady Mary Perdue Brings "Kids First" InitiativeTo Middle Georgia

Tuesday, February 13, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774



MACON— Today, First Lady Mary Perdue hosted the second event of her Kids First Initiative in Macon. Foster parents and DFCS offices from 11 middle Georgia counties and members of 163 middle Georgia faith communities participated in February’s Kids First event at Mabel White Memorial Baptist Church in Macon. February’s Kids First event, "Loving Hearts – Helpful Hands," encouraged increased participation with abused and neglect children from faith communities across Georgia.

"Our faith communities offer crucial resources to our most vulnerable children," said First Lady Mary Perdue. "I have seen today the enthusiasm that our Middle Georgia community has for our children and hope that we will continue to see increase in the number of dedicated Champions for Children in Georgia."

The First Lady’s Our Children Campaign currently has 43 faith champions throughout Georgia. The Faith Champion Program provides an opportunity for First Lady Mary Perdue to recognize faith communities who address the needs of abused and neglected children.  The program suggests opportunities for faith groups but does not limit the groups to these options.   

For the past four years, First Lady Mary Perdue has hosted a series of statewide events and summits in order to raise awareness of the needs of abused and neglected children in

Georgia. Last year, as part of her annual Summit, First Lady Mary Perdue traveled to 15 cities in every corner of the state, hosting volunteer activities in order to increase awareness and participation within communities across the state. The Summit involved nearly 4,000 Georgians in hands-on volunteer activities, recruited new foster families and encouraged new business, faith and civic community involvement with child-serving agencies in their areas. 

"Dedication to Georgia’s children should not end with the month of the Summit," said First Lady Mary Perdue. "Volunteerism can, and must, continue to be a lasting part of our daily life."

Kids First is a new initiative of the Our Children Campaign. The First Lady will canvas Georgia hosting monthly "Kids First" activities to highlight an area of volunteerism with abused and neglected children. During January, the First Lady launched the program by accompanying a First Steps volunteer on her visit with a new mother and baby at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Future "Kids First" events will include a baby shower for foster children, a foster family appreciation night and a book drive for children in foster care.