Sheriff’s Youth Homes give back

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Christmas season is now in full swing. The sun is setting before 6 p.m., temperatures are dropping consistently, houses and businesses are decorated and adorned with assortments of colored lights and a general spirit of holiday cheer is in the air.

During this time of year, the spirit of camaraderie, giving and goodwill is thick and impacts people far and wide. The Salvation Army coordinates a veritable infantry of volunteers to collect donations for local organizations outside of retail centers, while for-profit businesses and individuals go out of their way to give of their time for worthy causes.

One such long-standing cause is the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was established to give the at-risk youth of Georgia the love, safety and stability needed to become mature, successful adults, per the organization’s website.

The organization has five campuses, one of which is located in Troup County.

The Pineland/Camp Pioneer campus, which is located on approximately 2,400 acres of farm and timberland, allows for boys to experience nature. The Pineland/Camp Pioneer campus is not particularly for rehabilitation but is a safe haven for boys who do not have other options to find lodging.

“A lot of people think this is for kids who are wayward, or who are in trouble or delinquent, but Pineland is for boys who have nowhere to go,” Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff said. “Not because of anything they’ve done, they just have some bad family dynamics. We take them in and care for them, just like a foster family would.”

Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes has sent young adults to college, has helped some find employment and has covered the majority of expenses for these children through contributions from outside investors. 

On Tuesday night, the campus held its annual Christmas dinner, which saw a number of local sheriffs and community organizers attend. The event was just the latest in a wide range of good and noble deeds performed by this organization. We thank the sheriffs from across the state for overseeing these campuses, and for the generous souls who donate to make such an organization possible.