It was a celebration at the meeting on Friday as we all congratulated Gordon Smith on 34 years of perfect attendance!  Congrats Gordon - RCSE is lucky to have you as a member of our club.  President Cindy Kelley reminded everyone to mark their calendar for Wednesday, December 12 for the RCSE Holiday Party at Southbound Brewery.  More details about the event are forthcoming.  After all Rotary business items were discussed, Laura Lane McKinnon introduced our speaker which was our very own Gena Taylor, Executive Director of Greenbriar Children's Center.  
 
Greenbriar Children's Center was opened in July 1949 as an orphanage for African American children and in the 1960's started accepting children of all races.  Currently, Greenbriar offers a variety of services to help children in the community.  On their campus, they provide a safe haven for children ages 12-17 who have had a traumatic experience in their life.  On Lincoln Street, they have an independent living program for those ages 18-21.  The people in the independent living program go to school and work and learn life skills such as nutrition, meal planning, cooking and banking.  They also have two childcare centers which are currently going through the state accreditation in order to received the highest quality rating.  Additionally, they offer an emergency shelter and have started Project Safe Place. 
 
Gena said the majority of the children have emotional, behavioral, and anger issues and that 90% of them are on psychotropic medicines.  While these children are in Greenbriar's care, they provide counseling services.  Greenbriar has also started a program called Family Preservation.  With this program, they offer in home counseling services for those who are at risk of losing their children.  Along with counseling, they try and connect the families with other resources in the community that can help them.  Greenbriar's revenue is a combination of funds from individuals, the state, Chatham County, City of Savannah, as well as the Department of Education and Agriculture.  There are two events coming up that Gena invited everyone to attend.  The first is on Sunday, November 18 and is Philharmonic in the Streets which will be held at the Greenbriar Campus.  The other event is on Saturday, December 1 and is called the Gift of Song.  The Gift of Song is $25 per ticket and will be held at the Trustees Theater on Broughton Street.  The event will feature various children's choirs throughout the community.  For more information about Greenbriar Children's Center or the upcoming events, please contact Gena Taylor or visit their website at https://greenbriarchildrenscenter.org/
 
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