Goshen Valley Awarded Family Resource Center Funding

Goshen Valley is one of 6 organizations in the state of Georgia awarded a 3-year funding cohort through the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to start a Family Resource Center in Cherokee County.

Joining with and following the standards of the Georgia Family Support Network in October of 2022, Goshen Valley will provide primary prevention services to families in our community.

This Family Resource Center will provide low-cost to free parenting classes, support groups, teen support groups, life skills, behavior management, coordinated community referrals and therapy. We are so excited to begin this journey in serving families in need before they reach the need for DFCS intervention. Goshen Valley will work hand-in-hand with the Cherokee County School District, other community non-profits, local churches, and civic organizations to identify families who would like to participate.

Through this new Family Resource Center, Goshen Valley will take a family-centered, 2-generation approach to meet the holistic needs of every family. In being a member of the Georgia Family Support Network, Goshen Valley will utilize the 5 protective factors for strengthening families approach which include: Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Concrete Supports in Times of Need, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, and Social and Emotional Competence of Children.
"We understand that foster care is too often the result of something terrible taking place in the life of a child. Now is the time for Goshen to play a more prominent role in keeping the circumstances from ever happening. Our leadership team guided by our Board of Directors is committed to extending its influence by providing a wide range of preventive services in the years to come. This work will be led by our Goshen Therapeutic Services division. The mobilization of our Family Resource Center and the support offered as a result will be at the heart of those efforts."
- Zach Blend, CEO Goshen Valley Foundation
As Goshen Valley grows, so does our mission of providing peace and purpose to underserved youth and families. This awarded funding will allow Goshen Valley to become an accessible and affordable resource to the families in Cherokee and surrounding counties. This growth and the ability to secure family resource center funding is due to the great and constant support that comes from our community. We thank you, and we look forward to helping to make this community even stronger - together.

Goshen Valley Trees

Brasfield & Gorrie Ribbon Cutting at Goshen Valley

On August 10th, 2022 Goshen Valley Boys Ranch hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize the official finalization of the projects completed by the Brasfield & Gorrie Atlanta team.

In June of 2022 Brasfield & Gorrie, the 2021 ENR Contractor of the Year, spent two weeks at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch to complete construction on several important improvements and maintenance at the Ranch.

After a month-long process which began with 13 nonprofit applicants, Brasfield & Gorrie selected Goshen Valley to be their partner for their 2021 and 2022 fall fundraisers. This event and partnership have historically raised around $250,000 per year from employee and trade contractor donations to support the chosen nonprofit’s mission.

Brasfield & Gorrie is an industry leader in the construction space, and in 2021, their Atlanta team chose Goshen Valley as their nonprofit partner of the year for 2021 and 2022.

They work on a wide range of project types, from aerospace, to healthcare, to sports and much more. More importantly than their projects, their “purpose is building exceptional people, trusting relationships, great projects, and strong communities.” Brasfield & Gorrie has gone above and beyond to fulfill that mission at Goshen Valley.

Goshen Valley serves over 110 foster youth and many families in the North Atlanta region across four programs. Goshen Valley Boys Ranch was the first program founded, located on 160+ acres in Waleska, GA. Home to 40 young men in foster care, The Ranch was founded to provide the safety of a home, love of a family, and hope for a future to the kids that call The Ranch home.

During the two weeks that Brasfield & Gorrie spent at The Ranch, they completed a host of projects totaling in over $200,000 that would have taken our staff years to complete. Check out the list of projects.

At the ribbon cutting, leaders from both organizations gathered, including the team from Brasfield & Gorrie that initiated and led the projects from start to finish: Keith Johnson, Tate McKee, Trey Sanders, Chris Britton, Dave Reed, Dave Hajjar, and Griffith Haigh.

Brasfield & Gorrie Leadership joins together to cut the ribbon.

During the program, attendees heard from one of Goshen Valley’s alumni, Zach Quiros, who came to the Ranch with his little brother in 2016. When thinking about the importance of this project, Zach said it best…

“I didn’t know it at the time, but God knew I was going to need a big family for the next chapter. And what Goshen does would not be possible if it wasn’t for the love from the community that Brasfield & Gorrie is a part of. So, I can’t thank you enough for everything y’all have done at The Ranch, because not too long ago, it was me and my brother at The Ranch.” - Zach Quiros, Goshen Valley Alumni.

The cutting of this ribbon at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch means so much more than just improved facilities, and Zach is a testament to that. Brasfield & Gorrie, we thank you for going above and beyond for your community and for doing it with excellence.


Goshen Valley and the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Goshen Valley and the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – Alumni Enrichment Institute

In July and August 2022, Goshen Valley joined the participants of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – Alumni Enrichment Institute (AEI) at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. Three Goshen leaders were able to share their expertise with a group of 25 young African leaders from 19 countries, equipping them to take new skills and ideas back to their home countries. 

The Alumni Enrichment Institutes are a follow-on opportunity of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of 25 Participants hosted by Georgia State were part of a larger group of 200 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni hosted at eight educational institutions across the United States. These institutions represent the diversity of U.S. higher education, including public and private schools, rural and urban campuses, and small and large student populations.

Executive leaders from the Goshen Valley Foundation participated in Professional Networking Opportunities as experts in non-profit organization and leadership. Zach Blend, Evan Ingram, and Rachel Blend were all in attendance and led educational discussions on topics such as nonprofit leadership and management, accreditation, compliance, marketing, and fundraising. 

Goshen Valley CEO, Zach Blend, discussed the process of decision making by focusing on an organization’s key indicators. Zach has centered decision-making conversations with his leadership on the key indicators of mission, margin, morale and compliance (3MC) to help leaders weigh the impact and consequences of any significant organizational decisions.

“Across cultures, leadership hinges on sound decision making. Sharing the 3MC model with the class was my way of equipping them with a tool that they can take back to their home communities,” says Zach. 

 

 

Evan Ingram, Director of Development at Goshen Valley, shared his insight on marketing and fundraising in the nonprofit world. 

Evan says, “It was an incredible experience getting to share with this group. We spent time talking about marketing frameworks, donor-centered fundraising, and email marketing. We then spent time working through specific problems that are holding their initiatives back.”

Thanks to the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Goshen was able to assist initiatives in 19 African countries working on issues including suicide prevention, affordable housing, and food insecurity.

 

 

Rachel Blend, Director of Accreditation and Grants Management, led an organic discussion on topics such as organizational development, strategic planning, business planning, and PQI/data collection. This opened the floor for an excellent source of information and collaboration between the entire group of participants. 

“It’s always a humbling experience to meet with such incredible leaders. Goshen is blessed, and we are grateful to be able to share our journey and bits of knowledge from along the way,” says Rachel.

 

Goshen Valley has partnered with Georgia State University’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute each year since their first trip to The Ranch in 2016. Through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Goshen Valley has been able to take some part in the huge impact that the program is making across 49 countries in Africa. 

 

“We offer many congratulations to the 2022 participants, and we hope that you will complete your two week Institute with information and inspiration to further enrich you, your communities, and your organizations back home.” - Zach Blend, CEO Goshen Valley Foundation


Goshen Valley Trees

Brasfield & Gorrie at Goshen Valley

Brasfield & Gorrie at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch

In June of 2022 Brasfield & Gorrie, the 2021 ENR Contractor of the Year, spent two weeks at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch to complete construction on several important improvements and maintenance at the Ranch.

Brasfield & Gorrie at Goshen Valley

Brasfield & Gorrie is an industry leader in the construction space, and in 2021, their Atlanta team chose Goshen Valley as their nonprofit partner of the year for 2021 and 2022. They work on a wide range of project types, from aerospace, to healthcare, to sports and much more. More importantly than their projects, their “purpose is building exceptional people, trusting relationships, great projects, and strong communities.” Brasfield & Gorrie has gone above and beyond to fulfill that mission at Goshen Valley. 

Goshen Valley serves over 110 foster youth and many families in the North Atlanta region across four programs. Goshen Valley Boys Ranch was the first program founded, located on 160+ acres in Waleska, GA. Home to 40 young men in foster care, The Ranch was founded to provide the safety of a home, love of a family, and hope for a future to the kids that call The Ranch home.

With large acreage to care for including six homes and other facilities, the Facilities Director at Goshen Valley, Josh Williamson, has a long list of projects to work on. Over the past two weeks, his list got a lot smaller - thanks to Brasfield & Gorrie.

Over the past two weeks, Brasfield & Gorrie sent their summer internship group and multiple superintendents to oversee the completion of many needed projects at Goshen Valley. Brasfield & Gorrie donated all time and materials to complete the following projects:
  • A Horse Barn
  • Back Deck of the Administration building
  • Re-leveling front porch of the Administration building
  • Pond Renovation for recreational use
    • Grading at Pond
    • Hardscaping pathway to pond
    • Laying riprap at pond
  • Finishing the recreational Creekside Trail
  • Re-building 3 bridges at the Creekside Chapel
  • Grading field by baseball diamond
  • Grading the road to the top fishing lake
  • Spreading gravel over creekside trail and chapel
  • Building staircase behind the James House to make the top level accessible
  • Fixing horse fences
  • Clearing brush
  • Donating leftover materials worth over $5,000

Maintenance Director at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch, Josh Williamson, knows best how this will impact not only The Ranch, but also the boys in foster care who call Goshen home.

In total it would take me over a year with the budget, staff, and equipment I have access to, to do what Brasfield & Gorrie has done in two weeks. The impact Brasfield & Gorrie has had on our facilities here at the Ranch will be felt for years to come by our staff and, more importantly, the boys we serve. In addition, opportunities for teaching our young men were created by having Brasfield on site as they demonstrated excellence in quality and safety, as well as demonstrating a healthy working environment. Opportunities like this do not have a price tag.” - Josh Williamson, Director of Facilities at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch.

As a community, we want to thank Brasfield & Gorrie for going above and beyond to be servant leaders and to be an integral partner for Goshen Valley. The foster youth in care at Goshen are better for it, and our community is stronger even still.

Pond renovations at Goshen Valley Boys RanchHorse barn by Brasfield and Gorrie at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch


Goshen Leadership Academy Founding Class of 2022

Congratulations to our graduates of the first ever Goshen Leadership Academy.

Goshen Leadership Academy was founded to provide emerging leaders at Goshen Valley with an all-encompassing view of what it takes to be a leader. We covered topics from finance to strategic planning all within the framework of Mission, Margin, Morale, and Compliance. 

Goshen Valley CEO, Zach Blend, says, “With Goshen's growth over the past decade, including the opening of three new agencies, our footprint has expanded significantly. I felt it was important that we find ways for our emerging leaders to stay connected to one another and to each other's mission. The creation of Goshen Academy established such a platform for consistent collaboration across agencies. We're thrilled with the positive feedback that we have received from those that were chosen to participate and look forward to extending the opportunity to another class of participants sometime in the future."

Our 2022 Graduating Class:

Gabby Brumfield - Goshen Homes Program Director

Molly Phillips - Human Resources Assistant

Sarah Palmer - Goshen Therapeutic Services Clinical Supervisor

Giselle Francis - Goshen New Beginnings Program Director

Anthony Hall - Goshen New Beginnings Life Coach

Chuck Russell - Goshen New Beginnings

Courtney Argo - Goshen Therapeutic Services Program Manager

Kristy Pastush - Goshen Valley Boys Ranch Medical Coordinator

Megan Cortland - Goshen Valley Boys Ranch Program Director

Jamie Crews - Goshen Homes Case Management Supervisor

Caitlin Brunson - Marketing and Community Engagement Coordinator

Kathleen Bradley - Goshen Homes Home Licensing Supervisor

 

Goshen Valley Chief of Staff, Chris Thomas, who led the Leadership Academy initiative, says, “I am so proud of this group of emerging leaders. Over the past year they have learned not only how to be better leaders, but more importantly they have learned more about themselves and what they bring to the mission of Goshen Valley. Goshen’s ability to continue to grow and thrive is greatly enhanced by the talent of this group.”

Finally, as with all things Goshen, our key community partners were front and center in this effort.  Goshen is appreciative of the community partners who took the time to share their experience and leadership experience with our class, including:

Dr. Debra Murdock - Chief Operating Officer, Cherokee County School District

Melissa Lindh - Global CFO, Universal Alloy Corporation

Kevin Williams - Chick-fil-A Operator

Rennie Curran - University of Georgia Football Alumni

Julie Carter - Cherokee County CASA

Brooke Ford - Cherokee County DFCS Director

Mark Roberts - President, Reinhardt University

Nathan Castleberry - Lead Pastor, Local Church Canton

Peter McGaffigan, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Private Bank/Goshen Board Chairman

Bryan Apinis - Director of Intersect Project, North Point Community Church

Jordyn Davis, Intersect Coordinator, Woodstock City Church

Meg Davidson, Community Relations Director, Woodstock City Church

 

Goshen is proud to have these emerging leaders on our team working for the foster youth in our care. Congratulations Goshen Leadership Academy!


Goshen Valley Trees

Goshen Valley named a 2022 AJC Top Workplace

Goshen Valley has been named one of the AJC’s Top 20 Workplaces 2022!

The Goshen Valley Foundation has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2022 honor by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For the 2022 rankings, 4,583 companies were nominated or asked to participate. Out of 87 small businesses, Goshen Valley is ranked number 16 among Top Workplaces in Atlanta.

We are grateful to the 81 full time employees at Goshen Valley who felt that we were deserving of this recognition. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

Goshen Valley AJC Top Workplace Logo

"More than ever, we strive to create environments where our staff experiences a certain sense of purpose in their work. The idea of just coming to the office has never fit our culture, more so we emphasize the impact of being of service - not only in the lives we have been entrusted to provide care for, but for one another as well.
I find that people are often surprised by the size of our organization. Over the past four years Goshen has grown by nearly 50% with today 80 or so full time employees. We are selective in the process of adding talent to our team and have been successful at keeping our turnover low in a season where there is almost an expected staff fluidity due to the economic state of things.
To truly lean into our mission of providing peace and purpose to children and families at risk Goshen has to ensure that our staff is healthy, engaged, and equipped to perform their roles well.
We appreciate the AJC recognizing our efforts for a second year in a row. Ultimately we strive to be a leading not-for-profit in the region and a highly regarded place of employment in the process."  - Zach Blend, CEO Goshen Valley

Not only is this announcement meaningful for Goshen employees, it also makes a major impact on the youth and families that we serve. The 115 kids in our care have had family come in and out of their lives previously, and Goshen wants to ensure the staff and foster parents that work with them are in it for the long haul. The vulnerable families in need of mental health services coming to Goshen can know that their case worker and therapist will be better equipped to get them back on their feet. Prospective foster families who are considering making a life altering change to bring kids into their home know that they will have the training and support of a great team that will be by their side through the journey.

This announcement means a great deal to the team at Goshen Valley, and we are excited for the ways that it will impact our youth and families as we work to create generational change in the lives of families and foster youth in Georgia.


Goshen Valley Trees

Goshen Homes Celebrates 10 Reunifications

Goshen Homes: keeping siblings together and reuniting families.

Goshen Homes is designed for reunification.
We believe that the best place for a child is with their family, if their family can get healthy and stable. While adoptions do happen occasionally, our main priority is for kids to end up back in their family. We are thrilled to say that in July we celebrated 10 youth returning to their families! 

*These names were were changed for privacy reasons.
While we love the pictures that come with an adoption celebration, we want to celebrate family reunifications just as much! There is no better example of Goshen Homes living out its mission than the above 4 families coming back together!

Not only were all of these sibling groups placed together during their time in care (another key component of Goshen Homes' mission), they are leaving foster care returning to healthy families!

Help Goshen Homes Cover the Gap!

Goshen Valley receives the majority of our funding from Georgia DFCS. We receive a certain amount for each day a child is in our care. Thanks to your generosity, Goshen is in a strong enough place financially to push for reunifications without hesitation. You have allowed us to always pursue the best possible outcome for each child regardless of the financial implication.

Your support today will ensure that Goshen stays in this place of strength, always knowing that we can put the needs of our kids first.

Donate to help restore families.

Thank you for making reunifications like these possible..

Our team is thankful for you, but I know there are 4 families who are even more grateful.

-Your Goshen Family

P.S: We have some amazing foster parents who stand in the gap to love these children during their time in foster care. We need more people who are interested in providing a loving home to sibling groups.

If you'd like to learn more about fostering, download our fostering guide at Goshenvalley.org/homes


Goshen Valley Trees

Brasfield & Gorrie selects Goshen Valley as Nonprofit Partner of the Year

Brasfield & Gorrie selects Goshen Valley as Nonprofit Partner for their 2021-2022 Fall Fundraiser

After a month-long process which began with 13 nonprofit applicants, Brasfield & Gorrie has selected Goshen Valley to be their partner for their 2021 and 2022 fall fundraisers. This event and partnership have historically raised around $250,000 per year to support the chosen nonprofit’s mission.

As of 2019, Goshen launched a new program to target root cause issues surrounding foster care, providing mental health and therapy services to families at risk of experiencing a foster care placement in the future. This funding will allow Goshen Valley to scale this program and serve far more vulnerable families.    

Zach Blend, CEO of Goshen Valley, says, This is an exciting time in the life of Goshen Valley. As our direct care work with Georgia’s foster children enters its 23rd year, we are equally excited about the positive influence we can also have through serving at-risk families preventively. The support raised by Brasfield & Gorrie and their subcontractors will fund the progression of Goshen Therapeutic Services throughout the state’s northwest region. Our intention is to continue to serve foster children within our three operating agencies to the very best of our ability while being mindful of the root cause matters that create the need for such services. Easy access to therapy, family counseling and other support services is the first step in that process.”

This year Brasfield & Gorrie instituted a new process to select their nonprofit partner of the year. Thirteen non-profits were invited to complete an application, and five were selected to present to a leadership committee. The group was then narrowed down to three, and an employee vote determined the winner. Goshen Valley received 53% of the employee votes in this process. 

“In addition to the financial support our employees and trade contractors will provide, we will participate in service days on Goshen’s Ranch campus. We love getting our hands dirty,” said Brent Perkins, director of personal development at Brasfield & Gorrie. Perkins led the selection committee.

“At Brasfield & Gorrie we believe in building strong communities. We love being a blessing to others. Goshen’s work with boys in the foster care system, the therapeutic services offered to families, and their increasing focus on root cause education for families all line up with our values. We are excited to be a partner with Goshen Valley!” - Brent Perkins

Zach Blend compared residential foster care to running a construction business, but one where you can only build on the site of a previous catastrophe. “We do great work in residential care, but we also want to focus on root-cause. We want to stabilize families before the building collapses. This funding will allow us to expand our work in ways that will keep families strong before a foster care placement occurs. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Brasfield & Gorrie, and we are confident that many families will be strengthened and rescued as a direct result of this partnership.”

About Brasfield & Gorrie

Founded in 1964, Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets. We are skilled in construction best practices, including virtual design and construction, integrated project delivery, and Lean construction, but we are best known for our preconstruction and self-perform expertise and exceptional client service. Brasfield & Gorrie has 12 offices and more than 3,200 employees. Our 2020 revenues were $3.9 billion. Engineering News-Record ranks Brasfield & Gorrie 22nd among the nation’s “Top 400 Contractors” for 2020. Brasfield & Gorrie is ENR Southeast's 2021 Contractor of the Year.


Goshen Valley Trees

Goshen Valley named one of AJC’s Top Workplaces 2021

Goshen Valley has been named one of the AJC’s Top Workplaces 2021!

The Goshen Valley Foundation has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We are grateful to the 65 full time employees at Goshen Valley who felt that we were deserving of this recognition. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Of the 3,035 companies surveyed, the AJC named 175 Georgia employers as their 2021 Top Workplaces. Goshen Valley is one of 86 in the small business category, one of 9 non-profits, and one of 2 employers in Cherokee County named to the list.

Zach Blend, CEO of Goshen Valley, says that Goshen’s mission to provide hope, healing, and generational change to foster youth is something that the Goshen team has rallied around.

“When you have such an important mission, it is easier to look past the issues that can hurt morale. Our employees are part of something bigger than themselves, and at times the work can be just as transformational to us as it is our kids.” - Zach Blend, CEO

Not only is this announcement meaningful for Goshen employees, it also makes a major impact on the youth and families that we serve. The 113 kids in our care have had family come in and out of their lives previously, and Goshen wants to ensure the staff and foster parents that work with them are in it for the long haul. The vulnerable families in need of mental health services coming to Goshen can know that their case worker and therapist will be better equipped to get them back on their feet. Prospective foster families who are considering making a life altering change to bring kids into their home know that they will have the training and support of a great team that will be by their side through the journey.

This announcement means a great deal to the team at Goshen Valley, and we are excited for the ways that it will impact our youth and families as we work to create generational change.


Goshen Valley Community Wellness Center

Goshen Valley Community Wellness Center

January 11, 2020 Ribbon Cutting

Goshen Valley Boy's Ranch held their ribbon cutting of the Goshen Community Wellness Center (The Well) on Saturday January 11, 2020. 135 community members who purchased bricks to help fund the facility joined for the celebration. 

As guests arrived at The Well, crowds formed outside as people searched for their bricks among the 304 custom bricks at the entrance. After getting their free t-shirts and Chick-Fil-A, guests congregated in the gymnasium for a celebration ceremony. Evan Ingram welcomed the guests and thanked them for their donations. Rachel Blend prayed over the facility and those who made it possible. Zach Blend thanked all who made this facility possible. Matthew Moring, Goshen alumni and US Military Veteran, shared his gratitude for all those who are helping boys like him experience a home and a family. 

As a surprise within the ceremony, the 2020 Goshen Spirit Award was presented to Paul and Julie Freudenstein. Paul has been a board member since the beginning of Goshen Valley, and his assistance was foundational to the construction of The Well.

To conclude the ceremony Goshen decided to mix things up. Since The Well could not have been built debt-free without the help of every person in attendance, Goshen decided to ditch the ceremonial giant scissors and give a pair of scissors to every guest in attendance. All at once, 135 guests who had purchased a brick and made The Well possible cut the ribbon together. 

Goshen Alumni, Matthew Moring put it better than we ever could...

"Someone told me earlier that this building has limits. I don't see this (the Well) as a building. I see the heart of Goshen Valley here, and the heart of Goshen Valley does not have limits."

For decades to come, the Goshen Community Wellness Center will provide the foster youth at Goshen Valley Boy's Ranch with a place to play, to learn, and to grow. But more importantly, The Well will be a place for our kids to call home for the rest of their lives.

Goshen Valley would like to thank all who support our kids and made the construction of this facility possible. The youth who live at Goshen will be forever impacted by your generosity.