We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Low and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
I am a voracious reader, combine that with my work as a social worker and you get a bookshelf filled with non-fiction and memoirs. Topics and subjects abound, but as the founder of Great Heights Foster Care I like to be able to recommend books that give people insight into the world of foster care and two of my favorites to tell people about are “three little words” and “three more words” by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. Ashley’s story traveling into, through and alongside the foster care system is powerful, eye-opening, and honest. While the complexities of child maltreatment and the foster care system could never be explained in a book, or two for that matter, these books allow the reader to see the tragedy that is foster care and family breakdown, but also show that when the right people show up, and continue to show up, something quite beautiful can be built.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Great Heights Foster Care, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and licensed Child Placement Agency that provides the training and home studies necessary to become a foster/adoptive parent in the State of Georgia and then works with these parents to provide safe homes for children in the care of the Division of Family and Children Services. We enjoy having an atmosphere of inclusion and respect and welcome couples, individuals, and families of different races, backgrounds, sexualities and orientations, religions, etc. We firmly believe that if someone is able to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for a child then we should be a part of making that happen. One of the best things about building Great Heights has been all the people we have met, whether they have become a part of Great Heights or just shared their story or desire to be involved in the world of foster care and adoption. As an organization we also strive to build awareness and a community that extends beyond the doors of Great Heights that includes support and involvement of businesses, other charities, places of worship, restaurants, schools, individuals, other foster care organizations, and more. Running a non-profit and working in child welfare are not easy and we rely on the community to keep the proverbial wheels turning. If we have learned anything it is that there are never too may donors or foster parents! So, if you want to be one or the other (or both!) give us a call, because trust us we want to talk to you! With that said, we want to get the word out that you can be involved in other ways too (with or without us)! One of the key protective factors in reducing the likelihood of child maltreatment is the family having a support network. Making dinner for a friend, offering to tutor the kid down the street, being available when your neighbor’s kids get off the bus, doing a load of laundry are all ways that make a big difference. We have seen people get creative with their talents, interests, and resources during this pandemic in order to serve others and we would love to see that continue!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
So many great spots! My favorite hidden lunch gems would have to be Cafe at Pharr or Souper Jenny; I could eat at either of the two any day of the week. Dinner… Lucky’s Burgers and Brew has several locations, but huge shoutout to the Brookhaven location where my pups love a night on the patio!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The support and love of others is absolutely everything in this work and I am immensely grateful for so many people. If it weren’t for Jarrard Denny though, I am not sure I would still have the energy to keep going. He supports me and Great Heights as well as runs an amazing men’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in Savannah, GA called Ardmore Recovery. His heart for service and the betterment of our community encourages me to keep up the good work! Of course I can’t go without giving a shoutout to my sweet pups, Lucy and Rory. I mean, let’s be honest…they are the true MVPs!