Support rushes in for family

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Community support has been "overwhelming" for the 11 children found last week living in squalid conditions in rural Burke County, Sheriff Greg Coursey said Tuesday.

Four days after deputies discovered them in a house without water or electricity, the community has rallied around Christine Long and her 11 children, who range in ages from 9 months to 18 years, Sheriff Coursey said.

"It's just unbelievable -- the love that people have shown for this family," he said. "They are very grateful. They can't believe it."

A Monday hearing in juvenile court granted the Department of Family and Children Services emergency care, meaning that the children will remain in foster homes for the time being. A second hearing will be held Monday to gauge their progress, he said. The school-age children have been enrolled in the Burke County School system, he said.

Sheriff Coursey said efforts are under way to help Mrs. Long find a home.

"Rental property for a family that size is not easy to find, and if you find it, it's costly," he said. "We are looking hard for it."

Deputies found the children while looking for suspects in the theft of a chainsaw. The said they discovered the family living in destitute conditions with little food and no utilities. The chainsaw owner did not press charges.

Numerous cats and one dog were also living on the property. Officials from Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue were unable to rescue the dog and several feral cats, according to Jodi Pope, intake coordinator for the animal rescue. They are bringing food and water to the house for the remaining animals. The animals will be up for adoption once they heal, she said.

Sheriff Coursey said the father of the children, Jeremy Lane Long, is still wanted for questioning and could face charges of child abandonment and child neglect. Authorities have decided not to pursue any charges against Mrs. Long.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


A fund has been established for the family through the First National Bank of Waynesboro and is being administrated by the Wimberly House Ministries. Monetary donations can be mailed to the Wimberly House Ministries Indigent Care Family Fund, 521 S. Liberty St., Waynesboro, GA 30830. Checks can be made payable to Wimberly House Ministries. Those with questions can call Elva Raines of First National Bank at (706) 554-8100.


Donations also can be mailed to the Burke County Department of Family and Children Services, 729 W. Sixth St., P.O. Box 390, Waynesboro, Ga. 30830-0390.


Those wishing to adopt or donate money for the treatment of the kittens, cats and the dog on the property can reach Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue at (888) 846-3792 or through the group's Web site at www.oldfella.org.

Comments (52) Add comment
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SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 08/06/08 - 04:10 am
0
0
Reward the ignorant who

Reward the ignorant who reproduce like rats and roaches. Both parents should be sterilized.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 08/06/08 - 04:31 am
0
0
Agreed............

Agreed............

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 04:49 am
0
0
Yeah sarge, but the

Yeah sarge, but the alternative to helping these people is not helping them. I agree with sterilization in this case. Still, the children need rescuing. I wonder what the story is .... how did this situation get so out of hand? I've seen families much larger then this while living in the Catholic communities of northern Illinois, but destitution was never part of the equation. The parents, along with their 15 or 20 children, worked the family dairy farm. Abandoning the children to squalor was never a consideration.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 04:52 am
0
0
I'm not surprised to see the

I'm not surprised to see the community step up to help this family. This Jeremy Long must be a class act.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 08/06/08 - 05:14 am
0
0
I will concede that the

I will concede that the children need help. I am sure they will be given a place to live, food and money. Maybe the family will even be given a vehicle. But it won't be long before all of that is gone and the "parents" will be in the same condition.....

im a namechanger 2day
0
Points
im a namechanger 2day 08/06/08 - 05:46 am
0
0
Reality. YOu got a

Reality. YOu got a 1-800-physic line or something since you can predict the future?

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/06/08 - 05:50 am
0
0
I think it's obscene to have

I think it's obscene to have that many children and you can't afford them. I have three, that's all I can afford and that's all i'll have. Birth control people, both parents should be in jail. The mom was just as much to blame as the dad, she get's a break beacause she stuck around to witness this. I would send my kids to relatives or put them in foster care myself before I allow them to live in extreme poverty and have no education. And the 18 year old needs to get a job or could have been babysitting while the lazy a@@ parents get a job.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 08/06/08 - 05:56 am
0
0
No, Angie I will go on past

No, Angie I will go on past experiences. No job, 11 kids and stealing a chainsaw. You tell me.....

tombee
35
Points
tombee 08/06/08 - 06:08 am
0
0
I am thankful that there are

I am thankful that there are so many good-hearted people in Burke County, unlike you posters who blame this on the number of children. That has nothing to do with it. It is not as if these parents were making an effort with any of their kids. Maybe someone wants to sterilize you for your attitude towards children. How would you like that?

Reality
3
Points
Reality 08/06/08 - 06:14 am
0
0
Well you proved the point,"It

Well you proved the point,"It is not as if these parents were making an effort with any of their kids".

ListenAndLearn
0
Points
ListenAndLearn 08/06/08 - 06:20 am
0
0
I didn't see in any of the

I didn't see in any of the stories where it said they had stolen a chain saw. Did I miss something?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 06:55 am
0
0
Yeah, KK. The family was

Yeah, KK. The family was discovered when local authorities were investigating the theft of a chainsaw by a neighbor. No charges were pressed on the theft. All in the article.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 08/06/08 - 06:57 am
0
0
The nolife/lowlife father

The nolife/lowlife father should be strung up by his testicles, since it appears that is the only part of him that actually works. We were talking about this on Monday -- how did this family stay under the radar for so long?? The mom did hang in there, but the line about the kids being "home schooled" was BS. The chainsaw incident will go down as the thing that saved these kids. Sad and pathetic, all at the same time.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 08/06/08 - 07:04 am
0
0
I called to see how I could

I called to see how I could help and they wanted Wal-Mart gift cards to be donated. I'm sorry but I don't trust people enough to be donating gift cards that people can steal and use for themselves. I would have gladly donated food or clothing items but not gift cards.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 08/06/08 - 07:19 am
0
0
The foster care system in

The foster care system in Burke County is generally overwhelmed. How they will spread out the 11 children to a number of different homes, most likely 10 or 11, is not good for any child. Are there no other family members? Mom, dad, aunts, uncles or cousins who can help? Most likely nothing good will come of this. This mom will likely abuse whatever help she is given and the kids will not benefit long term. If no responsible family members come foward, start removing the kids permanently. Try to get them in better situations long term.

cparker
83
Points
cparker 08/06/08 - 07:23 am
0
0
Our reality is that we have

Our reality is that we have poor people living among us. There is no record they ever asked for public assistance, they just tried to make it the best way they could. There is no evidence of drugs or anything....We truly have the poor living among us. I know we have fools like Sargeant Midtown living among us to, but I have always been an advocate for the weak because God has given us a reason to be humble and generous at the same time. It should not have to hurt to be poor, but it does. Let this be a lesson that sometimes our best efforts are not intended for ourselves, but for others. Being poor with children is something blacks and whites have in common and we must work together to stop stereotyping and finding solutions. Sterilization will not feed anyone, or pay utilities, nor will ignoring a simple reality that we have poor people living among us. Thank God for my family, your families, and our willingness to break bread with one another.

mommy22girls
0
Points
mommy22girls 08/06/08 - 07:23 am
0
0
Why is the mother not being

Why is the mother not being charged? She is just as much to blame, she laid down also, got pregnant, and in my opinion abandoned her responsibilities. Yeah, she may have been there but she was not taking care of the children. As a mom myself I would have begged, steal, and borrowed to care for my children and if I were still having problems I would have looked for help. The same churches helping them now may have helped when times started getting ruff. I mean the kids never were in school, what excuse does she have for that??

kneejackingreactions
5
Points
kneejackingreactions 08/06/08 - 07:24 am
0
0
There is more to this story

There is more to this story than what has been brought to light! I agree 5:00, you want to help but the way things are we are all a little cautious.

justus4
109
Points
justus4 08/06/08 - 07:24 am
0
0
Where are the Conservatives,
Unpublished

Where are the Conservatives, Responsibility, Government Welfare loonies? Silence! Nothing! Where are the fathers? What about personally taking responsibility? What kinda animals would treat kids this way and nothing from law enforcement. Where are the welfare checks? Where are the pictures of little kids eating dirt? The mother/father must have a criminal history with a photo to provide a visual to readers. Ha! Nothing, except how "help" can be given. This is an example of reporting a story thats severely lacking in objectivity... and the poor readers think they're really informed. What a joke!

kneejackingreactions
5
Points
kneejackingreactions 08/06/08 - 07:33 am
0
0
Come on people, no one

Come on people, no one knew?????? Who owned the land, stupid. Somebody was getting rent, they were not squatters, were they?

keraknightwalker
0
Points
keraknightwalker 08/06/08 - 07:38 am
0
0
I'm not buying it either.. no

I'm not buying it either.. no one knew?.. someone had to , just didn't want to get involved would be my guess!!!

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/06/08 - 07:40 am
0
0
Everyone is so critical of

Everyone is so critical of the mother. No one knows what this mother has had to endure or what brought this situation to such desperate means. All we see in print is here is a mother with 11 children living in a house without water and electricity. Automatically we assume that they are no good for nothing parents. As for the father...yeah he's a dirt bag, but this mother has been left in a situation where I'm sure she was doing the best she could. Everyone is screaming birth control...pray tell, with no vehicle or phone, evidently no family around, how was she suppose to get to the health department to get the birth control and isn't there a small fee for it....how would she pay for it with no money. We all want to condemn this woman while we sit back in our cozy air conditioned houses with the refrigerator full and decent clothes on our backs and say what she should have done. Hopefully this story will make us more aware from now on of the ones who are less fortunate than us.

keraknightwalker
0
Points
keraknightwalker 08/06/08 - 08:02 am
0
0
Where were these children

Where were these children born?..are there no birth records for them? 11 children.. what kind of mother is She.. no proper care bringing these babies into this world and after words.. no doctors .. no shots.. I'm still not willing to give her a pass untill some of these things are answered!

Unbelievable
86
Points
Unbelievable 08/06/08 - 08:32 am
0
0
I dont remember reading about

I dont remember reading about the father, just the mother. There may be more than one 'father' and I agree with sterilization. The best thing they can do for these kids is find them a family they would care and love for them, not give them an extreme home makeover.

jmho
23
Points
jmho 08/06/08 - 08:32 am
0
0
First Baptist Church of

First Baptist Church of Waynesboro is collecting clothing for the children as well as gift cards. New or gently used clothing.
Needs List

1. 18 year old female - Gift Cards
2. Three teenaged girls. Two wear size 8 and one size 8.5 shoes and two wear medium tops and one wears small.
3. Six year old male: Size six in clothing and size 12 in shoe.
4. Ten year old boy: Size 5/6 in clothing and medium shirts
5. Fourteen year old male: 36 waists in pants and XL in shirts
6. Two year old girl: 24 months
7. Ten month old baby: twelve months
8. Four year old female: Size four clothing and size nine shoe
9. Eight year old boy: Size 8 in pants and size 8 or medium in
shirts and 3.5 in shoes.

garciadrive
0
Points
garciadrive 08/06/08 - 08:35 am
0
0
she doesnt need your damn

she doesnt need your damn pass keraknightwalker. whose judge do you think you are? know this though, there's a judge waiting for all of you with your "i woulda done this....she shoulda done this rhetoric..." none of you reading this have been where this family has been. so all of your soap box advice rings hollow. i could understand a reaction of pity, or shock, or sadness, but the common theme here seems to be one of condemnation. the longs are unfortunate people who apparently have been unable to overcome their circumstances period. it's not the government's fault, it's not community's fault. it's their fault ultimately. having said that, they shouldnt be stoned to death for having a bunch of kids and being poor as some of you come just short of suggesting. if the community wants to help, what's wrong with that? some of you need to shut the f up or at least think before you speak

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 08/06/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
With the oldest child being

With the oldest child being 18 and none of them have ever attended school, it seems they may have been on the move often for some reason. We don't know the whold story but we all need to remember that the children did not ask to be born into their parents madness. This house they lived in depending on how off the beaten path it was may have been condemed and they just moved in it. If it was being rented to them then the owner needs to be arrested for collecting rent on such a place. Hopefully we will learn more about this.

502.5
0
Points
502.5 08/06/08 - 08:48 am
0
0
Instead of criticizing or

Instead of criticizing or standing in judgment, help out or stay out of it. See jmho post and you can donate clothing or other help. The Sheriff had it right in the True Citizen story in Waynesboro/Burke County today: We should love all God's creatures. None of us knows the whole story yet.

keraknightwalker
0
Points
keraknightwalker 08/06/08 - 09:13 am
0
0
Whoes judge am I garcia?..

Whoes judge am I garcia?.. the mother of four children who's loving husband Beat me for seven years..that last time was the LAST.. first chance I got, I slipped out with my babies , down that Dirt road in Texas and flagged down the first car I saw.. Begged for help and got it... I haven't has to ask for help ever since! Who am I to dare call into question this mother you ask? ONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE JERK..Untill you have been through what I and many other's have been, you don't have the Right to judge ME!

freedombelle
29
Points
freedombelle 08/06/08 - 09:31 am
0
0
Thanks jmho post 9:32, Now

Thanks jmho post 9:32, Now you other posters put your money where your mouth is...There is the list...USE IT...For those who are so skeptical of giving money or a gift card I assure you the Bank AND The Wimberly House are both dependable and will spend it EXACTLY as needed with no theft or stealing involved. And for you animal lovers, Old Fellow Rescue will see that the animals are taken care of... You might live in Augusta but that doesn't excuse you from helping...It's only a short drive to Waynesboro and if you don't want to come, Mail something, it will get there if you just put the name of yhe organization and the city on it.Both are on Liberty St. and the zip code is 30830... NOW whats your excuse...Judge NOT lest you be judged..God will bless you for helping..

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