Valdosta Ministry Center

This ministry center in Georgia cares for children in crisis by resourcing foster and adoptive parents and training churches to how to best support these children and their families


(Valdosta – North America)


Nestled in the heart of Southern Georgia, the city of Valdosta is known for its exceptional southern hospitality, relaxing atmosphere, varying entertainment options and beautiful, scenic drives. Now known as the “Azalea City,” Valdosta was recently named one of the top six friendliest towns in all the United States.

Valdosta is also the center of an overwhelming battle with generational poverty and child welfare crises. 1,000 children in Valdosta are in foster care. After they exit the system, more than a quarter of these youth will experience homelessness again within the next few years.

Send Relief’s Valdosta Ministry Center is stepping into this gap by training local churches to support vulnerable children and their foster and adoptive families. By offering free meals and education services, the staff is able to get a closer look at these families’ experiences and hear directly from them what would be most helpful.

Whether it’s through mentorship camps, trauma-informed trainings or therapy, the center’s goal is to decrease the number of children in Valdosta’s foster care system while increasing the number of churches willing to come alongside foster and adoptive families.

What We Do

The Valdosta Ministry Center is committed to serving its large refugee population, protecting vulnerable families and children and strengthening the neighborhoods around it. The ministry center team focuses their efforts on:

  • Providing resources to foster and adoptive parents
  • Offering ESL courses to migrants
  • Meeting medical and dental needs
  • Hosting food distributions
  • Supporting neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty


Jay Watkins

Valdosta Ministry Center Director Jay Watkins has dedicated his life to serving children in crisis. Whether it was through starting an equestrian therapy program, forming an ESL school for newly arrived immigrants and refugees or supporting adoption and fostering efforts at Redland Baptist Church, Watkins’ aim has always been to protect vulnerable families. Watkins and his wife, Sandra, lived these values out personally by adopting four children—Hope, Grace, Faith, Luke—and, more recently, fostering two children—Pedro and Timmy. Watkins also founded Camp Rock, a camp that serves vulnerable children year round and operates as a child placement agency in Georgia.