Mom, sister share love and hope in new video
The family of a 16-year-old Washington girl who was rescued from an abandoned farm in southern Georgia said Sunday they are thankful she is now safe.
“It’s so hard to be a parent, but at the same time we’re thankful for the miracle that she is safe,” the family of Savannah Marie, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
“She was a beautiful girl and she loved to sing, and she was an amazing kid, and it’s sad to see her go, but we’re really grateful to God,” said the girl’s mother, Maria Marie McFarland.
The family is trying to raise money for Savannah Marie’s foster care and will do so in person at the family’s new home in Greenville, Georgia, on Sunday.
The Greenville-based McFarlands said they want to give Savannah Marie and her family a home they can call their own.
“We want Savannah Marie to be the best she can be, and the family we want to create for her,” Maria Marie said.
“We know we’re not going to be able to make that happen.”
The family said they have a large donation waiting for Savannah to come home.
The family is also looking to find a permanent home for Savannah and her younger sister, who is currently in foster care.
“When we first met Savannah, she was just like any other child, just going through a normal day,” said Maria Marie.
“She was the type of kid who loved to play with her friends, and that was just the beginning.
She was always smiling and laughing, and always loving everybody.
She’s just a good kid.”
The girl is the fourth-youngest in the country to be rescued from a farm.
They were found on the same day the Georgia Department of Agriculture announced it would begin issuing citations for failing to comply with the state’s “Farmland Protection” law.
Georgia law requires farmers to protect all animals and plants, but it does not specify what kind of animal protection is required.
The law was enacted in 2006, but its provisions have never been enforced.
The McFarls are currently raising money on GoFundMe to help Savannah Marie return home to her foster family.
They are also working with a local non-profit organization, the Georgia Farm Bureau, to create a memorial fund for Savannah.
“This is a really special day for the McFarles, as we begin to realize that we have a lot more to offer Savannah than just a beautiful home,” said Laura Smith, the Greenville office of the Georgia Humane Society.