CSRA overflows with holiday kindness from volunteers, donors
The bounty of holiday kindness is visible this season across the CSRA. Here’s a look at some of what’s happened locally in recent days:
Cotton growers donate socks to Augusta homeless shelter
AUGUSTA, Ga. - On behalf of Georgia’s 3,500 cotton farming families, the Georgia Cotton Commission recently donated 12,000 pairs of socks to various homeless shelters across the state, including one in Augusta.
Farmers delivered socks to the Mission Change in Albany, the Community Outreach Training Center in Thomasville, Lowndes Associated Ministries to People in Valdosta, the Homeless Resource Network in Columbus, The Sparrow’s Nest in Athens, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter in Cartersville, the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia in Macon, the Atlanta Mission, the Augusta Rescue Mission, the Liberty County Manna House in Hinesville, Mercy Ministries in Lyons and the Homeless Authority in Savannah.
Georgia Cotton Commission Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton farmer from Colquitt County, said, “As a cotton producer, it gives me great pleasure and pride to be able to give back to our state in such a meaningful and positive way. Now, more than ever, we need to help others. The donation of cotton socks to these shelters across the state supports people who truly need a little extra at this time of year.”
Masonic lodge makes holiday special for young men
SYLVANIA, Ga. - Fifteen young men in a group home in Screven County were able to receive a Christmas dinner and gift bags over the weekend.
It’s all thanks to men from a Masonic lodge in Hiltonia.
Organizers say the young men were thankful for the event, and the people who put it on were thankful because the boys put a smile on their faces.
“We as a Masonic lodge try to help the community as much as we can,” lodge member Michael Little told News 12.
“As a lodge, we go show these young men that we care,” he said.
SRP takes care of local health workers
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Hospital workers have been doing so much for our community that SRP Federal Credit Union wanted to do something special for them this holiday season.
Last year, SRP began a special program called Random Acts of Kindness where employees randomly go out into the community and “pay it forward” by showing an act of kindness to individuals.
The program has included handing out gift cards inside grocery stores and to students.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 19, SRP was able to provide the following to some employees at community hospitals and medical providers:
- University Hospital (Augusta): 1000 employees provided meal tickets
- Barnwell Family Medicine/Barnwell Pediatrics/ Barnwell Sheriff’s Office: 106 boxed lunches delivered to employees
- Edgefield County Hospital: 100 boxed lunches delivered to employees
- University Hospital (McDuffie): 88 Chick-Fil-A gift cards distributed to employees
- Aiken Regional Medical Centers: 160 Firehouse Subs gift cards distributed to night and weekend employees
SRP employees also filled 66 stockings for Salvation Army’s Stuff a Stocking program and 39 children were supported through the Angel Tree program.
Additionally,16 employees manned the red kettles for the Salvation Army as bell ringers in an effort to collect donations for the organization. The Augusta Chronicle newspaper also had an Empty Stocking program where six employees filled containers with toys and goodies for children at Christmas.
Voorhees College employees provide toys for kids
DENMARK, S.C. - Voorhees College employees donated more than 250 toys in support of Toys for Tots during the annual president’s holiday luncheon last Tuesday in the college library.
Approximately 100 employees donated toys as part of this community service effort.
Founded in 1947, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program’s mission is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas.
Marion Wright, director of student engagement and leadership, acknowledged members of the college who contributed to the cause.
“Thank you to all who contributed to the Toys for Tots campaign this year,” Wright said. “Special thanks to President (Ronnie) Hopkins and his cabinet, Charlene M. Johnson, vice president for student affairs and director of athletics, the amazing and supportive faculty and staff, and supporters of the college.”
Toys will be donated to the Orangeburg, Calhoun, Allendale and Bamberg Community Action Agency; Possible Worlds Foundation, Inc.; Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services; and Victory Temple Church of God in Christ Community Outreach.
Columbia County businesses donate to local hospitals
EVANS, Ga. - The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Foundation presented a $5,000 check on behalf of the entire business community to Augusta University Health, Doctors Hospital and University Health Care System.
The chamber launched a “Text to Give” campaign at their annual banquet at the beginning of May 2021. The campaign’s goal was to give back to show gratitude to the frontline workers that have sacrificed so much over the last year.
The names of all donors were included in the letter delivered to the hospital foundations with the check. The donors include: ADP, Alison South, Amazon, Blanchard & Calhoun, Georgia Power, Meybohm, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Credit Union, Cordell Carter, Beth Drunkenmiller, DC, Tiffany Heitzman, Robert Kelly, Kimberly Lahodny, Beth McLeod and Adam Williams.
“The doctors and nurses at our hospitals have been integral in getting us through this pandemic,” said Russell Lahodny, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber. “Whether it was caring for the sick or vaccinating our community, they have made it possible to keep our businesses open. We now have an opportunity to show our appreciation for all they have done for us.”
Bank of America Awards $814,000 to Augusta-Aiken nonprofits
AUGUSTA - As part of its commitment to strengthening communities by addressing critical needs, Bank of America has awarded a total of $814,000 to 21 local nonprofits across the Augusta/Aiken area this year.
With a particular focus on closing the equity and wealth gaps in communities of color and other disadvantaged populations disproportionately impacted by the prolonged pandemic, Bank of America’s local giving this year was directed to alleviate the impacts of health, food insecurity, jobs and education.
In 2021 alone, Bank of America has contributed $19.2 million to 109 organizations across the state of Georgia to provide resources to vulnerable and underserved communities.
Local philanthropic investments included grants to Augusta Technical College and Aiken Technical College to provide access to education and job skills training. Additional grants were given to Christ Community Health Services to expand access to affordable health, dental and behavioral care and Habitat for Humanity to support community revitalization and affordable housing programs.
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