The Union Recorder

December 5, 2012

Georgia Gives Day counts pennies for local groups

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgians will have a chance to give back and help local communities thrive Thursday by participating in Georgia Gives Day.

The inaugural statewide “flash mob day of giving” is initiated by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits as a way to bring the state together as one community and raise funds and awareness for Georgia nonprofits.

Participating organizations from the Milledgeville area include the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) of Baldwin County, Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County (CISMBC), Compassionate Care Clinic, Georgia College & State University Foundation, Georgia Military College Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Lockerly Arboretum Foundation and Oconee River Greenway Foundation.

“It’s a really convenient opportunity for people to support nonprofits throughout the state. We certainly need the support from the community to continue offering programs free to the public,” said Jim Garner, Lockerly Arboretum executive director. “This year our memberships and donations are down, so this could be a big help to us. The funds will be applied to our annual funds, which goes toward general operating expenses. Our annual operating funds are very important to us and support from the community is a big part of that because without community support, we couldn’t operate. People’s investment is well placed, and we’re excited about Georgia Gives Day.”

Bobbie Thompson of ARF, hopes donors will support the humane society in finding permanent homes, providing proper care and treatment for animals. 

“Any donation that we can get through Georgia Gives Day is going to impact us tremendously. The past few years have been difficult for the Animal Rescue Foundation financially. We have been struggling and we hope this type of event can boost our donor-base and the money we have during the holidays to help the animals,” she said. “We always strive for the best care of the animal and that pretty much takes most of our money. We have a shelter that needs to be maintained and caregivers that deserve so much more money than they’re getting. Georgia Gives Day will give us some breathing room and give animals a wonderful Christmas.”

Through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia will award additional prizes to nonprofits based in Milledgeville and Macon.

“One nonprofit will be drawn at random from each city at 9 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 to receive a $1,000 prize,” Community Foundation of Central Georgia Donor Services Director Julia Wood said via e-mail. “Plus, we will be giving prizes of $2,500 to the organizations in these two cities that have the greatest quantity of donations during the 24-hour giving period.”

CISMBC Executive Director Sandy Baxter said the need to find new revenue streams for program funding is critical in order to empower youth to stay in school.

“When donors select Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County, their gift will support our work to raise the graduation rate and support education for all of our families. Children are still dropping out of school, and we’re making progress with the literacy rate, but there’s so much work to do still. Anytime we have opportunities to raise funds and make life better for the people of Milledgeville, we are excited,” Baxter said. “I urge everyone to give to whatever charity supports their passion in Milledgeville and Baldwin County. We’re all struggling to raise funds to help our neighbor, children and families, but we’re all winners if we give on Georgia Gives Day.”

To take part in Georgia Gives Day Thursday, log onto www.gagivesday.org and search for various charities by zip code, county or name and make a donation via credit card.

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