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20th ANNIVERSARY: Grants Serving "The Least of These"

To support her ministry to the poor, Mother Teresa often quoted a Bible verse from the book of Matthew — “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Community Foundation staff, volunteers, and patrons remain acutely aware of the needs of “the least of these” — individuals and families facing life’s most challenging circumstances. In order to make the world a better place for all, we must reach into the depths of our own hearts and lift up others who are struggling and in need of assistance, comfort, and humanitarian aid.

To commemorate our twenty-year history of advancing local philanthropy, we are posting special reflections and topics for twenty weeks. Today, we present twenty grants that illustrate our commitment to serving “the least of these.”

A scene from the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter in Bartow County. Our Foundation continues to support nonprofits and charities serving society’s most vulnerable.

A scene from the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter in Bartow County. Our Foundation continues to support nonprofits and charities serving society’s most vulnerable.

1.      Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter —From helping to support their transitional housing homes program to helping to purchase new mattresses for the shelter, we are proud to partner with an organization that is truly helping families get back on their feet again.

2.      The D.E.O. Clinic, Inc. — D.E.O. provides competent, compassionate medical care to low income individuals who do not have health insurance in Whitfield and Murray Counties. Through our grants program, our Foundation has helped D.E.O. with everything from the costs of much-needed diagnostic testing to helping fund two vasectomy surgical kits.

3.      Northwest Georgia Branch (Chattanooga Area Food Bank) — Our Foundation helped establish the branch in Dalton in order to efficiently serve food pantries and feeding programs throughout the region.

4.      Hickory Log Vocational School — Our Foundation awarded a grant to help Hickory Log purchase commercial cleaning supplies necessary to keep the facility clean and “to code.” The organization is a residential facility that assists men with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain greater independence and life skills.

5.      Beyond Limits Therapeutic Riding, Inc. — Beyond Limits in Bartow County provides therapeutic riding for children and adults with autism, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, etc. Our Foundation has helped fund scholarships for special needs children and provided a grant that helped purchase necessary equine therapy equipment.

6.      Family Resource Center — Our Foundation has awarded grants to help fund the Family Resource Center’s signature fundraiser, “An Evening of Love and Laughter.” Their mission to prevent child abuse in all its forms in Gordon County is one worth supporting.

7.      Carter Hope Center — We are proud to partner with organizations like Carter Hope and award grants so that they can provide affordable, effective treatment for people struggling with addiction.

8.      Red Cross — Perhaps every disaster victim’s best friend, the Red Cross is a powerhouse in the field of humanitarian aid, and our Foundation has awarded several grants to help them in their mission.

9.      Winners Club — The Winners Club is a nonprofit organization serving at risk children and young people in Calhoun/Gordon County through mentoring, tutoring, recreation and positive role modeling. Several years ago, we helped the Winners Club begin building their endowment.

10.  Meals on Wheels — Our Foundation has helped fund both meals and the gas required for the volunteers to deliver the meals to the homes of individuals in the program.

11.  City of Refuge — We are a proud supporter of the work of City of Refuge, a group that helps those left living in the margins of society integrate back into society to live healthy, functional lives.

12.  Voluntary Action Center (VAC) — From helping fund emergency housing to supporting the food pantry and community kitchen, we applaud the work of Calhoun’s beloved VAC and support them through our grants programs.

In our 20-year history, our Foundation has provided support to food banks, food pantries, community kitchens, and many other feeding programs that serve “the least of these.”

In our 20-year history, our Foundation has provided support to food banks, food pantries, community kitchens, and many other feeding programs that serve “the least of these.”

13.  Dalton Organization of Churches United for People (DOC-UP) — Our Foundation has awarded thousands of grant dollars to DOC-UP to help them provide financial assistance to Whitfield residents in crisis.

14.  Providence Ministries — Grants awarded to Providence Ministries range from helping purchase furniture for the women’s shelter to completing the men’s shelter.

15.  Bartow County Senior Center — Our Foundation awarded a grant to help purchase safe exercise equipment (treadmill, free weights, etc.) for the center to provide better exercise opportunities for seniors.

16.  Dalton First Church of the Nazarene — We’ve directed grants to help fund their Saturday Sacks Program at Tunnel Hill Elementary, because children need food in their bellies to learn and be the best they can be.

17.  Habitat for Humanity (H4H) — Our Foundation has assisted H4H in Bartow, Whitfield, and Gordon Counties in their mission to build safe, affordable housing for low-income partner families who have the means to make modest mortgage payments and are willing to help build their own homes and the homes of others.

18.  Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center — Our Foundation awarded a grant to the the crisis center to help provide taxi vouchers and gas cards to help victims of domestic violence get to job interviews, medical appointments, etc.

19.  Tonsmeire Community Clinic — Our Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the clinic including helping to fund dental services (tooth extractions, oral surgeries, dentures, etc) for low-income, non-insured residents of Bartow County who are struggling.

20.  The Salvation Army — Our Foundation awarded a grant to help the Salvation Army upgrade their playground area by installing trash receptacles, benches, and speed bumps in the parking lot.

Thank you for being part of our Foundation’s history. Please help us share our story by sharing our posts with others. And as always, if we can be of service to you, your family, or your company, please contact us at (706) 275-9117.

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What We Share

by DAVID AFT

It seems like only yesterday that we all took a moment from our busy lives to put on a pair of silly cardboard sunglasses and stared at the sky.  My wife and I joined a great number of our fellow Americans in looking skyward and watching the moon eclipse the sun.  For a moment or three (depending how far you ventured into the celebrated “zone of totality”) our differences were set aside in favor of a truly unique and other-worldly experience. 

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Beyond the natural beauty of this infrequent collusion of heavenly bodies, it was hard not to notice that for a brief moment, it seemed we were all on the same team. There wasn’t any of the contentious rancor that has so characterized our modern world. Even the President took a moment to look upward. He understood that it was bigger than all of us.

Over the weekend, I joined most of the country in watching Hurricane Irma and its devastating dance through the Caribbean and up the coast of Florida. We all held our breath as we thought about our friends and neighbors.

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Utility service trucks organized, staging in strategic locations, ready to move in as soon as the storm’s winds subsided. 

Once again, we focused and we acted - not as a fractured commonwealth, but as a team. 

There are many things that bring us together - some exciting and extra-terrestrial, like the eclipse, but some with a more serious and human aspect.

Now, you may ask what all of this has to do with philanthropy and charitable giving. The answer is pretty simple – we are at our very best when we work together and remember that our highest aspirations and deepest commitments are best served when we focus our energies on the things larger than ourselves.

Sometimes it seems like we will never find the balancing point between our individual perspectives and our collective needs. 

The fact that we pause for a moment to look up at the stars or commit ourselves to the welfare of our common man, prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we can focus on things that are larger than all of us.  Further, these opportunities also remind us that in the face of adverse conditions, we, as a country, are willing to line up, like the utility trucks we saw earlier this week headed for Florida and Texas, and focus our efforts on making a difference.

This spirit is alive and well, and the last few weeks have provided ample reminders that when we pause for a moment, the noise and bickering that so often characterize our world, take a distant second to our resolve and commitment. This is truly the heart of philanthropy.

David Aft is the president of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia. He has worked in the nonprofit field for over twenty-five years and is a recognized resource and noted speaker on charitable enterprise, civics, fundraising strategy and community development.

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