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Celebrate ten years with the Macon Volunteer Clinic!
12/7/2012

Get in touch with your inner wine snob, art critic, hopeless romantic and health nut. 

Mark your 2013 calendar for a week-long celebration that will include a wine tasting, a pop-up Gallery, a Valentine Event, fitness fun, and more!

“And what have you done for someone today?”

That article in Newsweek magazine prompted Dr. Chapin Henley to answer the question by founding the clinic. Nearly ten years later, Macon Volunteer Clinic is a beacon of hope to its patients, providing free primary medical and dental care, as well as medication assistance, to working, uninsured adults in Bibb County, GA.

In Bibb County, 19% of residents are uninsured, compared to only 11% nationally (County Health Rankings). On any given day, an MVC volunteer may encounter: young, single, mothers; widows whose financial security passed away with their spouses; or hard working, exhausted, middle-aged men who work multiple jobs to provide for their families.

Many of our patients are service industry employees, working at restaurants, dry cleaners, church preschools, hotels. They sit with the elderly, clean houses, and take care of children.  These are the faces of Macon Volunteer Clinic patients, all of whom live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Meet high school sweethearts Maurice and Patrice Smith, long time patients of Macon Volunteer Clinic. While under the care of MVC, Patrice was diagnosed with breast cancer, which greatly frightened her devoted husband Maurice. The lump was promptly removed, and her life was saved by the immediate care of volunteer physicians at MVC. Then, Patrice fell victim to two blood clots, and again, thankfully to the attention and care of volunteer physicians at the clinic, the clots were removed. Now, she and her husband are enjoying marital bliss in Bibb County, GA since they can rest easy that Macon Volunteer Clinic is here for them.

View their story here:

Maurice & Patrice Smith: A Macon Volunteer Clinic Story from Macon Volunteer Clinic on Vimeo.

Macon Volunteer Clinic is not state or federally funded and relies solely on individual donations, fundraisers, grants and corporate giving for operating and capital expenses. MVC strives to effectively leverage donations and grant funds with the generosity of community partners who donate services at free or reduced rates. As a result, MVC’s average cost per visit is currently $67.31.

From January 1 – October 31, 2012, MVC accomplished the following:
4761 Total Patient Visits
2660 Medical Examinations
121 Gynecological Appointments
128 Eye Examinations
1109 Lab and Other Diagnostics
57 Dietary Counseling Sessions
242 Dental Appointments and Cleanings
444 Triage, Consults, EKGs and PFTs
196 New patients accepted
$1.75 Million in Prescription Assistance

MVC has a volunteer base of dynamic, driven, and devoted physicians, dentists, nurses, medical and dental personnel, students, and office staff that allow us to accomplish our mission. And, as one volunteer shared, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had!”

“Watching patients learn how to take care of themselves and seeing patients get the medicine and treatment they needed had such an impact on my life. The clinic is such a wonderful, compassionate place. I’ve chosen to serve of the board of the Macon Volunteer Clinic so that I can make a difference in my community and helps others where they need it the most.”

Sarah Payton: Former volunteer and Board Chairman.

 

“I remember hearing talk about this clinic before it opened 10 years ago and felt a great pull to be a part of it.  I started as a volunteer, providing psychotherapy to clients of the clinic, and found it a richly rewarding experience.  To anyone who wonders what the circumstances are of those seeking care at the clinic, let me assure you, they are no different from any one of us; they just have the added difficulty of a job that does not provide health insurance.  In fact, their determination to continue to be productive citizens despite this hardship defines them as some of the finest people you could hope to know. “

Ramona Sheridan: Avid civic volunteer, philanthropist, and Board Vice Chairman.

 

“The best part about volunteering at the clinic is working with great volunteers and our lovely patients. I know that everyone here is making a difference and giving excellent care.”

Lisa Moore: Volunteer since September 2005.

 

Join us for Macon Volunteer Clinic’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration February 11 – 18, 2013, culminating in MVC’s Tenth Anniversary Fundraiser, The Cotton Ball, on February 18, 2013.

www.MaconVolunteerClinic.com

www.Facebook.com/MaconVolunteerClinic

Goodwill Industries: "I had no idea!"
11/2/2012

This blog post was written by Ivey Hall, Director of Volunteer Services for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area

Since joining the Goodwill family almost seven years ago I have had the opportunity to share the Goodwill story with thousands of community members and volunteers. Each time I tell the story of our organization at least one person in the group responds with "I had no idea!" As I have talked with other Goodwill staffers locally and across the county I have found that many receive the same response of amazement of all that Goodwill is doing in our communities. Well here is my chance to share a few of our latest accomplishments with you. Hope that you too will respond with "I had no idea!"

Let's start with a few of the basics. Our local Goodwill, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, covers 35 counties in Georgia and South Carolina. We employee almost 700 people, many of whom are graduates of our programs and still more who have disabilities. In our last fiscal year, July 2011-June 2012, we placed over 2,700 people into jobs, contributing over $20 million in new payroll purchasing power. The local community contributed over 28,000 volunteers hours to help us put people back to work.

In the fall of 2011 our local Goodwill became the first in history to operate a nationally licensed and accredited college. Helms College is named for the founder of Goodwill, Reverend Edgar J. Helms, and offers intensive support and mentoring opportunities to our students that sets us apart from most other colleges. Just last month Helms College received approval to offer Title 4 funding opening up the option of federal tuition assistance to our students. On October 28 Helms College welcomed 17 new students to our Macon Campus in our Culinary Arts program. October 28 also marked the opening day of our Augusta campus where we welcomed 17 new students in the campus' first Culinary Arts class.

I would like to invite all of you to meet our new and returning culinary students from Macon and Augusta at our annual Goodwill Gala Friday, November 16 at the Anderson Conference Center. This year's gala, Cirque du Goodwill, is sure to be one of our best. Our Event Chairs, Tom and Julie McAfee, and their committee have been hard at work planning Goodwill's only Middle Georgia fundraiser. The Helms College students and faculty will shock your taste buds with an incredible menu and hand tossed cocktails. Our guests will dance the night away to sounds of Georgia Big Band and feel like they are at the circus with special events. We also have a few high flying surprises in store that you will not want to miss. For more details or to purchase tickets visit www.goodwillworks.org/goodwillgala.

I hope this small snapshot of all that Goodwill is doing in our community has enticed you to learn more. There are so many ways you can get involved and make an impact - donate, shop, dine, volunteer. You can help us achieve our mission to help people discover and develop their God-given gifts through education, work and career development services. The next time I tell the Goodwill story your response will be "oh yeah, I heard about that!"

 

The Dove Center
10/9/2012

This blog post written by Jeff Nicklas, Executive Director, Macon Rescue Mission, Inc.

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month?  We wear purple ribbons instead of the more “known” pink ones.  One in three females WORLDWIDE suffer or will suffer some form of abuse by an intimate partner, family member, friend or acquaintance.  The Dove Center at the Macon Rescue Mission has been a safe haven for survivors of Domestic Violence since 1981.  Our program is a six month faith based residential program whose purpose is to offer safety and stability to our ladies.  We provide them the means to regain their self-esteem and independence through the compassion of Jesus Christ.  We provide our ladies with access to parenting classes, financial awareness classes, life skills and pattern changing classes.  We have professional licensed counselors dealing with their challenges in group, as well as, individual sessions.  We provide the necessary “bridges” to available resources for themselves as well as their children, assisting each graduate in procuring stable housing.  ALL our services at the Dove Center as well as the Macon Rescue Mission are provided free of charge to ALL our clients.  The staff is dedicated to helping the least, the last and the lost; one man, one woman and one child at a time.  We are always looking for a few good volunteers, if you would like to lend your talents, please contact Jeff, Erin or Renee at 478.743.5445.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
10/5/2012

This blog post is written by Jamie Bormann of Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia.

October is an important month in the realm of women’s health. A quick Google search for the month of October will tell you that not only is it Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s also Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Mental Illness Awareness Month, National Infertility Awareness Month, and National Lupus Erythematosus Awareness Month, among various others.

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And this October, I challenge you to think of Domestic Violence Awareness as an issue as important as Breast Cancer Awareness. Here’s why…

Did you know? Domestic violence affects one in four women. While men are victims of domestic violence too, statistics show that 85% of victims are women.**

Did you know? Women experience more domestic violence than do men. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physical assaulted by their partner each year in the United States.*

Did you know? Most incidents of domestic violence are never reported to law enforcement.**

Did you know? Violence against women is primarily perpetrated by an intimate partner. 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former partner.*

Did you know? Only one-third of women injured during a rape or physical assault receive medical treatment.*

Did you know? The cost of intimate partner violence is more than $5.8 billion each year. Of that, $4.1 billion is spent on direct medical and mental health services.**

Domestic violence is a serious issue that everyone should care about. Domestic violence affects everyone. Even if you’ve never been victimized chances are you know someone who has, even without realizing it.

Domestic violence knows no race, religion, or socioeconomic status. It is not caused by drug or alcohol use and those who perpetrate domestic violence are indistinguishable in a crowd.

There is no quick fix for domestic violence. There are, however, things you can do to help in the fight to end domestic violence:

  • If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, be supportive but understand that they are their own expert. If the victim is not ready to leave, don’t force the issue. Often, the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they are making plans to leave or when they have already left the relationship.
  • If you suspect someone you know is being victimized, refer them to their local domestic violence program. In Macon, that’s Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia. Domestic violence programs exist across the country to offer support and services to victims. Our services include safety and escape planning, advocacy with law enforcement, legal advocacy, 24-hour crisis intervention and safe shelter. A victim is not required to come into shelter to access the other services provided by our agency.
  • Educate yourself. Learn more about domestic violence and how you can help those who have been victimized. A list of links is available at the end of this post.  For those interested, there is a domestic violence conference in Macon on October 22 & 23. For more information click here.
  • Get involved! Join a local task force or volunteer your time with the local domestic violence program.
  • Wear purple! Purple is the color signifying domestic violence awareness. Consider wearing purple clothes or a purple ribbon at least once during October to show your support.

To reach Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia, call (478)745-9292.
Advocates are available 24-hours-a-day to answer any questions you may have.

For more information about domestic violence, check out these websites:
Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia   
Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence 
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Data from the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control publication Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf)
** Data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf)

The Crossroads Guide to the Writing Life
9/14/2012

This post is written by Chris Horne.

You know what would be cool? If there was a guide to the writing life.

Yes, there are a lot of good books about writing. In fact, three of this year's guests at our annual writers conference--Chuck Wendig, Sarah Domet and Chris Baty--have written some of the best (see below for titles and links). But there aren't a lot of books about the writing life.

Like, you can find books that help you outline and structure (90 Days to Your Novel - Sarah Domet), and books that help you write with near reckless abandon (No Plot? No Problem! - Chris Baty) and books that get into the nitty gritty of character development and plot (500 Ways to Be a Better Writer - Chuck Wendig).

But what book can tell you where Sarah gets all those great and inspirational literary quotes she uses? Or the kind of headphones Chris uses to block out a world when he's diving into the fictional one he's created? Or how Chuck chooses the right bourbon?

That's where the Crossroads Guide to the Writing Life comes in. Sure, it's going to have some great advice and insight about writing, and we're going to answer some of the tough questions our friends have, but we're also going to pay attention to some of the fun stuff (and not so fun stuff) about being a writer.

Why? Because we want to--who are you to judge us?!

Oh wait. Sorry. I'm a little cranky until my coffee kicks in. (Wanna know how to brew the perfect coffee with a French press, that's on page 12!)

We really do believe that writing--the process and the lifestyle--is a journey and that the happiest people on Earth are the ones who take the time to enjoy their journey. That's why we're doing this Guide to the Writing Life.

And because we really love helping other writers. Proceeds from this book, which you can pre-order by supporting our Indiegogo here, go to our scholarship fund. Students, single parents, people laid off from their jobs--a lot of folks simply can't afford the cost of joining us but they're just as passionate about writing as everyone else at the conference. That's who we're trying to help.

Already, thanks to the wonderful support of the Crossroads family, we've been able to sponsor a run of Rhonda Singletary's inspirational children's book, "Project Dreams." Your help made it possible for us to give away 100 copies of her book to children in need. Likewise, our friends have made it possible for us to support the Junior League of Macon's Read for the Record, to provide literacy tutors at NBA star (and Macon native) Sharone Wright's basketball camp and provide mentorships for locals aspiring to make writing more than a hobby.

With this project, you can do good for others and get a good book in return with a who's who of great and talented writers, including Bernice McFadden, Adam Mansbach, Susannah Breslin, Kevin Maurer, Rosemary Daniell, Robert Venditti and several others.

Bragg Jam 2012
7/25/2012

This post is written by Everett Verner.

In the summer of 1999, Brax and Tate Bragg left Macon to venture out on a journey across the country.  The two brothers unfortunately never made it home, dying in a car accident while traveling through Texas on July 3rd.  Friends and family members, crushed by the tragedy, got together to honor these two brothers by having a jam session even playing songs that Brax himself had written. Taking place at the Rookery, with a small contingent of friends and family, this jam session celebrating loved ones lives cut short was the humble and tragic beginning of what we know today as the Bragg Jam Music Arts and Kids Festival.  Now a 501(c)(3) non-profit run by a group of volunteer board members, funds raised by Bragg Jam each year are contributed to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail (a favorite spot of the brothers’ Bragg),  and many other local charities.

This year’s Bragg Jam will have 46 acts performing on 12 different stages all in the span of 7 hours in one night. Performers from all over the country including DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill and Soul Assassins, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Dead Confederate, The Randall Bramblett Band, Col. Bruce Hampton, Lydia Loveless, Bukue One, Superstar DJ Ros, Little Tybee, Right Away Great Captain!, the Grapvine, American Aquarium and many many more.  For only $20 you can see all 12 stages worth of music, and tickets can be purchased at each of the participating venues.

While the Rookery is set to participate and Brax’s songs will still be played there by friends and family, the feeling is different; a once somber affair has given birth to a righteous celebration:  A celebration of friends, family, loved ones, lost ones, music, and of course Macon. There will be music and smiling people flooding downtown and trolleys carting happy festival goers between downtown and North Macon. Many of those happy faces will not know who Brax or Tate were or why Bragg Jam exists at all, but that is okay.  They will see our city alive in a way that those who live here do not see that often.   They will see musicians from all over the country performing at all kinds of venues, eating at our restaurants, staying at our hotels and drinking our award winning tap water.  This is an event from and for the community and why you come makes little difference at this point but when 5:00 rolls around on Saturday we demand celebration, so please, celebrate with us!

Stay safe and have an incredible time! Bragg Jam 2013 will be upon us soon!  Visit www.BraggJam.org for information on this year’s festival!

Sidewalk Stories
7/13/2012

Crossroads Creative Group received a Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant for Sidewalk Stories.  The program wants to find the worst sidewalks in the College Hill area and replace it with fresh, safe sidewalks that have a special Macon touch: a lyric or poem or quote or bit of history that relates to our creative city.

They need YOUR help!  Click here to nominate a "sidewalk" or "story" (or BOTH!)


 

Building a Community
7/5/2012

By: Julia Wood

There has been a lot of buzz lately around Community Gardens recently, which are described as "a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people."  The Community Foundation has been fortunate to be able to fund three local Community Gardens in College Hill through the Knight Neighborhood Challenge - the Beall's Hill Community Garden, the Macon Outreach Community Garden, and the Tattnall Square Heights Community Garden.

While reflecting on my personal lack of gardening skills, I realized that having an entire community to help me is exactly what I need.  They say that it takes a village to raise a child, so why wouldn't the same thing be true for a garden?  And when a community garden brings people together for a common purpose, it does more than just grow vegetables and herbs — it grows a community. 

The Community Foundation is very fortunate to be one small part of growing the College Hill Community.  And that reminds me of my favorite definition of How to Build a Community:

Turn off your TV.
Leave your house.
Know your neighbors.
Look up when you are walking.
Greet people.
Sit on your stoop.
Plant flowers.
Use your library.
Play together.
Buy from local merchants.
Share what you have.
Help a lost dog.
Take children to the park.
Garden together.
Support neighborhood schools.
Fix it even if you didn't break it.
Have pot lucks.
Honor elders.
Pick up litter.
Read storeis aloud.
Dance in the street.
Talk to the mail carrier.
Listen to the birds.
Put up a swing.
Help carry something heavy.
Barter for your goods.
Start a tradition.
Ask a question.
Hire young people for odd jobs.
Organize a block party.
Bake extra and share.
Ask for help when you need it.
Open your shades.
Sing together.
Share your skills.
Take back the night.
Turn up the music.
Turn down the music.
Listen before you react to anger.
Mediate a conflict.
Seek to understand.
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles.
Know that no one is silent athough many are not heard.
Work to change this.

If you want to see true community building in action, visit College Hill.

Macon Police Department's Family Fun Fest
6/27/2012

The Macon Police Department received a Fall 2011 CFCG Community Grant for their Family Fun Fest, which was held on June 2, 2012.  The Macon Police Department is responisble not only for law enforcement but also for prevention.  So they created the Family Fun Fest event as a new and creative way to reach children.  Statistics show that when children have a positive connection with law enforcement and wholesome activities to participate in, they are dissuaded from gang affiliation, violence and a life of crime.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video speaks volumes.


Because you Care, Macon Rescue Mission can Share!
6/14/2012

This blog post was written by Jeff Nicklas, Executive Director, Macon Rescue Mission, Inc. 

What started out as an idea or a “hands-on” hobby for the resident men of the Macon Rescue Mission has turned into a major project!  As the picture indicates, a 52 raised box garden will be providing healthier and less expensive groceries for the kitchen at the Mission! We have a great variety of vegetables planted, which will not only be served in our kitchen to our residents but will also supplement our “Feeding the Elderly and Disabled” food box program.  We distribute approximately 400 food boxes a month.  Each food box represents between $35 - $40 worth of groceries. We are serving the least, the last and the lost of our community.  Two weeks ago, with the assistance of the Society of St. Andrew in Tifton, Bibb County’s Mentor’s Project, Macon Outreach and several churches in south Georgia, we distributed more than 36,000 pounds of North Carolina sweet potatoes!

The Macon Rescue Mission is celebrating our 60th anniversary this year, and we are truly blessed to be a part of the Macon and middle Georgia community.  We are making difference – Because you care, we can share!

How can you help?  Just call 478.743.5445 and ask for Jeff, Erin, Rosary, Julie, Randy or Renee!


 

Mondays at DAYBREAK
6/13/2012

This blog post is written by June Bryant, Interfaith Liaison for DAYBREAK.

Mondays at DAYBREAK are something you need to see for yourself.  We open from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm and offer beverages and a snack.  Our space, which resembles a living room/coffee house, quickly fills and becomes alive with those who need a place to visit with friends, play board games, create art, read a book or a magazine, or simply to sit and watch all these other things going on around them.  Everyone is invited to join in this community, to become part of what we are creating here.  Show up and share a cup of coffee and a conversation with any of those present.  

DAYBREAK is a day resource enter that will provide Macon's homeless population with three critical services in one place - all with the goal of helping homeless people move towards housing stability and lives of greater dignity.  DAYBREAK will offer facilities for hygiene, health care and education/recreation.  It will be open six days a week when fully funded and the renovations are complete.  Currently DAYBREAK is operating on Mondays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Thursdays from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. 

Sometimes, Mondays at DAYBREAK are a little challenging because we are serving people in the midst of major renovation to our building.  Cox Communications donated four office cubicles and the services of their employee, Tony Rickman, to install them for us so our Executive Director, Sister Elizabeth Greim, and her volunteer staff could continue to function while the permanent offices are being built.  We cover and uncover all the furniture with plastic sheets in an effort to limit the dust.  We construct temporary bridges over trenches in the floor for the installation of new pipes.

Every Monday we enter the building at 174 Walnut Street to get ready for our 11:00 opening with a sense of excitement to see how much progress has been made on the renovation but also with a sense of trepidation to see what arrangements we will have to make to offer our services for the day.  And every Monday, the folks show up and happily adapt to whatever construction obstacles we have for that day. 

DAYBREAK’s Capital Campaign is making great progress.  We have raised $135,000 now toward our goal of $175,000.  So far, we’ve raised enough to pay the loan from Depaul USA for the purchase of the building, but the remaining $40,000 we need to raise will enable us to complete the renovations that the space requires. 

When the current phase of work is complete, DAYBREAK will open as a partnership, a place where different agencies and programs collaborate and share resources.  Goodwill Industries will have an office to assist homeless individuals attain employment.  First Choice Primary Care will provide medical care with the goals of reducing emergency room utilization and making the center the "medical home" for homeless men and women.  Classes will be offered by educational institution and individuals.  Our staff will coordinate the case management for program participants and develop additional programming in tandem with the homeless men and women who come to the center.  We will have three shower rooms, and three washers and dryers operating.  All of these new services will require volunteer staffing.  And since we plan to be open seven days a week we are going to need many volunteers. 

So if you’d like to volunteer your time or make a contribution, we would appreciate it!  You can contact Sister Elizabeth Greim via email or mail DAYBREAK, PO Box 204, Macon, GA 31202.

Georgia Gives Day!
6/4/2012

Georgia Gives Day — December 6, 2012 — is an initiative led by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and supported by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to raise as much money as possible for Georgia nonprofits in a single day.  I want your organization to benefit from this funding.   All state registered Georgia-based nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are eligible, and the best part – it is FREE!

Georgia Gives Day is a statewide initiative that focuses the attention of the public on the work and worth of nonprofits and inspires individuals to donate to participating nonprofits through a website with the goal of raising as much money as possible in a 24 hour period.    GAGives.org makes donating easy by organizing nonprofits on one website, providing key facts about these charities and facilitates online donations by credit card or e-check.  Georgia Gives Day will garner a lot of media attention and should create large numbers of gifts that day.

I sincerely hope your organization will participate.  Please don’t wait to register.  Go ahead and do it now - click here.  At some point early this fall, they will be unable to process additional applications to participate.  I hope that central Georgia will have all of our worthy, hardworking organizations participate.  CFCG will market this giving day heavily too, and we want you to be included. 

All my best,
Kathryn Dennis, President
Community Foundation of Central Georgia

Historic Macon Happenings
5/17/2012

This post is written by Jennifer Mayer of Historic Macon Foundation.

Historic Macon Foundation's mission is to advocate for Macon's historic and architectural heritage, to facilitate preservation efforts in our community, and to educate and inspire appreciation for our unique city. Historic Macon became the regional leader in historic preservation in 2003 with the merger of the Middle Georgia Historical Society and the Macon Heritage Foundation.

The organization works to achieve its mission by completing historic rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization projects, hosting events, and educating the community about historic preservation. In the last fiscal year, Historic Macon started construction on 11 houses in Beall's Hill, exceeding the original goal of two per year. Visit http://www.historicmacon.org/properties to see recent rehabs and properties for sale.

Historic Macon also has two exciting events happening soon. The first is Discovery Days, Historic Macon's own version of the Antiques Roadshow, that will take place this Friday and Saturday, May 18–19. Roderick Hardy, from Atlanta-based firm Hardy/Halpern, Inc. will be in town to give expert verbal appraisals of antiques. All proceeds will benefit Historic Macon. Be sure to make a reservation by calling (478) 743-3851 if you have something for appraisal.

In addition, Historic Macon is also offering a day camp for children ages 9–11 in June. Passport to the Past: Discovering Macon's History will transport campers back in time to visit Macon's most important historic sites. Registration is now open for camp; visit http://www.historicmacon.org/events/summer-camp or call (478) 743-3851 for more information.

Historic Macon would not accomplish nearly as much without the support of its wonderful members. If you would like to get involved, please call (478) 742-5084 or visit www.historicmacon.org.

Spring Cleaning for Macon Outreach!
4/13/2012

This post is written by Debbie Towson of Macon Outreach at Mulberry.

Just washed the windows, washed the deck of all the pollen and now to my closet! Spring cleaning at its best! The closet is the hardest because I think I might just wear those items that are still hanging there but never worn last spring.  But my mind is made up and I am shedding those clothes and loading my car today!

Now we want to give you an opportunity to clean out those “still good but not wearing” clothes and donate to Macon Outreach for our first annual YARD SALE sponsored by Mulberry St. United Methodist Church and the Children’s Center at Mulberry. 

Every day, Macon Outreach serves a hot, balanced meal to over 150 people and gives emergency groceries to 75 families that are in need. We also give FREE clothes each week to over 35 families and all clothes left after the sale will be donated to the Clothes Closet.

Saturday, May 5th from 8:00 til 12noon, you will find great bargains in men, women and children’s clothes, furniture, home items and kid’s toys! Just come on over to Mulberry St. United Methodist Church at 719 Mulberry Street in downtown Macon and browse til you find that perfect treasure. 

Donations of items may be dropped off at Macon Outreach or the church, Monday through Friday until the Sale.  On Friday night, all donors and volunteers can get a jump on the shopping, enjoy home-made desserts and coffee and maybe even win a mink coat or goodies donated by local merchants.  

So take an hour, pull out all those clothes that you just aren’t wearing, load the car and head to Macon Outreach and we’ll help you unload! We are open from 8:30 until 4:30, Monday-Friday. All donations are tax deductible and will benefit those in need in our community!

I have heard the groans of the poor, Now I will rise up to rescue them.   - Psalm 12:5

Take Back the Night with Crisis Line & Safe House
4/9/2012

This blog post is written by Dottie Stafford of Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia.

The month of April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. Here in Central Georgia the Crisis Line & Safe House (CL&SH) is working hard to raise awareness about this important issue.

Imagine a world without sexual violence . . .

  • In our world 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes.  It works out mathematically that every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted.  In 2011, CL&SH worked with 111 new cases involving sexual violence. Many more incidents remain unreported. 
  • In our world sexual violence affects everyone.  Someone you know -- you, your mother, your sister, your son or daughter, your spouse or friend - - has experienced it. It has a long term impact on victims, their families and the community.
  • In our world people are sold for a profit into sex slavery.  They are raped over and over for the sexual gratification of customers that don’t give a second thought to where they came from or what dreams they had for their lives.
  • Imagine a world without sexual violence . . .
    We would have more trust, freedom, equality, respect, caring healthy relationships, dignity, and safety.

The good news is that we can create that world together.  We can stop sexual violence in our community and beyond.  A quote by Edward Hale speaks about beginning this daunting task.  “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”  Each one of us has the responsibility to build a community that does not allow sexual violence. 

It sounds like a very lofty goal, but how do we make the shift that is needed to accomplish it? 

  • The first thing we have to do is admit that sexual violence is a problem in our community just like every other community.  Last year Crisis Line & Safe House worked with 111 victims of sexual violence while many more remained silent. 
  • We will have to stop blaming the victim for the crime perpetrated against them and encourage them to come forward and get help.   How many times have you heard someone say “she should have known better than to go out late at night,” or “she shouldn’t have been in a club drinking”, or “she shouldn’t have been dressed that way”?  How many times have you heard of someone that was robbed at gunpoint being blamed for being a victim?
  • The traditional way of looking at the problem is with women as victims and men as perpetrators.  We must shift the responsibility to men and women and make them equals in prevention.   
  • We must educate ourselves on the issues and once educated we must share that knowledge with people you care about. 
  • We must be aware of how violence is portrayed in the media and be willing to speak out when something crosses the line. 
  • We must avoid engaging in, supporting, or encouraging sexual harassment or any form of discrimination.
  • We must support organizations that work with the issue of sexual violence with our time and money. 
  • We must learn about the resources in our community in order to help friends, family, and co-workers who may look to us for support.
  • We must find safe ways to intervene before sexual violence occurs.  If you hear inappropriate comments or observe behavior that denigrate women, find a safe way to speak up.  Call the police if you see a crime in progress.

Join Crisis Line & Safe House to Take Back the Night on April 19, 2012!

Take Back the Night will include an empowerment march and a candlelight vigil. During the vigil, survivors, supporters and advocates are encouraged to help Shatter the Silence by speaking out about their own experiences with sexual violence. Your strength and courage help other survivors know they are not alone, and that we will not tolerate these crimes or let them go silently into the night. Information about sexual violence, sex trafficking, and how to make a difference will be available as well as a display of the Clothesline Project and the Share a Secret Postcard Project.

The event will begin at the corner of 3rd Street and Cherry Street at 7:00 pm. We will then march to Washington Park for the program and candlelight vigil. A trolley will be available to take you back to your car after the event.

About CL&SH
Crisis Line & Safe House is a nonprofit agency serving domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Central Georgia. CL&SH is a combination of four intertwined yet separate programs which include a 24-hour Crisis Hotline, a Safe Shelter for victims and their families, a Sexual Assault Advocacy Program designed to intervene as soon as possible following victimization, and a Legal Advocacy Program which works to guide victims through the justice system. All services can be accessed by calling 478-745-9292.

What's New in College Hill
3/23/2012

This blog post is written by Nadia Osman of the College Hill Alliance.

The College Hill Corridor is a collaboration of everything that makes a
community into more than sidewalks and turns strangers into neighbors and friends. With the tag line “hip and historic” at the heart of these efforts, the College Hill movement takes pride in the restoration and revitalization of homes and neighborhoods, the push for cleaner, bike-filled streets, and the invitation to enjoy community-centered events. With a calendar chock-full full of exciting happenings, Macon, Georgia’s College Hill Corridor is the place to be.

As a location, the Corridor is extends from Mercer University to Riverside Drive and is bounded by I-75 as well as First and New Streets in Downtown Macon. As a movement, the Corridor initiative arose from a 2007 Mercer University class project that aimed to connect the campus with the rest of the community. The city of Macon and Mercer University then took up the cause resulting in the College Hill Corridor Commission. The Commission soon attracted a $250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to turn the community’s vision into the College Hill Corridor Master Plan. In 2009, the Knight Foundation also granted $5 million to further the initiative. Mercer University received $2 million to fund the three-year operation of College Hill Alliance, and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia received $3 million to implement the Knight Neighborhood Challenge grants.

Today, the College Hill initiative is carried forward by community and business leaders as well as local residents and business owners. The College Hill Corridor Commission continues as an advisory board for the area, while the

College Hill Alliance works to foster neighborhood revitalization through business recruitment and retention, lifestyle enhancement and by catalyzing residential and commercial development in the area. The Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant program serves to help community members realize there dreams for the area by funding ideas that improve their neighborhoods.

To learn more about College Hill, visit CollegeHillMacon.com or the Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also sign up to receive College Hill E-News or read our blog. Be sure to mark your calendars for the April 1st return of Second Sunday Brunch and Soapbox Derby in beautiful Washington Park.

This commercial shows all that the Corridor has to offer! The video explores what it truly means to live, work, and play in the Corridor.

The Mark Smith Planetarium Goes Digital
3/16/2012

This blog post is written by Melanie Byas of the Museum of Arts and Sciences. 

The Mark Smith Planetarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences reopened recently to much excitement and fanfare after undergoing a major renovation over several months that has resulted in a new and truly unique digital venue.  Members of the local community and out-of-town visitors to Macon can now see this newly-minted venue that is unlike no other for more than 100 miles, and they get to experience the Museum’s new virtual reality environment in a visually and physically comfortable space.

On re-opening day, audiences enjoyed the entirely new arena inside the Planetarium building’s original round walls, where everything was torn out and replaced.  The new, larger 44-foot full dome enlarges the viewing area and new theater seating provides the comfortable environment within which to take in the new shows.

About the Mark Smith Planetarium
Watch this trailer video of the Earth, Moon and Sun Planetarium Show that was shown last weekend at the Grand Opening.

For more than 45 years, the Museum was able to take audiences into the final frontier because of the planetarium’s “star projector,” a unique mechanism used in planetariums that, through the use of 20th century technology, displayed a night sky created by computer-controlled projectors—three video projectors and 30 slide projectors.  Now in the digital age, the Planetarium resumes its mission of bringing discoveries in space to Central Georgia and the southeast.

Journeys through time and space continue at the Museum, as one of a very limited number of locations in the world to feature the highest-resolution and brightest, single projector digital planetarium available today.  The Museum’s new Konica Minolta Super MediaGlobe-II is the first installation in Georgia and only the third in the Americas.  This system is the world’s first full-color, single-lens digital system to adopt a new standard in projection that is 2400 by 2400 resolution, four times higher than the best HDTV images.

This leading-edge system projects images, photographs and visualizations of space onto the third largest dome in the entire state of Georgia and it expands the Mark Smith Planetarium’s possibilities through its capacity to project a virtual reality from any digital computer program on a variety of subjects.

About the Museum of Arts and Sciences
Serving an audience of all ages and many interests, the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) is a community resource of life-long learning and enrichment.  As Georgia’s only cultural institution devoted to the arts and sciences, the Museum seeks to engage visitors, evoke wonder, stimulate curiosity, and open minds to new worlds of discovery.

An accredited member of the American Association of Museums (AAM)—the only one in Macon—and Smithsonian Museum Affiliate, the Museum attracts approximately 70,000 visitors per year who “Discover The World—Explore The Universe” in all that the Museum has to offer.  This not only includes the full-dome Mark Smith Planetarium, but also a wide variety of art and science exhibitions, a Discovery House with interactive exhibits, a Mini-Zoo, a beautiful nature trail, a 200+ seat auditorium, Museum store, a wide array of family days (Mammal Mayhem, Bug Day, Reptile Rendezvous, Astronomy Day), and much more.

The Museum hosts approximately 650 shows annually in the Mark Smith Planetarium and 650 live animal shows in the Mini Zoo, home to more than 70 animals, including amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Plan Your Visit
Show times at the new Mark Smith Planetarium are Tuesday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  The Museum of Arts and Sciences is open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Find out more about the Museum of Arts and Sciences on the Web site, and read information about the technology of the Mark Smith Planetarium on the Planetarium and Technology pages of the Museum’s Web site.  Visit the Web site (www.masmacon.org) for more information.

Social Media Revolution 2011
3/8/2012

This video was presented at Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar this past month, and it is certainly thought-provoking about the power and future of social media and technology.

Daybreak Macon - A new day/resource center for those transitioning from homeless in Macon, GA
2/28/2012

Depaul USA is developing a new day/resource center called Daybreak to help homeless people in Macon, Georgia, USA.  On November 15, 2011 more than 150 supporters in Macon joined Capital Campaign Chair Karla Redding-Andrews, Depaul International Group Chief Executive Mark McGreevy, Depaul USA Executive Director Charles Levesque, Daybreak Director Sister Elizabeth Greim, DC, City Councilman Larry Schlesinger, and Mayor Robert Reichert to launch the Daybreak Capital Campaign.   The goal of the campaign is to raise $175,000 to purchase and undertake an initial rehab of Daybreak's new home: the 6,000 square foot warehouse at 174 Walnut Street. The campaign will target individuals, Macon's youth, local businesses, and philanthropic organizations.

At the end of the ceremony, Roosevelt Rowland, a local homeless man told the Macon Telegraph, "The center itself will be an extraordinary venture for Middle Georgia because it will provide a lot of care for people who don't normally have doors open for them."

On the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2011 'Daybreak' hosted its first program: a community dinner sponsored by Come to the Fountain, a relationship and feeding program and a Depaul USA partner in Macon. Over 20 volunteers staffed the dinner, which was attended by more than 120 people.

Georgia Justice Project: Tamara's Story
2/21/2012

This blog post is written by Ashley Deadwlyer of Georgia Justice Project.  If you would like to write about your organization and be featured on CFCG’s blog, please email info@cfcga.org.

Have you ever been accused of something you really didn’t do? When I think about the answer to that question, I think back to situations with my younger siblings. “Mommy, she’s the one who spilled the milk, not me!!!”   My sister might cry. To which I would respond “nuh uh, it was her!” Not the strongest argument for innocence, but what was a girl to do with no hard proof my sister had committed the crime?  Well, who do you think my mom believed? Since I was the oldest, naturally everything was my fault. If I couldn’t definitively prove my innocence, I was guilty by default…

I tell this story because I’m sure most of you at some point have been accused of something you didn’t do., and you remember how it felt.  For most of us this situation occurred with minimal damage, but for those unfortunate few who find themselves on the opposite end of a false accusation by the government, the consequences can be devastating.  In fact, it can nearly destroy one’s entire financial and personal life to mount a defense against such accusations.

I work for the Georgia Justice Project (GJP), a non-profit organization that defends people accused of crimes, win or lose, and stands with them while they rebuild their lives.  Founded in 1986, our mission is to ensure justice for the indigent criminally accused and their families and to assist them in establishing crime-free lives and becoming productive citizens.  We do this by offering free legal services coupled with a full range of social and employment services. 

One of my clients, Tamara , recently found herself in this type of predicament. Tamara was a good mother, working hard to provide for her family as a substitute teacher, only to find herself on the wrong end of a child abuse accusation which resulted in her losing her job as a teacher and facing jail time.

How did her plight come about?  Tamara’s child, Angelica, had been sick, and Angelica’s doctor prescribed an antibiotic called Amoxicillin. Unfortunately, Angelica happened to be allergic to Amoxicillin, and her allergy manifested with swollen lips and bruising. Her teacher reported the problem to DFACS, DFACS reported the problem to local law enforcement, and before any investigation was conducted, Tamara was fired from her job and a child abuse charge was added to her criminal record.  After a thorough investigation by DFACS, the allergy was discovered, and the charges were dropped. So everything was resolved, right? WRONG!

Tamara moved away to escape the stigma she faced in her community, and the news she received from the local school system that she would never teach there again. When she tried to become involved with field trips and substitute teaching in her new community, however, she was ejected from the school and told she could not even return to campus to pick up her children from school. Her husband had to take off from work each day from three to four o’clock to pick up their kids and take them home to their mother.

At that point Tamara came to me. She couldn’t understand why a false accusation was still being used against her, and how a charge for which she was proven innocent could still keep her from being able to participate in her children’s school lives.

One of the first things I noted when I looked at Tamara’s criminal record was that there was no legal outcome listed for the Cruelty to Children charge on her record, meaning for potential employers and the school board, it looked like Tamara was guilty of the crime. This is a common problem in Georgia because criminal information goes on a record immediately when a person is arrested, and it is left up to the individual to ensure the legal outcome is correct or even listed on the report.

Many states do not follow this same approach.  Those states recognize that due process requires that if a person is deemed innocent of a crime through case dismissal or acquittal, the individual should not have to carry around the burden of having that charge appear on their criminal record. As we say at Georgia Justice Project, “you can’t un-ring the bell.” Once an employer sees information on your criminal record, they assume you must have been guilty. Thus, in the criminal history world there is no “innocent until proven guilty.”  

So what remedy do we have in Georgia for this kind of injustice?  A very limited one called expungement.  It’s very rarely available, and even more rarely granted for an individual without an attorney. In fact, the “remedy” is controlled by the same state entity that falsely accused the individual in the beginning.
To illustrate this concept, let’s look at Tamara’s case again. The District Attorney in that case knew the case had to be dismissed, and I commend her for doing that.  But, when Tamara came back and applied for expungement of the charge from her record, the District Attorney denied her request.  The problem in many jurisdictions is that most offices don’t have the personnel to look at each case on an individual basis so they have a policy to deny most expungement requests.

So what’s an individual without an attorney to do? The only remedy for an expungement denial is a civil lawsuit in Superior Court which can carry a filing fee of several hundred dollars and must be executed within thirty days. This costly and complicated procedure is extremely difficult for an individual with no legal background and limited means.

Unfortunately, most individuals faced with this problem cannot afford court fees or an attorney, and because of the information on their record, they cannot get a good job to be able to afford one. A catch-22 if there ever was one! I am so thankful Georgia Justice Project has been able to fill this void for some individuals, but we are a small non-profit with limited resources, and should our funding run out, many individuals without the money to hire a private attorney will have no real remedy.

You’ll be happy to know that once we took Tamara’s case and could advocate as attorneys on her behalf, we were able to convince the District Attorney in the county where she was accused to expunge her record. Now she can pick up her children from school and participate in their school functions.

We would not have this problem in Georgia if we adopted a system where expungement was automatic for non-convictions, including acquittals (which do not even qualify for expungement under current law). Georgia Justice Project has been working with our state legislators to amend the law, but we need community support expressed via calls and letters to your local legislators to highlight that the current expungement law is unfair and unjustly stigmatizes people who are falsely accused of crimes.

Tyler's Place Dog Park
4/18/2011

A Spring 2010 Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant enabled a local artist, Dwayne Bass, to create an agility course, furniture and sculpture for Tyler's Place Dog Park.  Click here to read the article from The Macon Telegraph.

Since the additions to the park, there has been a increase in the number of dogs at the dog park as well as an increase in dog walking and outdoor activities for pets in the Corridor.  Look at how much fun the dogs are having!

College Hill Flash Mob
3/7/2011

Did you see the College Hill Flash Mob at the Mercer Basketball Game?

flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment.

Small House Design Charrette
3/4/2011

Historic Macon Foundation, in partnership with Bob Brown, hosted a Small House Design Charrette last night.  It was an opportunity for the community to give their input on the small house movement using handheld voting devices.  Historic Macon will use the information gathered to develop three small house floor plans that will be built in the Beall's Hill neighborhood.  For more information, click here to read the news release about the charrette.

Classy Club presented by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia
3/4/2011

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia just kicked off "Classy Club" — a formal wear fundraiser sponsored by their club teens.

Assist your community teens by making a donation to the Boys & Girls Club!  Please donate your gently used formal wear.  BGC will be selling it to the public for a low cost as a fundraiser for the Keystone Club.

The proceeds will go towards funding leadership training, trips, and community service projects for our teens. Help make formal events affordable and accessible to everyone in Macon!

Bring your formal wear to the Boys and Girls Club at the Buck Melton Community Center (841 Anthony Road in Macon) between 2:00 - 5:30pm or call (478) 743-4153 to make arrangements. Please make all donations by March 30, 2011 at 5:30pm.  BGC is accepting wedding dresses, long and short formal gowns, tuxedos (pants/jacket), suits (pants/jacket), and blazers.

The sale will be April 2, 2011 from 10am – 4pm at the Boys and Girls Club at the Buck Melton Community Center.  The formalwear will be priced from $15 - $50 for wedding gowns.  This event is open to the public.

For more information, please call (478) 743-4153.

Living History
12/8/2010



Are you interested in the history of our community?  There is no better way to learn than from the people who live here.  Check out Historic Macon's Living History Map to learn about the charming characters, faces and places in the College Hill Corridor.  This project was funded by the Knight Neighborhood Challenge.

http://www.livinghistorymap.com/

A Grateful Heart
12/7/2010

Today, CFCG's staff members were privileged to participate in Career Women's Network's annual scholarship recognition luncheon.  Three non-traditional female students were honored.  All three, Suei Huang, Robin Whaley, and Marcia Williams, are outstanding women working hard to further their education and make a better future for themselves.  I was inspired.  Suei Huang's moving speech is below. Suei is a native of China who is studying mathematics at Macon State College.  May it bring as much joy to you as it did me!  Happy Holidays!
Kathryn
















L to R: Marcia Williams, Robin Whaley, Suei Huang, and CWN Member Kitty Widner.

Career Women’s
Network Scholarship Awards Luncheon
December 7, 2010
Suei Huang’s Speech

I am very happy to stand amongst intelligent, strong, and wise women again.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to further my education in a field dominated by men. I am also happy to tell you I am still working with mathematics and more determined than ever.

We as women are capable of accomplishing multiple tasks. We are not only students, but we are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, employees, and individuals with goals. The Career Women Network of Macon makes it possible for others and me to accomplish our goals.

We are encouraged to learn about other women in similar situations such as ourselves who are able to have a career and maintain a personal life. This betters a society as a whole when younger generations follow our footsteps because they see it is possible to approach their goals and make their dreams come true. As a little girl, I never dreamed of coming to America and earning a degree. A lot of my childhood friends would stay at home and be obedient to male figures and not think about independence. I did not want to be stuck in that mindset.

This semester in my history of math class, I learned some female mathematicians were not allowed to learn either mathematics or nursing in the early centuries. In Greece, the females who came from other lands were not considered citizens and therefore were caste as prostitutes. Some of these women came to learn mathematics and also be prostitutes in order to further their education. Later on, the males thought mathematics would damage females’ brain. Therefore, females had to teach themselves or borrow other male students’ notes to learn. They were even shunned as people for doing men’s job. The female mathematicians had to use male alias to send their work of mathematics for submission of their works.

In this time, I also had to struggle to be a student of Math. I left my marriage with nothing two years ago to continue my education as a math educator. We had money difficulties. My spouse wanted me give up math as a major and focus on Chinese as a major. This would be easier for me and I would not have to study. I could therefore spend the extra time to work the second job and bring more money home. He accused me as a study-aholic, since I spent all of my times to do and to study math homework. I thought nobody can make this decision for me, because I am the only person who has the right to make my own decision and responsible for my decision. I am tired for male to make decision for women to follow, such as vote, life style, education… I would rather make decision by myself.

You may not know how important that The Career Women Network of Macon gave me the scholarship last year. But I have to let you know your right decision for scholarship had safe and change my life. It was very important, because I had money to pay for my rent. This semester, the financial office sent me a notice that I have run out my Hope Scholarship this spring semester since I have 127 credit hours. I started from the very beginning from reading 99, writing 99, and math 99. Even though I work a part time job on campus, my income is less than $600 a month; it would be very tough for me next semester. I appreciate that The Career Women Network of Macon has made another right decision to give the scholarship to support my education.

In April 11, 1944, Anne Frank was almost arrested by Adolf Hitler. She wrote, “I know what I want, I have a goal, I have opinions, a religion and love. If only I can be myself, I’ll be satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inner strength and a great deal of courage! If God lets me live, I’ll achieve more than Mother ever did, I’ll make my voice heard, I’ll go out into the world and work for mankind!”  If Anne Frank was alive, she would be 80 years old now. I thought Anne is me, and I was Anne. I am full of hope for my life and I will work for mankind. I would do my best to be a positive role model to my students and those I meet during my studies as many of you in this gathering have been my role model as an educator.

Thank you.

 

A Cheerful Giver
11/23/2010

I confess, I love blogs!   I read about my friends, my family, and people I've never even met who now feel like family to me.  I am grateful for so many people who so graciously share their thoughts with me and others via the internet. 

About a month ago, I ran across a post on a friend's blog.  We volunteer together for an organization in Macon, and I've always been impressed by her authenticity and gentle kindness.  So of course this story came of no surprise to me.  I asked her if I could share it with you, because she is such a shining example of one of the many ways that generous people in Central Georgia give their time and resources to make our community a better place.

Here is her original blog post:

"A Cheerful Giver
This year, like all the other years before, I received a beautiful "Love and Blessngs" card and birthday check from my Grandmother. And just like every year before, in return, I wrote her a proper thank-you letter, and detailed how that money was spent.

I'm aware that birthday checks don't come everyday. And yes, I am probably too old for them by now.

So this year, for the first time, (insert "D'Oh! Why did I never think of this before?), I held an interesting experiment.

I gave the money away. Well, most of it.

No blinks, no regrets, just the simple act of giving to people and causes that are near to my heart. More to the point, I chose ones that I thought Grandma would like: literacy, evangelism, breast cancer awareness, and current events.

And it was FUN! It was exciting deciding where to invest this October windfall. It's one thing to write a check in response to a campaign letter, or phone call, but it's entirely different to say, "Hey, I like you. Here's some money: keep up the good work!"

* I gave money to my friend S., who ran in Race for the Cure.

* Dinero was dashed off to my friend R., who will soon be entering her 10th year in the mission field.

* Moolah was mailed to Imagination Library, so that children who live in homes without books can now look forward to receiving a free book in the mail, EVERY MONTH from birth to age five. Yippee!

The last two on the list are important to the unique foundations of this country: a free press and saving for the future.

* NY Times. Now thrown at the end of my driveway in the mornings is "All The News That's Fit to Print." I love it. It reminds me that this giant blue watery ball of earth is full of interesting, complex, relevant people and places. We're all connected, whether we want to admit it or not.

* Rainy Day Fund. The rest of the birthday present this year went into savings. A smart woman (or nation, for that matter!) is one who knows how to save money and take care of things.

This gift I received this year is because my Grandmother knew how to save, as well as share.

Be well."

In a follow up conversation with my dear friend, I was happy to learn that her aunt called after they received her letter reporting on how the funds were used.  She said her Grandmother was most delighted about the contribution to Imagination Library. She taught preschool in her home back in the 1930s and 40s, and later, high school English for about 20 years. She loves all things literary.  Her Halloween costume last year was Dr. Seuss!  It makes me smile to think of my friend's grandmother dressing up as Dr. Seuss and to think of the children in Macon who will have their own age-appropriate reading material in their own homes because of her generosity.  During this season when we reflect on the many blessings we have in our lives, do you have a special giving tradition?

Julia


Local Program - How to Write Winning Grants
11/5/2010

The Middle Georgia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals is bringing Patti Johnson, the founding director of the Foundation Center Atlanta field office, to Macon on Tuesday, Nov. 16 to present a program about “Researching Potential Funders and Writing Proposals That Win Grants.” 

Seminar: How to Write Winning Grants
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Noon - 2pm
The Rumford Center at the Methodist Home
304 Pierce Avenue
Macon, GA 31204

The cost for the lunch and meeting is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.  The deadline to register is Nov. 10.  Contact AFP Treasurer Suzanne Doonan at Suzanne.Doonan@riversidecemetery.com.  For more information about the program or AFP, call AFP Middle Georgia President Susan Long, 478-256-5975 or visit www.facebook.com/afpmiddlegeorgia       

Is Your Nonprofit at Risk of Losing Its 501(c)(3) Status?
8/31/2010
Some nonprofits in Georgia are at risk of losing nonprofit status due to failure to file tax forms for three consecutive years – even those with revenues of $25,000 or less. The deadline to file has passed but the IRS is offering a one-time special filing relief program that will allow nonprofits to preserve their tax-exempt status if they file returns by October 15, 2010.

Click here for the IRS list of nonprofit organizations at risk. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Flooding in Pakistan: Ways You Can Help
8/31/2010

Throughout the world, people are responding to the plight of the 20 million Pakistani people who are suffering the effects of the devastating flooding. Many in our community are seeking ways to help.

It’s clear that in the immediate wake of the disaster, the best way to help flooding victims is to make monetary donations to organizations that are experienced in disaster relief and have a presence in the country.  Among the many excellent agencies providing disaster relief or connected to providers are these nonprofit organizations. 

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
The American Red Cross (Make sure to indicate the contribution is for Pakistan)
Catholic Relief Services
Doctors without Borders
Habitat for Humanity International
Mission to the World
Samaritan's Purse
UMCOR - United Methodist Committee on Relief

If you would like additional information,  please call the Foundation office at (478) 750-9338.
Julia

Bibb County Needs Your Help to Become Georgia Work Ready Certified!
8/23/2010

Bibb County has a critical deadline fast approaching and the DREAM (Dedicated to Reading and Educational Advancement) Team Advisory Group needs your help.

On September 30, 2010 a three-year effort will have been lost and Bibb County will have failed to meet the Georgia Work Ready Certified Community deadline. This designation demonstrates that Bibb County has a viable workforce and a community willing to step up an prove it. All of the sectors needed to attain the certification have been met but one, the Private Sector. To find out more about the certification and the value it brings to our community check out the website.

We need 424 residents of Bibb County’s private sector to demonstrate their commitment to our community and take the Georgia Work Ready Assessment. In order to meet this goal the Georgia Work Ready Team will facilitate the assessment each Friday starting August 27 through September 27 at the Adult Learning Center on the Central Georgia Technical College Campus. If you are a morning person we have a session that begins at 8:00 am. And for those of you that need a reason to get out of the office on a Friday afternoon (and serve your community) we have a second session that will begin at 1:00 pm. Each session takes a little over 3 hours.

The assessment identifies reading for information, applied math and locating information skills that you use every day in the course of performing your job. All this assessment does is validate what you already know. The scores are private.

What a great way for you and/or your company to serve our community! Workforce literacy is a critical part of our DREAM Team initiative and you will make a major contribution to our effort by giving up a couple of hours on a Friday. Most of the communities surrounding Bibb have completed the process – so we need your help!

Click here to view a flyer about this campaign. Please forward this request to your friends and co-workers to help out the cause.  If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Cloud at Central Georgia Technical College.  You can also check out the DREAM Team progress by subscribing to the Community Partnership blog where meeting summaries are posted.

Make Lemon Aid!
7/20/2010

Although oil is only trickling out at the moment, the oil spill has caused cataclysmic problems along the Gulf Coast.  Our friends at the Greater New Orleans Foundation have created a fund to help communities recover from the spill in the coming months.  Click here to contribute to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.  GNOF’s blog post “Lemons, Booze, Biking and More to Aid the Gulf Coast” is an entertaining account of how creative, caring citizens are raising money for the cause.  The post highlights how "everyday people" make a difference.  Please share with us your local stories of people volunteering in or raising money for the Gulf Coast.  Also, we’d love to hear about other “everyday people” in Central Georgia who are making a difference for causes and organizations they care about.  Please email us at info@cfcga.org.

Kathryn

Second Sunday Reports Record-Breaking Attendance
7/14/2010

This month's "Second Sunday" event, hosted by the College Hill Alliance, hit record attendance levels with more than 850 people in Washington Park on Sunday, July 11, 2010 for Second Sunday at Sunset (7pm) featuring the local band, The Grapevine.

Check out how the new Associate Minister at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church described the event on his blog - click here

Have you been to Second Sunday?  Hope to see you there soon!

Julia

 

 

Be Proud of your Community Foundation!
7/9/2010

At the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, we believe that our donors do not give TO the Community Foundation, they give THROUGH the Community Foundation.   While "Asset Size" is a common metric in the Community Foundation world, it is genrally because our asset size relates to the amount of grants our donors can make.  But many factors such as grantmaking, fundraising, donor engagement and community participation all contribute to a Community Foundation's unique identity.  A 2009 Columbus Survey characterized community foundations in factors other than asset values.  We were thrilled to make the Top 100 in three different categories.  CFCG ranks 55th in "Most Active Grantmakers", 59th in "Most Gifts per Capita", and 100th in "Most Activity".  Click here to view the full report.

 

Grants Forum This Friday in Atlanta!
7/7/2010

Non-profit organizations feel the pinch of the tight economy.  Many have asked CFCG about grant opportunities.  Congressman John Lewis is hosting a forum in Atlanta this Friday, July 9th from 1-5.  More information may be found by clicking here .  You must register TODAY by 6:00, 7/7/10, by emailing GA05rsvp@mail.house.gov.  For more information, please call (404) 659-0116. 

 

Twice as Much Fun!
6/21/2010

One of the many reasons the Community Foundation of Central Georgia is a great place to work is the interesting people we meet.  Pam Thomasson is one of those special people.  She has boundless energy and enthusiasm that I wish I could bottle.  She is creative and hard-working.  Recently, Pam and I met to discuss one of her several interesting ideas to make the College Hill Corridor an even better place to live, work and play. She mentioned that her husband, Dick, and she had planned to travel out-of-town for the weekend, but instead had decided to stay in Macon because there are so many interesting things to do and never enough time to do them!  She sent me a great picture of them on a tandem bike they rented from The Bike Store in the College Hill Corridor.  It looks like they had a great time pedaling around our beautiful city!!!

Let’s all look for fun things to do in our hometowns this summer.  Ocmulgee Expeditions has trips scheduled and rentals available for fun on the River.  There are plays at Theatre Macon and Macon Little TheatreBragg Jam is a month away.  The Museum of Aviation has the Tour de Moose, a bike ride through the Base.  And giant insects are crawling around the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Please let us know what’s going on throughout central Georgia this summer.  Just email us at info@cfcga.org and we’ll spread the word.

~Kathryn

Geocaching in College Hill
6/15/2010

With summer in full-swing, people of all ages are going Geocaching.  It's a high-tech treasure hunting game, and all that is required is a GPS device and a sense of adventure.  Basically, you search for hidden containers called "caches" and you can log your experiences online.  It's a great family-friendly activity that can take you to surprising local sites or landmarks with an interesting story. 

Mercer's Geocaching Club was a first round recipient of a Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant to purchase GPS units and geocaching accessories so that more caches can be hidden and found in College Hill.  When the new materials were in, we invited a group of donors to go geocaching with us.  When we asked what everyone's favorite cache was, some liked the walking bridge to Beall's Hill while others enjoyed the Community Garden at Centenary or the statue of Jesse Mercer. 

Families across the country are spending their "staycations" exploring their own communities and learning about new sites and history through geocaching.  Others are opting to travel via car instead of flying so that they can stop and geocache along the way.  If you're new to the "sport", a Geomate, Jr. is an ideal GPS device for beginnings.  Or you can even go geo-caching with a GPS-equipped smartphone, such as the iPhone 3G. 

Have you ever tried geocaching?
Julia

Below is a short how-to video from the official Geocaching website. 

Incorporating Community Service into Activities for Children
6/10/2010

I recently read about a Mother-Daughter Book Club that incorporated a community service storyline.  So many mothers of upper-elementary school girls are trying to find ways to spend time with their daughters while not making them feel "uncool" in the process.

One mother suggested a book club and ten fourth grade girls and their mothers joined in to create a fun environment that encouraged reading, self expression, friendship, and mommy/daughter bonding.

The original plans did not include the charitable giving project, but the mother who hosted the first club thought, why not?  Each girl brought at least three gently used books.  Two were age-appropriate for their friends, and they would find out why on club day.  Then the mom used a community service how-to kit on book donation (The Book Exchange Act of Kindness Kit) to organize the donation.

The girls put one age-appropriate book in a bag marked "Book Exchange" and the other in a bag labeled "Mystery." Remaining books went into the "Donation" box. (This was in preparation for a surprise group game.) The mother said, "The book conversation was remarkable. I anticipated that the girls would speed through their analysis so they could play. But they were completely dedicated to the discussion. We could have ended there with great satisfaction."

As it turns out, the service project was as fun as the book discussion, they talked about the value of books and who needs them.  Then, the activity — a book exchange game.  They dumped out the bag marked "Book Exchange" so the books could be seen. Each girl could pick a book from the pile to keep for herself. Or, if she didn't like those options, she could pick a surprise selection from the "Mystery" bag.  As a final part of the day, the girls made bookmarks and book plates to include with their donation to make it even more special.  The girls loved it!  They thought that doing something for others was fun!

Too many children in our very own community do not have the books that they need or the opportunity to participate in community service activities.  The Junior League of Macon has recently selected a new focus area of Early Childhood Literacy, School Readiness, and School partnerships.  They've worked together with other organizations like local schools, Barnes & Noble, Education First, the Downtown Macon Rotary ClubCentral Georgia Technical College's Adult Learning Center and more to improve access to books and to foster a love of reading for children in our community.

Just one Junior League member created a partnership with Barnes & Noble that included a book drive, book fair, and special storytime featuring Elf on the Shelf, and through the project, more than 900 books were collected and distributed to the new library at Northwoods Academy on Pierce Avenue and the Shurling Drive Headstart Location.

We'd love to hear what you're doing to work with children and improve literacy in Central Georgia!

Julia

Much needed “ReLeaf” for Oglethorpe Street
3/19/2010

Oglethorpe Street in Macon’s College Hill Corridor has a lot to look forward to in the next few…hundreds of years!  Thanks to a Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant, dozens of green thumbed Mercer University students descended on Oglethorpe Street to plant a variety of trees for the project “Oglethorpe ReLeaf”, created by Mercer University professor Dr. Heather Bowman Cutway (Dr. BC).  The goal of the “ReLeaf” project is to simply plant more trees.  Dr. BC shared with us in her grant application how trees enhance our local biodiversity, provide us with shade (we all know how valuable this is in the summer!), pollution control, and habitats for animals.  The trees selected for planting are native to our area in Georgia, and include some familiar favorites such as the Dogwood and White Oak, and other more unique trees such as the Grancy Greybeard.  For more information about planting trees in your area, the Macon Tree Commission and the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission are great places to start! ~ Jennifer Wells

Mercer student volunteers tell us what the "Oglethorpe ReLeaf" project means to them

       

Efforts to Improve Literacy in Macon
3/5/2010

Many indicators of a community's success tie back to Education and Literacy in a community.  Several organizations are rallying around Literacy efforts to begin to make an impact for the future of Macon.  The Downtown Macon Rotary Club is partnering with Education First and The Junior League of Macon to expand the Ferst Foundation's Imagination Library Program in Macon.  In its second year, the program mails a hard cover book a month to children age birth to five years to more than 700 children in our community.

The Junior League of Macon is involved in several other literacy programs for our community.  In November, JLM partnered with the Barnes & Noble at the Shoppes at River Crossing to host a book drive, book fair and story time for children.  The event collected more than 900 books, which were donated to the new Northwoods Academy and the HeadStart Hall Center.

Central Georgia Technical College's Adult Education Program continues to serve the adult population with literacy skills and GED preparation.  Considering that most states plan the number of jail cells to build based on the number of children who are not reading on grade level at the third grade, I am grateful for the momentum behind improving literacy in our community.

Julia

Middle Georgia Fests are the Best!
2/26/2010

This past week, Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival and Milledgeville’s Deep Roots Festival racked up over 20 awards at the Southeast Festivals and Events Association 2010 conference.  Award winners for the Cherry Blossom Festival included the Pink Pancake Breakfast held at Central City Park and the Telegraph’s “Turned Pink” newspapers.  The Union Recorder newspaper in Milledgeville described Deep Roots’ wins as “Marketing Magic” ; the younger of the two festivals enjoyed winning top awards in categories such as “Best Website” and “Best Marketing Campaign”.  To see a complete listing of festival awards, CLICK HERE

The 2010 Deep Roots Festival is scheduled for October 23rd and will feature the ever popular Memphis in May sanctioned BBQ competition, the Old Capitol Club Car Show, the fun and family friendly Kid Zone, and the always anticipated line up of live music(can’t wait to find out who will be there this year!)  CLICK HERE to visit the Deep Roots website

Tomorrow on February 27, Maconites are encouraged to “Think Pink!” in preparation for the upcoming March 19 – March 28 Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival.  A “Think Pink!” kick-off will be held at ACME Paint and Decorating on Riverside Drive, where folks can spread their Cherry Blossom cheer by getting the iconic pink flowers painted on their car windows.  For even more cheer, the Cherry Blossom gift shop is now open at the 577 Mulberry St. location in downtown Macon.  For more on the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival, CLICK HERE

Thanks to everyone involved with these award winning Middle Georgia festivals! ~ Jennifer Wells

A Fresh Pair of Eyes
2/26/2010

The Community Foundation had visitors for two days from Grand Forks, ND.  We spent yesterday show casing Macon and today highlighting Milledgeville.  As we passed Fort Hawkins and the Indian Mounds and I was telling about them, one of our guests said, “You guys are just a hidden treasure! I want to move to Georgia.”  Both raved about the deep history and the exceptional architecture found in our cities (and of course our Southern hospitality and accents).  They were impressed with the progress Macon and Milledgeville have made in their downtowns, the energy behind the College Hill Corridor project, and the imagination and momentum emanating from the Knight Digital Innovation Center in Milledgeville.  As my friend Heather Holder, Director of Digital Bridges, said, “Thanks so much for letting us share our project with your visitors! Sometimes you don't know how far you've come until you are able to share with others..." 

I challenge each of you to take time to look at our hometowns with a fresh pair of eyes.  You will like what you see!

Kathryn

MaGa - Celebrating 5 years!
2/19/2010

I am grateful each time I hear of something good that Macon has to offer.  Just this morning I was reading the article from the Washington Post highlighting Macon as a good place to visit.  It mentioned Macon places on the National Historical Register, the Intown Macon neighborhood’s “Lights on Macon” walking tour, and our musical heritage.

This afternoon, The Macon Film Festival held a dedication ceremony to rename the Best in Show Award as the Melvyn Douglas Award.  Mr. Douglas’s granddaughter, Illeana Douglas, made special remarks about her grandfather before a special “Melvyn Douglas Matinee” screening of The Candidate, a rare screening of the 1972 archival film in which Douglas plays the father of Robert Redford.

Melvyn Douglas was born in Macon on April 5, 1901.  His career began on Broadway in 1928 and alternated between stage and screen the rest of his life.  He won the triple crown of acting awards including several Academy Awards, an Emmy Award and a Tony award. 

If you have the chance, I hope you will enjoy The Macon Film Festival this weekend — February 18-21, 2010.  Through a grant from the Knight Neighborhood Challenge, there will be six free workshops on various aspects of filmmaking held at Mercer University.   These workshops are open to visiting filmmakers, students and the community.

Julia

MOYO is Making an Impact
2/3/2010

I would like to second Julia Wood’s comment in her recent blog post about loving her job!  Handling the grants side of things at CFCG, I often get the pleasure of conducting site visits with local organizations that have received grants from us and get to witness first hand the positive impact they are making on the citizens of our community.  Most recently, I visited with the Motivating Youth Foundation (MOYO), an after-school and summer youth program created and run by Roger Jackson out in the Davis Homes neighborhood.  MOYO was a brand new organization when Roger submitted a responsive grant application to CFCG in the fall of 2008 and he successfully secured an $8,000 grant to purchase a phonics program for his budding after-school program. One year later MOYO is thriving and truly making an impact on the lives and education of the youth they serve.  I would like to highlight that MOYO is not simply a “babysitting service”, as Roger put it; education is the main focus.  The children’s schedule involves educational support from certified teachers (3 of whom were awarded Bibb Co. Teacher of the Year awards!) which includes help with homework, tutoring, CRTC test prep, phonics, and more. Once the educational responsibilities of each child are complete, they are able to have activity and play time.  This emphasis on education has proved to be a success.  Roger shared that when MOYO first started, they had five children that were on the honor roll at their schools…now they boast 42!  Roger likes to showcase the students who have achieved honor roll by framing their picture and G.P.A on the wall, which has helped create some healthy competition and more students are getting closer and closer to honor roll status.  Kudos to Roger Jackson and the staff of the Motivating Youth Foundation for helping some of Macon’s youth become more engaged and successful in education!  ~ Jennifer

 

The Next Generation - Our Future Depends on It
1/29/2010

Many factors drive whether our communities will flourish, but I don’t believe there is one more important than the engagement of our 20 and 30 something citizens.  Their leadership, concern and interest are vital to our future.

Earlier this week I read in The Telegraph that two young people are leading the charge to make their neighborhood safer.  One of those men is also a new leader in Downtown and College Hill revitalization efforts.  I spoke with June O’Neal of the Mentors Project and several “Millennials” have answered the call to mentor middle and high school students.  The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce has a Young Professionals group that meets regularly to learn, network, and serve others. Bragg Jam, Fly South, the Thriller Dance, Façade Squad, Second Sunday Brunch, Screen on the Green, the Soap Box Derby, and Crossroads Writers Conference were all created and implemented by our 20 and 30-something crowd!  I’m positive there are more examples and I encourage you to share them with me.  I am encouraged by the energy and vision this group brings to the table. They have taken an interest in making their hometown a better place and ensuring its success for the next generation.

We must encourage more young people to step forward.  As Beverly Blake says, “We need to provide them with practical leadership opportunities, surrender control, and be patient.”

Please encourage this next generation of leaders to step forward and get involved.  Support them, mentor them, and get out of their way!  Our communities will be more vibrant and hopefully new solutions to old problems will be found.

Kathryn

Campus Clubs
1/28/2010

Have I mentioned recently that I love my job?   I called Tony Lowden to hear about his Campus Clubs trip to the Young Life Sharp Top Cove Camp over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.  He said it was outstanding!  Forty-seven youth went on a weekend retreat, and one of his boys came home telling his Mother that "when things aren't going you're way, you just need to pray about them."

But that's not all that is outstanding about Campus Clubs.  While we were talking, he invited me to tour their new facility on Vineville Avenue before the Grand Opening on February 17, 2010.  It is a two-story building with 18 rooms, and in Tony's words, "It's not your typical after-school program."  He is right!  With a recent $1 million grant, Tony has renovated the building that had not been used in nearly 15 years and secured the best in PITSCO educational software, books and equipment for inner-city youth.  PITSCO's tagline is Kindergarten to Careers, and the curriculum is designed to show kids their career possibilities and provide the educational experience to help them reach their goals.  He's also incorporating a Star Academy that is a drop-out prevention program for students who have fallen more than a grade behind in school. 

The best part is that Tony sees beyond just helping the kids succeed.  He's looking at the impact that a qualifed, educated workforce will have on our community, and he knows that making sure our children are educated is just the first step in the process.  He's an inspiration and role model to the youth that he mentors and dedicated citizen to our community. 
Julia

Macon Civil War Sesquicentennial Historic Markers Press Conference
1/22/2010

I had the pleasure of attending a press conference this week, announcing plans to install historical markers in Macon in prepartion for the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.  Macon, in the heart of Georgia, played a critical role in the war between the states.  It served as a hub of vital railroad lines, a manufacturing center for essential war materials, and in the latter years of the war, a refuge and hospital haven for thousands.  As we observe the sesquicentennial of American’s most tragic war, Macon’s citizens, in partnership with the state-wide organization Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc., are installing markers at historic sites around our city.  Each marker will tell a story relating that site to one of Macon’s many roles in the war.  The permanent markers will enhance their text with period photographs, illustrations, and maps to help educate people about Macon’s role in the war.  It is expected that thousands of people following the state-wide network of trails will visit Macon, which played an important part in that fascinating story.  Pictured here is Steve Longcrier, the Executive Director of Georgial Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. and below is a map documenting important sites and events in Macon during the Civil War.  Click here to make a contribution to this project.
Julia

Nonprofit Spotlight: Morningstar Children & Family Services
1/20/2010


CFCG Responsive Grant Recipient: Morningstar Children & Family Services
Grant Amount: $12,000
Focus Area: Children, Youth, & Families
Location: Macon, GA

Morningstar Children & Family Services provides an array of services that strengthen some of Central Georgia’s most in-need families.  One of the services provided by Morningstar is the “Child Access and Visitation Program”.  This program offers non-custodial parents a place where they can have supervised visits with their child.

The amenities for this program originally consisted of a very limited and sparse indoor space that did little to foster positive interaction and play between parent and child.  Morningstar staff had witnessed many families at a loss of what activities to do with their children, as well as some that cut their visit short! 

Seeing the need for a better and more positive place for their families to interact, Morningstar requested funding from CFCG’s Fall 2008 Responsive Grant Cycle to build a picnic area and playground, and was awarded $12,000 to make it happen.  After receiving an outpouring of volunteer support, the picnic area and playground have since been built, and Morningstar staff has already begun to see the impact this project has made.

Training Director Dianne Reel Fuller wrote in her Final Report to CFCG, “It is wonderful to look out the office window and see a non-custodial parent pushing their child on a swing, or helping them climb up the ladder, or sitting quietly on the bench swing talking.  The parent is focused on the child and the child on the parent.  That time spent together, parent and child interacting in a positive place and manner, is important to the continued relational growth and the health of children.”

   ~Jennifer Wells, Donor Relations & Grants Associate
Click here for more photos

Click here for more information on Morningstar Children & Family Services

Local Businesses Add Character to our Communities
1/19/2010

Over the weekend I had several experiences that prompted this post.  I really enjoy shopping with Julie Evans at Karats & Keepsakes.  She remembers me and my taste, and is great at helping me find something that is flattering AND fashionable.  Then Brown and I went mattress shopping – not a task I relished.  Chris Lee of Beds and Bedding really impressed us.  He talked to us about our sleep patterns and REALLY knew his products.  He did not pressure us, but had excellent sales skills; also, he has worked at the store for over 12 years.  After a grueling few hours of shopping, Brown surprised me with an excellent lunch at a place outside of my comfort zone! We ate at Pho Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant, on Mercer University Drive.  The owner/chef and his father served us one of the most delicious and unique meals I have had.  The owner helped us order, and my usually unadventurous palate was delighted.

In November, I attended a conference and heard of a new concept — The 3/50 Project.  Individuals are encouraged to spend $50/month at three locally owned businesses that they would hate to see close. Of course we all need the major chains, and appreciate and depend on them.  But a community needs a balance of the two.  Our communities need local shops and restaurants that add character and a sense of place.  Entrepreneurs and their businesses also fuel our local economy and often differentiate us from other places around the country.  The successful balance of small and large businesses creates a vibrant community. 

I challenge you to join the “3/50” movement.  Consciously decide which local businesses you would miss, and support them.  And be adventurous and try new places too!  You will be better for it, as will your community.

Kathryn

Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.
1/14/2010

Throughout 2010, Disney is offering a free pass to Disney World to individuals who volunteer a day of service with a qualifying local organization.  Disney wants to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So they're celebrating your good work by giving you a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free.

You can volunteer with Central Georgia organizations like the American Red Cross, Georgia Children's Museum, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, Rebuilding Together Macon, and Volunteer Macon.

For program details, click here.  But hurry!  There are only 1 million tickets available and they are going fast so don't wait too long!

Julia

Happy Holidays from CFCG!
12/23/2009

Happy Holidays!  As Christmas rapidly approaches, I find myself reflecting on the many things I am thankful for.  Every day, the Community Foundation staff witnesses the wonderful care offered those less fortunate by the staff members and volunteers of the extraordinary non-profit organizations in our communities.  Throughout the year, outstanding performances are delivered in theaters across central Georgia.  Beautiful music is performed by symphonies, youth orchestras, concert choirs, and in countless schools. I’m glad I live in a place where the arts are central to our communities’ well being.  I am thankful for the students who crave knowledge, and the teachers and volunteers who inspire them.  At the Foundation, we see first-hand the tremendous generosity of families, individuals, and companies that make central Georgia a special place to live.  My bright and kind colleagues at the Foundation are at the top of my “thankful list.” And of course, on a very personal note, I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends.

May your holiday season be filled with joy and the coming year bring you much happiness!

Kathryn Dennis

Possibilities for Macon’s “Place in Peril”
12/4/2009


The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation recently announced their acceptance of a $10,000 grant that will provide a study on what the best use of the vacant A.L. Miller High School building in Macon will be.  The grant for the study was awarded from the Knight Fund for Macon, which is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.

The vacant A.L. Miller High School building has many historical and architectural values, and was listed on the Trust’s 2008 “Places in Peril”, which is a program that helps identify, protect and preserve important historic properties in Georgia.  Other locations in Central Georgia that have been included on the Trust’s list of “Places in Peril” are: the Capricorn Recording Studio in Macon, Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, and Andalusia in Milledgeville.  ~ Jennifer Wells

    Property Fact Sheet

                                   > > Click HERE to read the full press release 

> > Click HERE to learn more about “Places in Peril”

> > Click HERE to watch a video of the 2010 “Places in Peril”

Let's Celebrate the Power of Community Collaboration!
10/7/2009

Are you curious to know what happens when a group of individuals join forces for the greater good of our community?  Well you don’t have to be curious for long!  Community Partnership, Inc. is hosting a neighborhood celebration on Thursday, October 8th at 3:00 p.m. at Southside Community Church. This celebratory event has Macon Mayor Robert Reichert scheduled to speak, and will showcase the successes that have been achieved through the power of collaboration in Macon’s Lynmore Estates Neighborhood.  Following the Mayor’s speech, news anchor Portia Lake will read to neighborhood children from the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as part of the national early literacy event “Read for the Record”.  Come and learn about the great things that can happen here in Macon when people work together towards a common goal. 
I hope to see you there!  ~ Jennifer Wells

> > Click here for the event invitation
> > Click here for the full press release for the event
> > Click here for Ed Grisamore's article on Portia Lake and Read for the Record

The mission of Community Partnership is to improve the well-being of children and families in Macon.  In August of 2007, Community Partnership convened local nonprofit organizations, government agencies, law enforcement, and community members to form a collaborative group to work towards fulfilling its mission.  After 18 months of planning and research, the collaborative launched its program, and so far over 40 collaborative partners have participated in providing health, nutrition, parenting and financial management classes; summer camps, senior luncheons, and other educational opportunities to residents in the Lynmore Estates Neighborhood.


Knight Neighborhood Challenge Needs Your Great Ideas for College Hill!
9/18/2009

A project of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Neighborhood Challenge is a $3 million competitive grant program that will underwrite the best ideas to transform the city’s first neighborhoods into a vibrant college town connected by leafy roads and bike paths to Macon’s downtown. This grant will fund creative, transformational ideas for the Corridor from organizations and individuals. A broad-based, competitive grant program, the Challenge will fund the best ideas – small and large – that give College Hill a sense of place, spruce up its parks and public spaces or enhance the arts and entertainment scene. The effort also aims to get people involved in College Hill through an array of civic and cultural projects.  
The first deadline is October 15, 2009.  Click here to submit your online application.
 

American Idol’s 8th Season Runner Up, Adam Lambert, Supports Central Georgia Classrooms
9/8/2009

This past March, in celebration of our 15th anniversary, CFCG made a “Double Your Impact” matching grant offer of up to $50,000 that is currently available to Central Georgia public school teachers through DonorsChoose.org; which is a nonprofit website that allows public school teachers to request the educational materials they need, and connects them with donors who want to help.

We have recently had a lot of excitement surrounding our 15th Anniversary grant due to American Idol’s 8th Season runner-up, Adam Lambert, announcing his support for DonorsChoose.org and challenging his fans to do the same.
 
>> Click here to view Adam's YouTube video about DonorsChoose.org 

Since Lambert’s announcement, we have seen seven Central Georgia music and performing arts related projects fully funded thanks to his support and the generosity of his fans.  One project in particular, titled “Can You Hear Me Now”, caught the special attention of Adam Lambert himself, who helped fully fund the project.

>> Click here to view "Can You Hear me Now" and Adam's message to the classroom

CFCG notified the local media about this exciting news, and articles were published in the Barnesville and Milledgeville newspapers.  Since the launch of CFCG’s “Double Your Impact” offer, 108 Central Georgia projects have been fully funded and will impact the education of almost 14,500 students, and total over $50,000 in new materials for classrooms in Central Georgia.

~ Jennifer Wells

>> Click here to read the Herald-Gazette article about Adam Lambert's support

>> Click here to read the Union Recorder article about Lambert's fan's support

Heir Property in Georgia: How to Preserve Your Family’s Land
8/21/2009

The Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice will be hosting a free information seminar for heir property owners on August 24th and August 25th.  This program will help owners of heir property to understand and protect their property rights, and will include expert presentations on Property Basics: Title, Deeds, and Taxes, The Importance of a Will, and Steps to Protect Your Land.

> > Click HERE to view the informational flyer


The August 24th seminar will be held at the Woodmen of the World Lodge in Macon, 175 Old Lodge Road, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The August 25th seminar will be held at 2158 Old Highway 11 in Round Oak from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The program is free of charge, however registration is requested.  To RSVP, or for more information, email info@gaapleseed.org or call 404-685-6750.

Help Make Miracles Happen!
8/13/2009


MIRACLE TREAT DAY
Today is Miracle Treat Day!  Buy a Blizzard at a participating Dairy Queen location today and $1 or more per Blizzard will benefit The Children's Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.  You'll be helping to save and improve the lives of children right here in Central Georgia.

Click here to view the video coverage from 13WMAZ.com

Family Counseling Center Receives Flint Energies Grant
8/11/2009

Family Counseling Center of Central GA., Inc. received grant funding from the Flint Energies Foundation’s “Operation Round-Up" Program to help the agency with the purchase of agency Brochures, Parenting Manuals and other items needed to serve families.
 
The Family Counseling Center is a United Way agency that provides counseling and workshops for individuals/families in 11 Central Georgia Counties including Houston, Bibb, Crawford, Peach, Macon, Wilkinson, Dooly, Monroe and Twiggs Counties. www.fcccg.org

1st Row L-R, Family Counseling Center of Central GA Executive Director Frank Mack, Flint Energies Foundation, Inc.’s Chairperson Carol Glasgow, Director Connie McCutchen, Treasurer Jane Hobbs, Secretary Joanne Hamlin, Director Pat Bartness;  2nd Row L-R, Vice Chairman Fred Jarrell, Directors George West, Dozier Blackstock and Dr. Rudy Hollingsworth.

Jay's HOPE Prepares for an Open House to Celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
8/6/2009

When Jay's HOPE Foundation began looking for free space for their office, they found it in a small un-used closet in the Jacques Flat building across from the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia.  Knowing that there was unfinished space adjacent to the closet, they asked the owners of the building if they could use the unfinished space if they renovated it.  Now, with renovations almost complete, their agreement is that they can remain in the space for four years, rent-free.

Jay's HOPE received a responsive grant from CFCG for the renovations to create a family room that includes a reference library for families who have children disagnosed with Cancer.  With additional funding, they also created the Cox Communication's Life Connections Center - the only walk-in bone marrow testing center in the state of Georgia, as well as adding much needed meeting space and a children's room for play therapy. 

They are busy finishing the renovations, like adding old mantles on the original exposed brick walls where the original fireplaces were, in preparation for their Open House on September 1, 2009 from 10-12.  They will open their new doors with a proclamation from Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, since September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Family Room


Meeting Room


Play Therapy Room

Volunteer Dental Clinic in Houston County
8/6/2009

Rehoboth Life Care Ministries, Inc. is building a Volunteer Dental Clinic to address the lack of oral health care in the poor, Medicaid eligible, children, elderly and minority poulations of Central Georgia.  The new mobile and permant facilities will improve access to quality dental care.

Kathryn and I met with the Executive Director, Yesmin Wilson, and some of the volunteers for the clinic.  They currently have a mobile dental trailer that houses 3 dental chairs and all the necessary equipment to provide extractions, resorations and sealants.  They also have a home that they are renovating to create a permanent location for the clinic.  The immediate needs of $75,000 will enable them to renovate the home to accomodate a more modern dental clinic, where more than 15 dentists are committed to volunteering their time to provide these services.

Click here to see the new layout for the home renovations to transform it into a permanent dental clinic.

Julia

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something’s Cooking at the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home
8/5/2009

This past Friday, Julia and I had the pleasure of visiting the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home, a Campus of Twin Cedars Youth Services (GICH), which has been serving the needs of Macon’s youth for more than 100 years.  We were invited out to the campus to see the progress they have made with renovations to the facility’s main kitchen, which was partially funded by a 2008 Community Foundation Responsive Grant. 

Renovations had been put on hold in January during the merger between the GICH and Twin Cedars, but are now back on track and the kitchen should be fully operational within two weeks.  GICH will then be able to add culinary skills training for the youth they serve in their Independent Living Program, which teaches youth up to 21 years of age the living skills needed for a successful transition into life outside of GICH.  The residents will also benefit from the increased social interactions and responsibilities that come with communal cooking and dining.

We also had the opportunity to tour the GEICO and Lions residential cottages, which are both receiving critical renovations to both the interior and exterior.  Once these renovations are complete, GICH will have 6 cottages and will be able to serve up to 60 youth.

To continue to enhance and expand the services available to the youth they serve, GICH is currently seeking volunteers.  Some ways volunteers can make a difference include: helping the kids develop “Go Green” program on campus, mentor or tutor a child, or teach a class in music, art, or on sports.  For more information on volunteer opportunities at the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home go to www.gich.org/volunteer , or contact Linda Finley at 478-474-8220.

Jennifer Wells

GICH Residential Cottage Kitchen
With the main kitchen non-operational for several years, meals have been cooked for residents and staff in this small kitchen located in one of the residential cottages.
 
GICH Main Kitchen
The much more spacious main kitchen will allow culinary skills training for residents.
 
GICH Main Kitchen
Restaurant quality equipment has been donated from various organizations and churches.
 
GEICO Cottage
It has been over 20 years since the GEICO Cottage has received any major renovations.
 
GEICO Cottage 
A view down the hall of the newly renovated interior of GEICO Cottage
 

 


 

 

Update on the Macon Volunteer Clinic
8/3/2009

Kathryn and I had the opportunity to meet with Valerie Biskey and Nic Manacheo to get an update on the work of the Macon Volunteer Clinic, providing excellent healthcare to the medically underserved in Bibb County.

Valerie is passionate about that work that they do, and she emphasized that the patients are so grateful for the services.  They are currently seeing about 700 patients.  Many of them are managing diabetes, and there is also a big need for dental services. 

Recently, two new doctors have begun volunteering their time at the clinic, and a good number young doctors and pre-med and medical students are getting involved, too. 

The clinic has increased its hours and sees patients four days a week.  Valerie would love to have the clinic five days a week in the future, but that will require additional support staff and volunteers.  Both the Medical Center and Coliseum hospitals are very supportive of the clinic, and MVC is a member of the Georgia Free Clinic Network. 

The MVC's annual event, the Cotton Ball, will be August 21st at the Armory Ballroom.  All proceeds from the event will support the day to day operations of the clinic.
www.maconvolunteerclinic.com

- Julia

Grant Seekers Seminar August 20th
7/29/2009

Do you work with a non-profit organization that needs funding for a project?  Would you like to know more about fundraising?  Have you ever applied for a grant and been turned down?  If so, then consider attending this free training session at the Methodist Home for Children and Youth in Macon.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED though.  It is Thursday, August 20th from 2:00-4:00 in the Rumford Center of the Methodist Home, 304 Pierce Avenue, Macon, GA.  Email Vernetta.dumas@themethodisthome.org to register as soon as possible!  Participants will learn how to find funders using the Foundation Directory Online database and how to get the most out of the resources on the comprehensive Foundation Center website.  Thank you to our wonderful friends at the Methodist Home for Children and Youth for hosting this seminar!

Kathryn

Habitat for Humanity
7/24/2009

Macon Area Habitat for Humanity  has new volunteer management software to make it easier for you to help build.  All you have to do is visit their website, register, and use the calendar to select the day and place that you would like to work.  It will automatically provide a list of the volunteers for each site to help Habitat prepare. 

Click here to check it out!

New IRS Form 990 Seminar for Non Profits
6/26/2009

More than 35 people representing 20 local non-profit organizations attended the new IRS Form 990 Seminar presented by Clifton, Lipford, Hardison, & Parker, LLC.  Starting with the 2008 filing year, the IRS has made significant changes to the Form 990.  These new reporting requirements are an effort to make nonprofit organizations more transparent to the public.  These changes will cause organizations to review, add or update policies and procedures.  Other changes will require additional recordkeeping of the organization's activities. Board members may be required to disclose information regarding business transactions with the exempt organization.  Kelly Mattox and Steven Rumford presented these changes and explained how local non-profits will be affected by these changes.

 

Macon Outreach at Mulberry's "Salute to America" Celebration
6/26/2009

Today,  Macon Outreach at Mulberry hosted a "Salute to America" celebration.  The celebration, designed especially for the homeless, needy, and deserving in our community, served a traditional summer fish fry lunch including fried fish, watermelon, lemonade and cake, in the newly renovated headquarters of Macon Outreach.  

While I was there, I had the opportunity to speak to Reverend Tommy Martin, the Senior Pastor of Mulberry United Methodist Church.  He said that Macon Outreach is serving more people this summer than usual.  In the past, they would see about 200 people per day, but just one day last week they served more than 280 people.  Allison Gatliff, Assistant Director of Macon Outreach, said, "I am very happy to report that we served more than 320 meals today."

A community-wide cooperative ministry, Macon Outreach at Mulberry is the largest congregant meal provider in middle GA serving the homeless and working poor.  It is located at 267 First Street in downtown Macon, in the chapel level of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church.

Julia

Knight Neighborhood Challenge
6/22/2009

Two and a half years ago, four Mercer University students had an idea. Now a $3,000 grant from the Knight Fund for Macon of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to support their Senior Capstone class project has evolved into the College Hill Corridor with $5,000,000 in funding behind it!

We hope that’s how the Knight Neighborhood Challenge will work. Ideas from citizens who live,  work, study and play in College Hill will be funded and will then transform the area. This competitive grant program is a new approach to community engagement. It will fund the best ideas, both small and large. There will even be special categories for those under 25 and over 60.

The best ideas don’t have to come from the usual suspects, nor do they always require a lot of money. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia looks forward to our partnership with Knight Foundation, Mercer University, and the College Hill Corridor Commission as we begin this journey. Please stay tuned to our website for more information.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, I would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for its generosity. Knight Foundation is achieving amazing results in Macon, in the fields of journalism and information technology, and in 25 other communities around the country because of its innovative leadership. We are truly grateful.
Kathryn

Click here to view the press release 

Click the following link to watch the press conference http://www.mediafire.com/?dy2i31zfmgt


Mercer University President, William D. Underwood, announces the $5 million Knight Foundation grant to support the work of the  College Hill Corridor Commission


Beverly Blake, Program Director with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


 

 

What's Right with Central Georgia
6/19/2009

Too often we hear what’s wrong with our communities.  Community Foundation leaders will use this space to share what’s right.  We won’t always shy away from the needs and problems faced by our citizens.  But with those needs and problems there are always opportunities for change and betterment.  Alberto Ibarguen, President of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, goes so far as to say that they are looking for “transformational” change in communities and their foundation will not fund needs, only opportunities!  CFCG Board member Marc Albertson refuses to discuss problems, he only talks about opportunities!  See where I’m going…  In my role as President of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, I am blessed to be part of countless uplifting moments and to meet people in Central Georgia with remarkable stories serving their fellow man, as are my colleagues.  We want to share those stories with you.  As one of my favorite songs says, “There’s a dark and a gloomy side of life.  But there’s a bright and a sunny side too.  You’ve got to keep on the sunny side of life.”  Here, you’ll hear what’s right with Central Georgia.
Kathryn

 

Seeds of Community
6/16/2009

One of our donors enjoyed reading the recent Telegraph article entitled Seeds of Community  (Click here for the full text) and asked me to do some research on the Pleasant Hill Community Garden.

I called Ms. Johnson who was listed as the contact for the garden in the paper, and she told me about the Pleasant Hill Youth Activities Task Force.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports the Pleasant Hill Community Garden, Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Improvement and Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Development.

Volunteers plant and maintain the garden, and in addition to the vegetables it produces, it is an opportunity to have art and science lessons for the neighborhood children.  One Mercer University volunteer even created a website for the Garden, which you can visit at  http://freewebs.com/phcommunitygarden/

Macon Music? A Downtown Entertainment District
6/12/2009

I had the pleasure of attending the Macon Music and Creative Arts Alliance public forum last week, where John Elkington, president of Performa Entertainment Real Estate, which operates Memphis’ famed Beale Street, spoke to Maconites about how we can use our music heritage to build an entertainment district to attract tourists to Macon. 

I was particularly impressed by the cross-section of people who were present at the meeting.  The usual community stake-holders were there but there was also a strong presence of just local citizens who care about Macon.

Mr. Elkington toured Macon and met with local groups and then made remarks at a public forum on Tuesday, which focused on five tips to building a successful entertainment industry for tourism.

(1) He believes you create a brand for your city and communicate that brand via television.
(2) There are five main groups of tourists, and you have to reach all of them:  Group tourists, Leisure tourists, Conventioneers, Business travelers, and local residents.
(3) Be realistic about your costs.  Make sure your building and rental costs reflect the types of people you’re trying to attract. 
(4) It will be hard to finance – be resourceful!  We have 1 million square feet of vacant space to fill, and that’s a lot, but we can do it!
(5) Diversity is the key ingredient.  The people who own the buildings and the people who work in the buildings will be your customers, too! 

What I liked about his enthusiasm was that he believes there are very few places in America that are hollowed ground and Macon is one of those places!  He believes in Macon, and we should, too!

I really could feel the energy behind this group.  I could tell that people were working together, and not set on their own ideas, but on getting the buy-in from the whole community. 

I liked this quote from Mr. Elkington, “Success is keeping people who don't like it away from those who don't know if they like it or not!”

Click here to read the Macon.com article by Philip Ramati.

Click here to read the Macon.com article by Kenny Burgamy.

 

Lillian Tyus Cartledge Scholarship Recipients Named
6/10/2009

The Lillian Tyus Cartledge Memorial Scholarship was created to assist graduating seniors who display a capacity for learning and a desire for academic achievement, and it is open to graduating seniors of Griffin High School and Spalding County High School.  - more -

Congratulations to the 2009-2010 recipients!

Amber Sherielle Goodson
Sherielle will attend Gordon College and plans to major in Education.  Her reference said, “Sherielle is very conscientious and self-motivated.  She is an eager learner who takes charge of her education by asking questions and actively participating.  She is deserving of this scholarship.”

Brittany Walker
Brittany will attend Albany State University and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.  Her reference said, “Brittany has proven to be a student with high expectations and accomplishments.  She has outstanding leadership ability, is cooperative and will success in her endeavors.”

Gaudet Baseball Camp 2009
6/9/2009

CFCG made a Fall 2008 Responsive Grant to the 2009 Gaudet Baseball Camp, that provided a baseball and glove to underprivileged children through the "Have a Ball" program.   CFCG President, Kathryn Dennis, was one of the speakers at the opening ceremonies.

 

 

 

Click here to view the photo gallery from Macon.com

The New Central High School Building
6/9/2009

I was fortunate enough to tag along on a tour that Principal Dr. Erin Weaver gave of the new Central High School facility that will open this fall.  The facility is impressive and I enjoyed seeing it through the eyes of about 15 Central faculty members.  Their excitement was contagious.  The building is intended to be a 50 year building and it is top of the line.  It is even L.E.E.D. certified for energy efficiency. 

Some of the things that were interesting to me: 
- There are no chalkboards.  Chalkboards are virtually obsolete in new schools because the chalk dust can damage computers.
- The ceiling are slanted!  (It is not an optical illusion.)  This is part of the energy efficiency plan.  By having windows in each classroom, the slanted ceilings allow for maximum reflection of sunlight in the classrooms.  Plus, each page has lights that are on sensors, instead of traditional light switches.
- There is a beautiful new 620 seat auditorium.
- The 2009-2010 academic year will be the first year that Central High School is classified as a Title 1 school.  Dr. Weaver thinks this is a great opportunity for her students because there is a lot of financial aid for graduates of Title 1 schools who are applying to post-secondary education.

If you have a chance to visit the new facility, I highly recommend it!
Julia

Classroom:

Science Lab:


Auditorium:

Media Center:

Newly Organized Macon Music and Creative Arts Alliance Hosts Public Forum
6/9/2009

Formed to spearhead the revitalization of downtown through the branding of Macon as the "Birthplace of Southern Rock," the Macon Music and Creative Arts Alliance is a new civic organization founded by a group of Macon business leaders and community advocates.

The group's mission is to create a downtown entertainment district capitalizing on Macon's rich musical history that attracts investors, business owners and ultimately, tourists. These efforts would assist in filling over one million square feet of empty downtown property.

Members of the media and general public are invited to attend an open forum to introduce these plans on Wednesday, June 10, at 2 p.m. 

In addition, John Elkington of Performa Entertainment Real Estate in Memphis, Tennessee, will be on hand to discuss the challenges and possibilities of the group's goal. Elkington is the developer responsible for creating Memphis' famed Beale Street entertainment district. His visit to Macon has been made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.

WHAT: The newly formed "Macon Music and Creative Arts Alliance" is holding an open forum this Wednesday to discuss plans for creating an entertainment district in downtown Macon. After presenting the alliance's preliminary plans, John Elkington, Memphis developer responsible for the creation of Beale Street, will talk about what it takes to successfully complete an economic development plan such as this.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 2 - 3 p.m.

WHERE: Cox Capital Theatre

Lynn Poe Receives the HCA 2008 Frist Humanitarian Award
6/9/2009

Lynn donated a portion of her award to benefit the Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S. Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.  Pictured to the left is the check presentation from Lynn to Kathryn Dennis, CFCG President.

 

 

 

Lynn Poe, Coliseum Northside Hospital volunteer, was recently awarded Coliseum Health System’s 2008 Frist Humanitarian Award, which recognizes a volunteer at each HCA-affiliated facility who demonstrates extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community. 

Lynn Poe began volunteering the day after she retired from twenty years of nursing at Coliseum Northside.  As well as running the hospital gift shop, Lynn has assisted with fund raisers and events for charities like Make-A-Wish Foundation, Relay-For-Life, Alzheimer’s Association and DFCS.  She also volunteers with American Heart Association collecting donations in her neighborhood and at Heartland Hospice Service where she visits with the inpatients and performs clerical work.  She began the “Sitters Ministry” with her church Sunday school to relieve caretakers during the care for their loved ones.
 
Click here to read the article featuring Lynn Poe in the May 2009 issue of Senior News.

Purdue Receives the Chairman's Award from the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce
6/4/2009
Mrs. Starr H. Purdue, the Secretary of the CFCG Board of Directors, is the Funeral Director for Hutchings Funeral Home, Inc.  She recently received the Chairman's Award at the 148th annual meeting of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce.  We are grateful for her service to the community and congratulate her on this award.
Macon Golf for Kids
6/4/2009

Macon Golf for Kids is an all volunteer organization dedicated to providing golf instruction and character building programs to underserved children in the Macon area. Macon Golf for Kids developed a youth golf practice facility at Bowden Golf Course.   A grant from USGA provides equipment, instruction and rounds of golf for qualified children.  Macon Golf for Kids believes that golf is a game of life, for life.

Click here to read more about Macon Golf for Kids on the Brickyard Collegiate website.

Hospice Home
6/1/2009

Last week, I had the pleasure to sit with Debbie Schuchmann from the MedCen Community Health Foundation at Rotary.  She gave me an update on the progress of the new Hospice Home, which is the only not-for-profit free-standing Hospice facility in Macon.  She said that The Hospice of Central Georgia Advisory Board, volunteers, and Hospice staff have been hard at work raising funds to build a much-needed inpatient Hospice Home to be located on five beautiful acres at 6281 Peake Road.  So far, almost  $5 Million has been raised towards the $5.5 Million goal.  Now, the MedCen Foundation has an anonymous donor who has agreed to write a check for $250,000 when the matching $250,000 is successfully raised to complete the campaign.  I have a special place in my heart for the Hospice staff and patients who need their care.  I hope that you never need to use this service.  But I also hope that if you do, the best care and facilities are available right here in Central Georgia.
Julia

Connecting Students
5/29/2009

The College Hill Corridor wants to help connect students looking for summer work with Maconites who need help with odd jobs.

Here’s how it works: E-mail info@collegehillcorridor.com with the following information:

• Your name
• E-mail address
• Date range of availability (i.e., June-August or June 09-June 10)
• List of jobs you would be qualified to perform (sitting, yard work, handyman work, bartending, office work, painting, lifeguarding, kayak guide, etc.)
• Whether you are also interested in volunteer work with the College Hill Corridor or other local organizations
• Skills or certifications
• Year in school
• Other relevant information (resume not needed)

CHC will publish a database of this information to our website and send it to their partners.  Of course, CHC cannot vouch for anyone on the list or otherwise recommend people, but they CAN put people looking for work in touch with people looking for help.

Please submit your information NO LATER than Friday, June 5, 2009.

Giving While Living or Endowing Funds Forver?
5/26/2009

If you follow CFCG on Twitter, you may have seen our tweet this morning.  Giving While Living or Endowing Funds Forever?

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of conversations on the phenomenon of foundation “spenddown,” or limited lifespan. These discussions have been spurred by the heightened visibility of individual philanthropists who have announced their intention to limit their foundation’s lifespan. 

The Foundation Center in cooperation with the Council on Foundations recently released the results from the first national survey of family foundations on the topic of lifespan planning, called Perpetuity or Limited Lifespan: How Do Family Foundations Decide? Click here to view the full text.

A few of the key findings include:

  • The study’s most basic fi nding is that while perpetuity is the norm for most existing family foundations, a small segment plan to have a limited lifespan (12 percent) and a larger segment are undecided (25 percent), either because they have not yet discussed this issue or due to uncertainty about the family’s future involvement in the foundation.
  • Having a living donor is an especially strong determinant of lifespan planning choices: foundations with a living founder are three times more likely to expect to spend down than those whose founder is deceased.
  • Foundations that plan to limit their lifespan are more likely to make a formal decision at some point after the foundation’s establishment, rather than at inception.
  • The two leading reasons for deciding to exist in perpetuity are a desire to have a long-term impact on the community and a desire for family engagement across generations.

CFCG applauds those donors who spend today and those who endow the future. We need all of them.

Congratulations Graduates!
5/22/2009


Congratulations to the 2009-2010 Al Lucas Memorial Scholarship Recipients as they prepare for Graduation this weekend.

Left to Right: Key’erra Rozier, Northeast High School; Yi’sheika Bell, Westside High School; Angelia Hill, Southwest High School;  Marcus Jones, Central High School; Reginald Cater, Northeast High School; and Maurice Davison, Rutland High School (not pictured).

Vineville Academy Enjoys New Resources via Donors Choose
5/22/2009

This morning, we held a follow up press conference at Vineville Academy to show the media some of the innovative projects that have been funded via CFCG's Double Your Impact Matching Grant to DonorsChoose.org.

It was inspiring to see the children enjoying two new microscopes for Vineville's new science lab, 12 puppets that are used to help promote literacy and language development, and three half-sized violins for the strings class at this Fine Arts magnet elementary school in Bibb County.

We will post pictures from the event next week, and you can click here to read the full press release.

To date, we've had 38 projects fully funded.  There are 64 Central Georgia project requests on DonorsChoose.org today.  The summer is a great time for teachers to create project requests in prepartion for the fall.  You can click the link to the left called "Matching Grant to DonorChoose.org" to browse project requests.  I'm always inspired by seeing all the exciting ideas for our children.  They are the future of Central Georgia! 

Juanita Jordan - Woman of Distinction
5/14/2009

Congratulations to CFCG Board Member, Juanita Jordan, who was selected as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.  The Women of Distinction event is a fundraiser sponsored by Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, that offers recognition to women within the Girl Scout council communities.  These honorees are women who, as representatives of a diverse spectrum of professional and personal accomplishments, are excellent role models for today's girls.  Jordan will be honored today at noon at the Armory Ballroom in Macon.  Other 2009 honorees include: Neva Fickling, Del Ward Leslie, Dr. Catherine Meeks and Martha Thornton.

BLCF Offers Chance to Honor Moms
5/8/2009

When God chose heavenly healing for Cassandra Dayton after a battle with Cancer, her son Matthew and former husband Bill knew exactly how they wanted to honor her. They chose to establish a charitable fund in her name that would perpetuate her volunteer service to the Barnesville community.  MORE -

By Walter Geiger
The Herald Gazette
Friday, May 8. 2009  

 

Animal Shelter Gas Chamber Demolition Ceremony
4/13/2009

Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S. (Critter Advocates Requesting Ethical Standards) is a group of citizens who have been long time animal advocates in the community.  The focus of the group is to improve the condition of Macon's abandoned pet population by moving the shelter to a more public-friendly environment, increasing the rate of adoption, and implementing a more humane euthanasia technique.

Today, we attended the Animal Shelter's Gas Chamber Demolition Ceremony.  Central Services & Macon Animal Control is poised to move forward with building modifications to end the gas chamber and switch to euthanasia by lethal injection.

Check out the DonorsChoose Blog
4/9/2009

Click here to read the post on the DonorsChoose blog about CFCG's Double Your Impact matching grant. 

Click here to view all projects eligible for CFCG's matching grant.

To date, twelve projects have been fully funded, resulting in 874 hours of learning for 2,592 Central Georgia students.

CFCG Board Chairman, Malcolm S. Burgess, Jr., Named GC&SU's 2009 Executive of the Year
4/1/2009

Congratulations Malcolm for being selected as the thirteenth annual Executive of the Year for the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College and State University.

Click here to read GC&SU's announcement.

Southwest Philharmonic Society performs at Cherry Blossom Festival
3/25/2009

As part of the Third Street Park Festivities, the Southwest Philharmonic Society performed at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Wednesday, March 25, 2009.

The Southwest Philharmonic Society received a Responsive Grant for $8,500 from CFCG in January 2009 to assist with the cost of travel to a national choral competition.

The Southwest Philharmonic Society of Southwest High School is comprised of students from some of the lower social economic communities of Macon.  Over the years, they have won top honors in competitions entered, from Los Angeles to New York City.  Travel to these competitions is a wonderful opportunity for these students to not only showcase their talents and bring acclaim to Macon, but to be exposed to new and different cultures and be apart of something positive.