Non profit agencies to receive big bucks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Non profit agencies to receive big bucks

May 9, 2007

Cordele -- Non-profit agencies in Crisp and Dooly Counties are competing for federal money to help them do their jobs better.  The Georgia Empowerment Zone, a group that provides financial assistance to non-profits, received a $500,000 compassion grant from the federal government. They're looking for a few good companies to aid. 

The St. Paul/Gillespie-Selden Learning Center is a jewel in Cordele. Once an African-American Secondary school, it now serves as a day care and after school center for low to moderate income families.

"We do have some computers but they are in disrepair," says the center's director Erskine Weaver.

It is one of several non-profit agencies hoping to get part of a $500,000 grant awarded to the Georgia Empowerment Zone.

"What were hoping to do is provide up to date reading materials for these kids."

We took a tour of the center. It gives preference to parents who are trying to finish school or low income parents working to make ends meet.

Because of the high demand, the center wants to expand to a 24 hour facility.

"Some of them {parents} have even had to give up those jobs because they haven't been able to find anyone to give night care so to speak."

There are several needs here that all require money.

"Anytime we can get additional money to put back into the community that will address those needs, were really doing good for the community," says Joseph Brown with the Georgia Empowerment Zone.

His office is working with the Department of Health and Human Services to decide who will get a piece of the pie. They're looking at several factors.

"How well the plan is put together, how much its going to actually benefit the residents of the county."

These bright eyes and warm smiles at the daycare center are hoping some of the money comes there way.

"It will be a boost to what were trying to do," Weaver says.

As they providing a much needed service to families trying to get on their feet. 

If you work for a non-profit agency in Crisp or Dooly County, it's not too late to apply for the money. You can contact the Georgia Empowerment Zone at (229) 268-7592.

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