Category: Making a Difference

Dunwoody church to host month-long food drive

Dunwoody’s First Baptist Church Atlanta plans to host a month-long food drive in June to help Atlanta Community Food Bank to help feed those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Drop-offs can be made on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church at 4400 North Peachtree Road in Dunwoody. Donors have options in making a donation. They can: Deliver food in a no-contact drop-off at the church; Use a local grocery app to donate directly to First Baptist Atlanta, or; Donate directly to that Atlanta Community Food Bank. Atlanta Community Food Bank says that $1 can provide...

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COVID-19 at ‘critical point’ in Georgia, expert warns at Latin American Association awards

The COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia appears to be in a “steady state,” but also a “critical point” where precautions must remain to prevent it from growing, a prominent expert told the Brookhaven-based Latin American Association at its May 21 annual awards event. Dr. Carlos del Rio is a professor of infectious diseases at Emory’s School of Medicine, chair of the Department of Global Health at its Rollins School of Public Health, and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. He has appeared frequently in local and national media commenting on COVID-19, recently expressing caution about Georgia’s reopening of...

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COVID-19 testing on Buford Highway draws many

Free COVID-19 testing at a site on Buford Highway in Brookhaven drew many people wondering about their status on May 14 and 15. The testing was conducted at 3292 Buford Highway at North Cliff Valley Way, a city-owned site is intended to be a DeKalb County ambulance station. It was carried out by volunteers with Community Organized Relief Effort or CORE, a nonprofit co-founded by actor Sean Penn originally for earthquake disaster relief in Haiti. Local sponsor organizations included the Latino Community Fund Georgia, We Love BuHi and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. People seeking a test could...

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Brookhaven author wins $1,000 prize for COVID-19 e-book

Brookhaven resident Kevin Poplawski and illustrator Michael Rausch won $1,000 and an honorable mention prize for a picture book intended to provide children ages 6-9 with information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The duo wrote “Together: Living Life During COVID-19.” They won $1,000 from Emory Global Health Institute, which sponsored the COVID-19 Children’s E-Book Competition. The aim of the books was to reassure the children it’s OK to feel upset and reassure them that they are safe. Poplawski and his wife Elizabeth both work in healthcare. He’s a physical therapist at Emory Healthcare Orthopedics/Sports Medicine and she’s a physician at...

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Gov. Kemp: Venues, bars to stay closed through May 31; summer day camps OK

Live music venues, bars and nightclubs must remain closed through May 31, Gov. Brian Kemp announced, but summer day camps have been given a green light to reopen if they follow health and safety regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Kemp said during a May 12 press conference at the State Capitol that keeping performance venues, bars and nightclubs closed  “a little bit longer will help enhance health outcomes.” On the other hand, Kemp issued a new executive order that allows summer day camps to reopen May 14. Overnight summer camps are still banned for now. Restaurants, which...

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Goodwill to reopen stores and career centers with new precautions May 13

Goodwill of North Georgia is reopening its local stores and career centers on May 13 with shopping precautions that range from limits on the number of customers to shuttered fitting rooms and water fountains. The nonprofit will not accept donations of items until May 18 and will establish a “no-contact” process for doing so. Goodwill closed all locations on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It opened some locations in less-populated areas on May 6. Goodwill said in a press release that all locations have been deep-cleaned and sanitized, including treating merchandise using “a proven, eco-friendly misting process.”...

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Dunwoody nonprofits end ‘Everything Will Be OK’ yard-sign fundraiser

Two Dunwoody nonprofits have ended their sales of yard-sign versions of the local “Everything Will Be OK” mural, citing waning local demand for a campaign that briefly drew national attention for its fundraising for pandemic-affected artists. The May 1 end of the sales came a little over two weeks after the Spruill Center for the Arts and Create Dunwoody reached an agreement with the original artist, Jason Scott Kofke, over copyright issues that had temporarily halted the program. Meanwhile, Kofke is continuing to run his own artist fundraiser website featuring “Everything Will Be OK” on yard signs and an...

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Sandy Springs restaurant turned food pantry lends a hand

When pandemic closures shuttered the restaurant Under the Cork Tree in the Prado shopping center at 5600 Roswell Road, volunteers transformed it into the Solidarity Food Pantry. Created by Sandy Springs residents in collaboration with Brookhaven’s Barnes Young Team real estate brokers, the pantry began providing food and personal items to those in need on March 27. The dining room became a collection area and the bar became the food pantry. “We go through over 250 pounds of rice and beans each day,” said Erin Oliver, one of the volunteer organizers. “We set up the restaurant like a market...

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Buckhead Christian Ministry’s mission of keeping people in their homes meets pandemic challenge

Buckhead Christian Ministry was already near capacity in its mission of helping people in need across metro Atlanta avoid the loss of homes. Now in the pandemic economy, it’s found a way — with help from local governments and churches —  to triple its daily emergency assistance applications as demand skyrockets. “The demand on our helpline was more than we could handle before this crisis. It’s just that now we’re being asked to do even more,” said Keeva Kase, president and CEO at the nonprofit, which is based on Piedmont Road but works through the metro area. “…I think...

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Dunwoody commemorates Earth Day by naming ‘Sustainability Heroes’

The week of Earth Day is typically marked by volunteer events and care for the outdoors. This year, while the April 22 events are canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the city of Dunwoody celebrated by naming its 2019 Sustainability Hero Award winners. Mary Keesee took home the individual Sustainability Hero Award, while Griffith Engineering earned the corporate honor, the city announced April 21 in a press release. The city Sustainability Committee selected the award-winners “for their commitment to the environment and community,” the release said. “Even in the midst of a pandemic, we want to recognize these...

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Leadership Sandy Springs postpones annual volunteer event

An annual Sandy Springs volunteering opportunity is joining the long list of events put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Leadership Sandy Springs has postponed the 18th Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs event from April 25 indefinitely. “The health and safety of members of our community comes first,” said LSS Executive Director Jan Paul in a letter to event sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A at Sandy Springs and North Springs High School. “We are working with all constituencies to find a suitable date to reschedule.” Paul said many of the work sites include outdoor projects like landscaping...

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National Guard soldiers help CAC distribute food as pandemic demand soars

As the Community Assistance Center faces ever-growing demand for food in the pandemic shutdown crisis, it’s getting some reinforcements: Georgia National Guard soldiers. The soldiers from the Guard’s 1177th Transportation Unit, based in LaGrange, are working three days a week stocking and packing items in the CAC’s food pantry at 8607 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Part of a statewide pandemic deployment ordered by Gov. Brian Kemp to help nonprofits and senior care facilities, the soldiers came to the CAC via the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “That is exciting,” said Tamara Carrera, executive director of the nonprofit, which serves...

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