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Posted: January 29, 2010 12:01 a.m.

Porterdale begins community assistance program

During the holidays, Porterdale City Council member Linda Finger led an effort to equip a family of five with items that would improve their quality of life. She enlisted the help of other city residents and together they were able to provide a washer, dryer, stove and a fully stocked refrigerator to the family with donations.

This act inspired Finger to introduce a new committee to the council. CARE — Community Assistance Relief Effort — is what has become of the idea.

"I thought, ‘we don’t need to do this just at Christmas.’" Finger said. "We need to do this year round."

She brought her idea of offering utility and other assistance to city residents in need before the council. Mayor Bobby Hamby suggested she team up with the Friends of Porterdale, since it is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations would then be tax deductible.

This week Finger joined the Friends of Porterdale, whose members voted to create a CARE subcommittee.

Water department hardship forms have been revamped to include a box people can check if they would like to apply for Porterdale CARE funds. Finger said she or another committee member would then contact that person to see what their specific need is and gather personal information so assistance is not duplicated in the same household.

She said eventually the committee will need to decide on a dollar amount that can be given to a single family in a 12-month period.

"Otherwise we’ll have the same families apply over and over and over," Finger said.

Finger said she is currently asking for donations to shore up the program’s funds and soliciting help from all the churches in Porterdale. She said she also hopes the program will help the city discover living conditions that are not up to city code so enforcement officers can remedy those problems more efficiently.

"I think this program will be really beneficial to everyone involved," Finger said.

To donate to Porterdale’s CARE program or for more information, call Linda Finger at (678) 859-2496. Checks can be made payable to Friends of Porterdale with "CARE" in the memo line and brought to Porterdale City Hall.

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