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Posted: February 10, 2009 11:59 p.m.

Grants awarded to local nonprofits

19 groups benefit

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Giving to givers: Community Foundation grant recipients are Ed Jenkins (Willing Helpers Medical), front left, Louly Hay (Covington YMCA), Josephine Brown (Newton County Senior Services), Margaret Washington (Newton Mentoring), Peggy Moss (Friends ...

 In its 10th year of charitable grant giving, The Community Foundation for Newton County awarded $24,200 to 19 separate nonprofits serving Newton County.

Much of the grantmaking went to nonprofits that provide emergency assistance to residents and families in financial need.

"It was the most applications we had ever received, which was 26, and I think it was a sign of the times. The economic downturn is definitely affecting the nonprofit community," said Tamara Richardson, regional outreach director for the Community Foundation for Newton.

Because of the financial need, Richardson said the Community Foundation's local board of directors decided to give smaller grants than in years past in order to make the foundation's funds stretch further. While grants this year ranged in size from $700 to $2,000, the average size of grants in past years was $2,500.

"The board made that decision because the need was so great and we received so many requests," Richardson said. "They also focused on emergency assistance. The food pantries and emergency assistance needs were very high on their list of priorities this year, more so than in other years because the need is so great in that area."

Fundraising was also down in 2008 compared to 2007. In the last grant cycle, the Community Foundation awarded $31,650 to 14 nonprofits in Newton County.

Richardson said the board made the decision to award grants for nonprofits that are not based in Covington, but in other municipalities. The Friend of Porterdale and The Newborn Area Heritage Trust were both awarded grants to renovate and maintain historic buildings in their towns.

Since 2000, The Community Foundation for Newton County has awarded more than $221,000 to local nonprofit agencies

Overall The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta did very well in 2008 by awarding approximately $90 million, a record-breaking sum, in grants to nonprofits in the Atlanta region and beyond, according to a press release.

The foundation awards its funds through donor-advised funds, which allows individuals to contribute money to The Community Foundation and receive tax benefits immediately but wait to recommend grants when they are ready.

Recipients of 2008 Community Foundation grants in Newton County are:

• AID Gwinnett

• The Community Food Pantry

• Covington Family YMCA

• Friends of Porterdale, Inc.

• Habitat for Humanity of Newton County

• The Learning Center

• Newborn Area Heritage Trust, Inc.

• Newton County Community Partnership/ Hands-on Newton Project

• Newton County READS

• Newton County Senior Services

• Newton County Special Olympics

• Newton County Tomorrow/The Center

• Newton Mentoring, Inc.

• Project ReNeWal Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Inc.

• The Salvation Army/Covington Service

• Traveling Angels Ministries

• Washington Street Community Center

• Willing Helpers Food Pantry

• Willing Helpers Medical, Inc.

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