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Newton Fund gives out $15,000 in grants
0313NEWTONFUND action ministries Nancy McDonald and Tamara Richardson
Nancy McDonald and Tamara Richardson of Action Ministries at the Covington-Newton County Lunch Link Wednesday. - photo by Bryan Fazio

Three Newton County non-profit organizations were presented grants of $5,000 each by the Newton Fund at the Georgia Wildlife Federation building on Hazelbrand Road during Wednesday’s Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s lunch link.

Action Ministries, FaithWorks and Newton County Community Partnership (NCCP) all serve the local community and went through a detailed process in 2015 to obtain the grant money. In order to receive the funds, organizations had to submit a letter of intent to the Newton Fund, which goes through a selection process to determine the applicants’ eligibility. Groups then fill out and submit the required forms, and later host site visits by Newton Fund Advisory Committee members.

Action Ministries, which mobilizes communities to address the challenges of poverty by focusing on hunger relief, housing and education, will use the money to fund financial literacy courses.

FaithWorks, which provides Newton County’s neediest citizens with emergency financial aid through the combined resources of local churches, started in 2006 and has since served 7,800 families and 22,000 people.

NCCP, which addresses the needs of families and children by building community collaborative strategies that foster individual empowerment, is starting a series of community conversations about poverty.

The Newton Fund raises money for these grants through donations and its annual Jersey Day fundraiser. On Jersey Day, employees donate money in order to be able to wear their favorite sports team’s jersey, shirt or hat to work. Participating businesses in 2014 through15 were Bank of North Georgia, Bridgestone Golf, Burge Plantation, Dr. Leon Leonard, DDS, Dr. Ramon Espinal, MD, Georgia Heart Specialists, Kelly Products, Newton Federal Bank, Nisshinbo Automotive, Qualified Staffing, Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Cooperative (SSEMC), Treasure Thai Cuisine, United Bank and Wagner Services,

“Jersey Day was a way we could partner with businesses to get their employees involved,” said Greg Proffitt, Newton Fund Advisory Chair.

Money raised from the Newton Fund was then matched dollar-to-dollar, up to $10,000, by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Each dollar raised by the Newton Fund, Proffitt said, went to Action Ministries, FaithWorks and NCCP since the Fund itself has no operating expenses.

The Newton Fund is run by an advisory committee of Proffitt, Teri Goodman, James Johnson, Betsy Morehouse, Candy Morris, Landis Stephens, Allison Woodard and Katrina Young.

The Newton Fund was established in 2000 and is one of three local funds of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Since 2000, the Community Foundation has invested almost $2.5 million in organizations in Newton County.

During that time, the Newton Fund has awarded more than $306,000 to more than 50 different non-profits.