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Community is generous, but more help needed
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Dear Editor:

In late September, I went before the Covington City Council to advise them of the lack of funds available to the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter.

I knew the Covington City Council had done all it could to help, but I also wanted the council to know that no money had come from the state and federal government level to support the shelter, and that none will be coming next year.

So, to keep the doors open at the shelter, money must come from the private sector. And, after the story of need broke in The Covington News, citizens of Newton County responded by giving over $18,000 the following week.

I want to thank The Covington News for the story it recently featured on two of the success stories of people the shelter has served.

Many people know that the Rev. Clara Lett is responsible for serving the shelter 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Her salary is $1,400 per month, and she has been paid only two months this entire year. The job is a labor of love for her, and not many people would take on her responsibility for up to 75 people.

This Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful for the Christian spirit of the Rev. Lett. Another thing we can be thankful for is that we have an industry like General Mills that last week gave $8,000 to help keep the doors open at the homeless shelter.

I would like to challenge other industries in our area to follow the example of General Mills and donate between now and Jan. 1 to help keep this much- needed service to our area.

It takes over $9,000 in cash to meet the monthly budget, which does not include the many gifts of volunteer time, food and clothes that are so generously given.

My greatest appeal is to the churches of our area, who realize more than anyone the needs so many have in today’s economy. It is much better to have one shelter to serve the need.

You can bring or mail contributions to the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, 7133 Turner Lake Circle S.W., Covington GA 30014, or Ramsey Furniture Co., 1145 Clark St., S.W., Covington, GA 30015.

At Thanksgiving, I am thankful I have a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat, and I am thankful that I live in a county with generous Christian people who want the same for everyone.

Sam Ramsey,