By Peggy Jaye, public affairs manager
Georgia-Pacific knows strong communities make life better for everyone: our employees, our neighbors, and our customers. We work with community based programs, service projects and disaster relief efforts, targeting our investment in the Four Focus Areas: Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment, and Enrichment of Community.
Cedar Springs works with the GP Foundation to support over 20 nonprofit programs in nearby communities. Part of my role as public affairs manager is to manage the planning, development and execution of CSO’s charitable spend plan each year.
One of the national programs Georgia-Pacific sponsors that has local impacts is the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF). Kids in Need is a nonprofit organization that partners with educators in under-resourced schools to provide the support needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn. The average teacher typically spends about $600 a year in addition to stipends to help low-income students participate in needed classroom activities.
In January of 2019, Kids in Need and GP held a backpack giveaway to students at Seminole County Elementary School in Donalsonville, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Michael. Each child’s backpack was filled with school supplies and GP also provided copy paper and paper towels for every classroom. I was honored to participate in the backpack giveaway event at the SCES gym. It was an uplifting experience for the entire town.
More recently, KINF is partnering with the Dothan Education Foundation to support a store for teachers in Houston and Henry counties to shop for free basic school supplies. The CORE Store in Dothan is one of 43 Kids in Need resource centers across the country and the first in Alabama. Each certified, full-time teacher is provided points which they can use twice a year in a scheduled shopping appointment at the CORE Store.
I had an opportunity last week to visit the CORE Store to hear about its success in equipping local educators. The two teachers who shopped during my visit expressed sincere gratitude for the support and resources provided by the store and were thankful Georgia-Pacific cares enough to partner with Kids in Need in providing the necessary tools to educate all students. GP’s support of the Kids In Need Foundation includes donations of Sparkle® paper towels for classrooms across America.
With the extra support from KINF, the Dothan CORE Store is planning to expand its support to include Early County school teachers and possibly to serve Seminole County school teachers once the store begins offering convenient on-line shopping. More to come as this exciting plan unfolds!
KEYWORDS: gp, Georgia-Pacific