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The Morris Bank Community Foundation has concluded their second annual “12 Days of Christmas” grant, giving $24,000 back to the communities they serve. Starting December 1st, the bank announced one winner a day on their Facebook page, each receiving $2,000 to go towards tangible purchases to support their mission. Winners were selected by the Morris Bank Community Foundation board from the pool of grant applications submitted through their website.
“It is a true joy to be able to give back to twelve deserving organizations this holiday season,” said Whitney Kilgo, Executive Director of the Morris Bank Community Foundation. “The board is always blown away by the incredible stories from the many applicants that serve our communities each day and to hear about all the good they do. This grant is a special way to learn more about their services and to give back during the holiday season. As you may have guessed, it’s a tough task to choose just twelve, but we’re grateful for the chance to contribute back to our recipients.”
The winners are based in each of the counties where Morris Bank branches are located: Laurens, Jones, Houston, and Bulloch counties.
Day 1: Houston County Habitat for Humanity—The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. With the affordable housing need at a tremendous high, funds from this grant will be used to purchase shingles needed for Houston County Habitat for Humanity's newest build, scheduled for completion in March of 2024.
Day 2: TLC Children’s Services—The foundation of TLC Children's Services is to provide supportive services to abused and neglected children and their families, to improve outcomes for children, and to support children in having safe, permanent forever families. The grant funds will be used to purchase outdoor equipment for their Playhouse Visitation Center located in Dublin.
Day 3: Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center—Located in Jones County, Brave Meadows was created to serve both able-bodied individuals and those with special needs by offering therapeutic riding experiences to build social, educational, and recreational experiences on horses and with other farm animals. The $2,000 from Morris Bank’s Community Foundation grant will go to ensure that the therapy animals have high-quality hay and feed for the winter months.
Day 4: Laurens County SHOWCASE Transition Program—The group is formed to help students with disabilities transition smoothly from high school to the adult world through community-based instruction opportunities, vocational opportunities, and a home setting to help them learn the necessary skills to be as independent as possible. The grant funds will be used to help upgrade their kitchen appliances so students can learn to operate them as technology modernizes.
Day 5: Fostering Families, Inc.—This organization focuses on sharing Christ with children in the foster care system and in crisis situations by engaging the children and building meaningful relationships, all at no charge to the participant or their family. While routinely working with dozens of agencies in the Bulloch County region, the funds from this grant will provide dining tables for their newly completed dining hall to help foster relationships around the dinner table.
Day 6: F.O.P.A.S.—Friends of the Perry Animal Shelter offers refuge, medical care, nourishment, and an opportunity for a second chance at life to injured, unwanted, and abused animals. The "12 Days of Christmas" funds will be used to purchase food and veterinary care for animals in their shelter during the holiday season.
Day 7: The Button Project—The mission of this service is to discreetly provide free personal hygiene items to middle school students in Bulloch County. This serves a vulnerable age group as they transition from elementary children to young adults by offering an online survey ("the button") that students can fill out to request items for personal needs. The $2,000 from the Morris Bank Community Foundation grant will go to purchase a stock of hygiene items for the organization to these serve students.
Day 8: The Lighthouse Adult Day Care Center—Located in Dublin, this organization provides day care services to adults 18 years and older who have cognitive and/or functional deficits while giving their caregivers some much needed respite. Their staff has a tremendous heart for what they do and will use these funds to purchase a new refrigerator and ice maker to serve their customers.
Day 9: Behavioral Pediatric Resource Center— The mission of Behavioral Pediatric Resource Center is to educate and raise awareness about autism, ADHD, and anxiety through community outreach, training programs, and online resources. For those who may not know - children with autism or ADHD are often hyper-sensitive to lights, level of activity, and sound that can lead to sensory overload and possible meltdowns. The $2,000 grant will go to purchase sensory items for these children who are enrolled in afterschool and summer programs in Bulloch County. Having hands-on sensory toys can help children calm themselves before reaching a meltdown level, which also assists the care workers in caring for these children.
Day 10: Buckhorn Food Ministry—Throughout the year, and especially during times of inflated food prices, this organization serves over 350 households monthly in the Laurens County area with food boxes, meat bags and snack bags for children. The funds from our "12 Days of Christmas" grant will go to purchase a new commercial refrigerator to serve their growing ministry.
Day 11: Esther’s Place—This faith-based organization has a mission of serving single moms, homeless women, widows, and women of all ages in need in the Bulloch County community by providing a safe environment, encouragement, and support. Since opening their doors in 2022, Esther's Place has served over 1,000 meals to single mothers and their children. With the rising cost of food, funds from this grant will go to stock their pantry with nutritious food for those they serve.
Day 12: Statesboro Food Bank—This organization works year-round to provide emergency food to Bulloch County residents who experience food insecurity. The Morris Bank Community Foundation grant funding will be used for the specific purpose of purchasing essential food items, including fresh meat, canned fruits and vegetables, canned milk, bread, eggs, and fresh milk. These items are purchased directly from Second Harvest, where all products are available at a cost of 19 cents per pound.
The Morris Bank Community Foundation was formed in 2017 and exists to help support and sustain local organizations within the communities they serve. Simply put, Morris Bank wanted to give back to the communities that have allowed them to grow. Through this program, financial grants are awarded to strengthen and support organizations such as local schools, community and faith-based institutions, government institutions providing public services, non-for-profits and other 501(c)(3) organizations. For more information, visit www.morris.bank/mbc-foundation.