By Johnny Jackson
The Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority and its employees are kicking off a campaign to deliver monetary support to local charities.
In the fall of 2009, the water authority's employees established the charity initiative, known as the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority (HCWSA) Cares Campaign, according to HCWSA Spokesman Chris Wood.
Each year, the campaign identifies local charities which could benefit from employee contributions, and provides those charities with monetary support in the form of a check.
The water authority solicits nominations from employees for charities they would like to see supported, said Wood.
He added that water authority employees chose, this year, to support the Henry County Senior Services' Meals on Wheels Program, which provides hot meals to homebound senior citizens who are unable to shop or cook for themselves. The campaign will also support the non-profit Henry County Cancer Services, Inc., which has provided area cancer patients with help paying medical expenses since 2002.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will be a recipient of HCWSA Cares Campaign efforts as well, he continued.
Water authority employees take part in the campaign through payroll deductions, or annual contributions, to the all-volunteer effort, he said.
HCWSA Employee Development Coordinator Claudia Cooper said the effort has quickly gained traction among employees.
"With a goal of $10,000 last year, [water authority] employees surpassed that within months into the campaign, when total pledges doubled that amount and exceeded $20,000," said Cooper, adding that the charity continued through the holidays.
During the holidays, employees raised money and food for Helping in His Name Ministries, Inc., Food Pantry in Stockbridge, she said. Employees also took part in Henry County Senior Services' Adopt-A-Senior Program and helped support Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in Henry County.
"Our employees continue to be involved in the community in a number of ways, offering their talents and gifts to various charities, schools, groups and causes," added Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority General Manager Lindy Farmer. "I think they see the value of it, but they also give back because they enjoy it. Outreach also goes a long way toward bringing us closer to the people we serve as well."