The Southside Children’s Charities
The idea behind Ronald McDonald House is simple: provide a “home-away-from-home” for families of seriously ill children who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Some children need to travel great distances to get the medical attention they need. In-hospital treatment may last one day, one year, or even longer. For the families of these children, accommodations can be hard to come by; options are often limited to costly hotels or unforgiving hospital chairs and benches. The Ronald McDonald House provides a comfortable, supportive alternative for these families. It serves as a temporary residence near the medical facility where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations.
Our participation with the RMH is primarily our “TAB RUN”. This is a program where pop top tabs are collected annually in a competition that we coordinate. The Tab Run consists of a 95 mile police escorted ride from Griffin to the South-West Ga., and a presentation of awards to the groups who collect the most tabs. 194 pounds of tabs from 18 participants were donated from our first ride in 1999 to nearly 4000 pounds from 1000 participants in 2013. This event gets bigger and better each year. In addition to the tab collection at the Tab Run, money is collected and distributed to them annually. Our involvement helps them offset the costs required to provide their services to local families. The 2013 contribution was $12,500 to the RMHC.
Our Tab Run has been so successful that it has now been copied in other towns for other Ronald McDonald Houses.
Spalding County Foster Children’s Program
The Foster Parents Association works hard to provide a loving home for 300+ local children who, by no fault of their own, have become wards of the State. These children, in most cases, have endured more hardships, hurt, and pains at their young age than most of us have as adults. These children did not ask to be in these situations. Our goal is to help provide monetary assistance and manpower to fill some of the voids that their situation has delivered to them. Our group, in conjunction with one of our local sponsors, provides a huge Christmas Festival with decorations, entertainment, games, crafts, food, and fun.
This is the crown and glory of all of our efforts…… The Foster Kids Christmas Party. Children from Henry, Spalding, Pike, Lamar, Butts, and Upson Counties will be at this party. There are 300+ kids in this area that have either been abandoned or have been removed from their homes because of mental, physical and sometimes sexual abuses. Our goal is to give these kids a day to be a kid. Give them a day that they do not have to think about or worry about anything other than playing and having fun. Cotton Candy, Cookies, food, music, karaoke, gifts, games, activities, prizes, air-brushed tattoos, face painting, and SANTA. This is just a small part of what this day is about…
Bikes for Christmas
Annually, we team up with a local fundraiser to provide bicycles for the area needy kids. This past year over 127 bicycles were purchased and delivered to the Salvation Army and Bob Daniel for distribution to local Angel Tree kids.
Angel Tree Kids
At the end of each year, after all other funds have been paid out, all of the SRA Membership Dues, and donations that are left in the bank (with the exception of $250 operating expense for the next year), are allocated for purchasing gifts for Christmas from the Salvation Army Angel Trees.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Each year, the SRA members chose a location in Griffin to ring the bell in support of the Salvation Army Christmas campaign. We accept the responsibility for staffing that location for the entire day.
SRA Teddy Bear Run
This event began in 2014 and consists of the SRA hosting a ride in which NEW stuffed animals are donated. These stuffed animals are repackaged and donated to City and County Law Enforcement Groups, as well as local Hospitals. They are to be used to comfort children during traumatic times such as an auto accident, domestic violence, etc.
The Peace officers use these to assist them in their duties to show the children they are their trusted friend. The inaugural year raised over 1000 stuffed animals.
Spalding County Sheriffs Department Junior Deputy Program
Annually, the SCSD hosts a trip to Washington DC to students in our area. The SRA has seen this as a positive influence on the kids. Therefore, we assist them by making donations, participation in fundraisers, and escorting the buses out of Griffin to DC.
As dedicated citizens, we support our Military and Law Enforcement. Tragically, there comes a need to “Stand for those who have Stood for us”. The SRA makes it a priority and an honor to be able to work on the front end with the Patriot Guard to provide Flaglines, and Escorts as needed in our area.