In May 2021, a momentous meeting occurred between Elbert County government officials and many local nonprofit community outreach program representatives. The gathering outlined what some individuals, who are experiencing hardship in the county, potentially need and where they may find assistance at no cost.
There was a great response, with many eager to help. Each nonprofit agency had the opportunity to speak about their services and what they can offer residents of Elbert County. This included food banks, diaper donations, hearing tests, house maintenance, veteran assistance, and more! Agencies in attendance included:
- Elbert County Coalition for Outreach (ECCO)
- Lions Club
- Elbert County Victims Advocate
- American Legion
- Church food banks
- And more
This was an informative experience as most attendees were not aware of all the organizations readily available to help in nearly any situation. A strong alliance was formed between the Elbert County government and the local nonprofits; all focused on serving the immediate needs of our community and creating a positive impact.
Bob Hummel, director of Foodbank of Kiowa Creek Community Church, initiated the gathering along with the director of ECCO. Bob stated, “We needed to build up trust in our community and expand our quick reaction team. Commissioners Thayer, Pettit and Richardson all completely agreed and took decisive action. Important information was exchanged between all groups that will help us rapidly assist our citizens in need. Special thanks to County Manager Sam Albrecht for getting everybody together in this very positive and effective initial meeting of the organizations who care for those in need in Elbert County.”
Darcy Bolding, Elbert County Interim Human Services Director, had much to add about this collaboration. She said, “Elbert County Department of Human Services (ECDHS) is excited to be involved in the launch of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. It has been challenging in recent years to bridge the gap between community partners and ECDHS. We are thrilled that so many organizations in our community are willing to come together to serve the citizens of Elbert County. Through the years, the image has been that Elbert County lacks resources...it was overwhelmingly clear that is not the case, considering the turnout at our first Neighbors Helping Neighbors meeting. ECDHS is committed to improving our image and expanding our partnerships with these organizations.”
The meeting ended with a feeling of much success as all were united on one specific goal, to relieve some hardship in the Elbert County community. With the valuable contacts and resources obtained from this gathering, a booklet of resources will be created and shared with the community. Additional meetings of this group will be scheduled, and new, local nonprofit organizations are invited to join.