Family Connection of Columbia County and the city of Harlem were awarded a state grant Tuesday at the Capitol by Gov. Sonny Perdue. It will be used to improve the coordination of volunteer efforts.
Harlem Mayor Scott Dean, City Councilman Tom Blalock, Family Connection executive director Julie Miller and youth coordinator Carolann Webster received the $7,450 Hands On Georgia grant from the governor in a special ceremony in Atlanta.
Hands On Georgia is a program designed to help recruit community volunteers, and Harlem received one of 12 grants awarded to cities and counties throughout the state, Miller said.
"How we are going to use that money is to create a volunteer database," Miller said. That database will list the names of volunteers, their interests and their hours of availability, she said.
Family Connection also is creating a part-time volunteer coordinator position to recruit and train new volunteers for about 10 ongoing projects, Miller said.
To be eligible for the grant, Family Connection and Harlem had to raise matching funds, bringing the total funds available to $14,900.
"Hands On Georgia provides a great foundation for statewide community volunteerism," Perdue said in a news release accompanying the grant announcement.
Some of the projects expected to benefit from new efforts are the old Harlem theater renovation, a summer lunch program for children, maintenance work on Harlem's transition houses and a renovation project to convert a grassy area adjacent to the Harlem Public Housing Authority on Milledgeville Road into a public gathering place.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.