Posts Tagged ‘Gas South Cares’

Jul
31
2015
11:43 am

Community Partner Spotlight – The Wren’s Nest

Many Atlanta residents are not familiar with The Wren’s Nest, but many people are familiar with the Brer Rabbit stories. The Wren’s Nest was home to the author of the Brer Rabbit stories, Joel Chandler Harris, and it’s now the oldest house museum in Atlanta. Along with tours and special events, The Wren’s Nest also offers a summer publishing program for high school students – the final project for the students is to publish a literary journal. Gas South has teamed up with the nonprofit to help raise awareness about the program and to help fund the journal. We recently spoke with Sue Gilman, executive director of The Wren’s Nest, about the 2015 Optimist Review high school publishing program.

What is your organization’s mission?

The Wren’s Nest serves as an educational resource for the community, the greater Atlanta area and visitors from around the globe by preserving the legacy of Joel Chandler Harris and the heritage of African American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing.

Is there an upcoming initiative you would like to highlight?

Our Optimist Review high school publishing program has produced a literary journal for the past eight summers. This summer we have eight editors in the program who come to the Wren’s Nest twice a week to learn about the publishing industry from professional writers, designers and editors. The students are also exposed to businesses, careers and behind-the-scene tours at local organizations such as CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creative Loafing.

 

This summer students are from Woodward Academy, Wesleyan School, DeKalb School of the Arts, Decatur High School, Dunwoody High School, Carver Early College, Georgia Cyber Academy and Riverwood International Charter School. The editors have already determined the title of the journal, Even After This Brief Eternity, which will focus on human rights and social justice issues. In order to be published in the journal, high school students from around Metro Atlanta submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art pieces. The final product is edited and curated by our student editors and then released at the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day weekend. Participation in the program is free, but very competitive, for editors and contributors.

Why is your mission important?

Students who have been editors in this program have gone on to pursue English, journalism and creative writing degrees at Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Brown, Harvard, Kenyon and Wake Forest. A handful of our first year editors recently graduated from Emory and the University of Georgia and now work in the Atlanta area.

Kalin Thomas, program director added, “It’s a joy to work with such intelligent and creative young students. They all have excellent writing and leadership experience, from editing their school journal to writing for the yearbook. When I sit and listen to them brainstorm and debate the issues of today, it gives me confidence that our future is in good hands.”

How has Gas South’s partnership benefitted your organization?

Gas South’s financial support allowed the Wren’s Nest to extend the program for another summer. The sponsorship covered the cost of printing the journal and helped us to recruit and secure a great team of student editors, from a variety of high schools, to run the project.

 

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Jul
16
2015
4:57 pm

Finding the Suite Spot: Building Relationships with Corporate Partners

Finding the Suite Spot is a three part blog series, written specifically for members of the nonprofit community. In this series, I will tackle researching and defining the right corporate partner for your organization, customizing sponsorship opportunities and building a strategic relationship (short or long term).

Relationship building, whether internal or external, opens doors and is often the key to getting things done. Let’s face it, projects, sales, ideas or potential business transactions are often conceived on a golf course!  The soft skill of relationship building is crucial and can be a game changer for your organization.

Part 1 of this blog series will focus on Finding the Right Fit. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, “How can we get our foot in the door?” Gone are the days when corporations freely disperse sponsorship dollars to organizations just because they always have. Donor dollars are becoming a rare commodity for some which is causing agencies to be proactive, creative and transparent. There may still be some standing relationships you have salvaged over the years, but with employment turnover in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, many organizations may have to recreate relationships.

To find the right fit for your agency:

  • Research First! Do your homework before you approach a potential corporate partner.

Poll your board members, make them aware of the relationships you want to pursue and determine if any members have contacts or serve on other boards with employees of the targeted corporation.
Review websites to research what initiatives are supported. Do the initiatives align with what your organization has to offer? If not, then this may not be a good fit.

  • Get to Know Your Donor

Once you have decided to pursue the relationship and you have the correct contact person, schedule a meeting.  Face time allows you to develop a better feel for the organization, the culture and the giving habits. It also allows the corporation to see who you are and understand your needs − this is important as you should be pursuing a long term commitment. Be transparent about your goals, needs and purpose for reaching out. Leave materials with them and be diligent about following up.

  • Understanding Engagement Opportunities

A growing trend from corporations is to request volunteer opportunities − a volunteer “experience” or a team building opportunity. When meeting with companies, be prepared to discuss this. Are you staffed appropriately to host a group? What size group can you host? Is your staff open to this opportunity? Be open and honest about what you can or cannot do.

  • Financial Cycle of a Company

When is the financial cycle of the company? When is your financial cycle? More importantly, when are budgets set? Does the company have giving limits? Do not ask for more than companies give and present options at different financial levels.  Consider volunteer opportunities if you are able to do so.

  • Ask questions

Find out as much as possible up front. What is the corporation looking for in the relationship? What are you looking to gain from the relationship?

I hope this information has been useful. Please check back for the next part of the series where I will address sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

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Mar
23
2015
9:42 am

Community Partner Spotlight – MUST Ministries

Gas South is committed to supporting the communities we serve through our Gas South Cares program. Through this program, we partner with some of the most effective nonprofit organizations in the state. Gas South would like to feature one of our most enriching partnerships, one that we are proud to work with all year long.

MUST Ministries is a volunteer-driven organization providing a range of services to needy people, from food and clothing to job training. We recently spoke with Don Crampton of MUST Ministries to learn more about the organization.

What is your organization’s mission?   

Serving our neighbors in need; transforming lives and communities in response to the call of Christ.

Why is your organization’s mission important?   

MUST Ministries serves close to 34,000 people in eight north Georgia counties. We’re the largest safety net for the poorest, most desperate residents in this region. MUST helps them meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, and clothing, while also providing longer-term resources, like counseling and training needed for employment.

Is there an upcoming initiative you would like to highlight? 

The MUST’s Summer Lunch program serves approximately 5,000 children per day in eight counties. In 2014, 254,000 sack lunches reached hungry children in our 19th year of meeting this tremendous need. Thousands of volunteers made sandwiches, packed lunches, checked sacks, drove lunches to sites, contributed supplies, donated money and partnered in a host of ways to be sure children would not go hungry. [If you’re interested in donating your time to the Summer Lunch program, check out this site.]

How has Gas South’s partnership benefitted your organization?

We are extremely honored to have the support of Gas South for the past five years. Their desire to serve is demonstrated by their actions. Gas South has helped MUST Ministries in all areas, through volunteerism as well as corporate contributions. In particular, Gas South is a sponsor of our two largest fundraising events, the Safe Refuge Gala and the Annual Thanksgiving Day Gobble Jog. Gas South is also a major supporter of our Summer Lunch program and is the lead sponsor for our Step Up Your Game: Getting People Back to Work seminar.

What have Gas South employees done to help MUST Ministries?

Several Gas South employees have volunteered over the years to serve at MUST Ministries. More specifically, Gas South has been one of the lead participants in our employment education area, offering assistance in helping our clients to enhance resume writing skills and prepare for job interviews.

Gas South has worked with MUST Ministries for over five years, and we’d like to encourage you to get involved with the organization. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, click here.

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Mar
5
2015
11:21 am

Community Partner Spotlight – Action Ministries

Action Ministries is a non-profit organization providing a wide range of services to Georgians who have fallen on hard times. By meeting basic needs of hunger relief, housing and education, Action Ministries removes barriers that prevent thousands of Georgians from breaking the cycle of poverty and realizing their potential. We recently spoke with Rebecca Whicker of Action Ministries to learn a bit more about the organization:

 What is your organization’s mission?  

Action Ministries mobilizes communities to address the challenges of poverty by focusing on hunger relief, housing and education.

 Why is your organization’s mission important?   

Georgia has the second largest number of homeless children in the nation, it ranks second highest in the nation in the number of homeless veterans, and it has more than one million children who are food insecure. Last year, Action Ministries was able to serve over 140,000 people with the help of partners and volunteers. We want to break the cycle of poverty and ensure that everyone has the tools they need to reach their full potential.

 Is there an upcoming initiative you would like to highlight? 

Our Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program is an initiative we prepare for year round. We also have our Feed the Hungry Food Box initiative, and we’ve made it easier to get involved. If any of your readers would like to help feed a hungry family they can text FOODBOX to 41444 and donate from their mobile phone. If your readers would like to keep up with the action and receive periodic updates from Action Ministries, they can text ACTIONHERO to 51555.

 How has Gas South’s partnership benefitted your organization?

Gas South has given its time to support our hunger relief efforts through Smart Lunch, Smart Kid and Feed the Hungry. In the summer of 2014, with the financial and volunteer support, we were able to provide over 219,000 lunches to children in need. Gas South’s financial and volunteer support of our Food Box initiative will help us provide more than 400,000 meals to hungry families over the next few years

What have Gas South employees done to help Action Ministries?

Gas South employees participate in lunch-making events throughout the summer, providing meals to children who receive free and reduced-price lunches during the school year but are at risk of going hungry during the summer break. Gas South employees have also helped pack food boxes at our Feed the Hungry warehouse. We love our Gas South volunteers!

Gas South has worked with Action Ministries since 2012, and we’d like to encourage you to get involved with the organization. For more information on how to volunteer, click here or if you would like to donate, click here.

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Jan
14
2014
1:39 pm

Project SHARE and Gas South help Georgians keep the heat on

For most metro Atlanta residents, staying warm this winter is as easy as turning up the thermostat. But for low-income families struggling to make ends meet, it’s not so simple. For them, even the smallest financial crisis is enough to make bill payment impossible.

Fortunately, Project SHARE offers another option to help keep families warm this winter. Salvation Army’s Project SHARE provides emergency bill-payment assistance to families facing a temporary crisis.

For the second year, Gas South will partner with the Salvation Army to offer our customers a chance to donate to Project SHARE. Gas South will match customer contributions up to $10 per month. Contributions will be used to help families in need keep their heat on this winter as well as acquire necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical supplies. Donations assist residents in all counties in Georgia, and the money collected through the program stays in the county from which it originates. Your donation will help your own neighbors in need.

Gas South Cares is our year-round commitment to giving back to the communities we serve. We strive to make a difference in our communities through hands-on volunteer work and corporate giving that focuses on community, culture, education, and service. Project SHARE is a continuation of our commitment. Gas South customers can sign up to donate by visiting gas-south.com/projectshare. And remember, Gas South will match your donation up to $10 per month!

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Oct
29
2013
4:28 pm

Disney on Ice comes to Atlanta

Disney on Ice came to Atlanta and Gas South was excited to partner with Feld Entertainment to provide dozens of local families with special needs children a great night out to enjoy the on-ice extravaganza, featuring all of the favorites like Donald, Mickey and Minnie.

Prior to the show, our guests, who were selected by some of our Alliance partners, were treated to a pizza party and a special meet and greet with the costumed cast. It was the perfect start to a great evening, in which our Disney friends (and villains) skated through sets of winter wonderlands, haunted houses, a royal ball, and a medley of other fairytale scenarios. We hope this special night was a memorable one for the families in attendance and we look forward to next year!

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Aug
27
2013
4:15 pm

Disney LIVE! Comes to Savannah

Recently, we had the pleasure of partnering with Savannah’s Head Start program and Feld Entertainment to sponsor more than 400 children and their families for a special performance of Disney LIVE! The kids got free popcorn and pictures with cut-outs of their favorite characters. The event drew a crowd of about 1,600 and we were happy to help create a fun night out for our guests. We hope everyone enjoyed the show!

Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from the event.

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Aug
19
2013
2:43 pm

Gas South 101: Teaching middle school students about natural gas and household finance

Gas South is thrilled to be part of the Junior Achievement of Georgia’s Chick-fil-A Discovery Center – a $15 million state-of-the art, brand-new interactive experience designed to educate kids about financial literacy and adult responsibilities.

More than 30,000 local middle school students from Atlanta Public, DeKalb County, Fulton County and Marietta City school systems are expected to visit the center in downtown Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center, with doors opening for business on August 20.

What will the unique experience entail? A hands-on learning environment in which kids tackle the ins and outs of managing money. From creating household budgets to making investment decisions, an 18-course classroom curriculum covers many aspects of personal finance, with students then given the opportunity to practice these concepts in real-life scenarios.

That’s where we come in! JA Finance Park, part of the center’s experience, features mock storefronts where students learn to plan for and budget their monthly expenses — including utilities like natural gas.

We’ve spent weeks perfecting our Gas South store, which features an educational wall display to teach students where natural gas comes from, how it is used throughout our community and in our everyday lives. A mock natural gas pipeline and an actual gas meter are included so students learn how natural gas reaches their home and how consumption is measured. We also provide great energy-saving tips that we hope they will share at home.

We’re honored to have the opportunity to help kids master an important life skill. For more information on the Chick-fil-A Junior Achievement Discovery Center, click here. For more information on Gas South community initiatives and updates, visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GasSouth.

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Jul
31
2013
7:08 pm

Gas South packs 1,000 summer lunches for Action Ministries

This month, Gas South employees packed nearly 1,000 lunches for Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, which provides summer lunches to children who typically receive free lunch during the school year.  Everyone contributed by bringing peanut butter and jelly, while Gas South donated lunch bags and other supplies. Many employees even invited their own kids to help out!

We also wrote special notes on the bags for the kids to read when they received their lunch.

The break room at our company’s headquarters turned into an assembly line of bread, peanut butter, jelly and a stack of potato chips so high our employees had to stand on their toes to reach the top. Kevin Greiner, our CEO, had a spot in the assembly line and proved to be a whiz with the peanut butter and jelly!

This past week, team members at our call center held a similar event to pack more lunches for the program to help reach our goal of feeding 1,000 children in July.

For the second year in a row, Gas South pledged to help Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program meet its goal of providing 200,000 lunches to Georgia children who typically receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. With school out for the summer, many of these kids are at risk of going hungry. Action Ministries and Gas South are working to address this problem and provide kids with the nutrition they need.

Gas South is dedicated to helping the communities we serve through our Gas South Cares program. To learn more about Gas South Cares and our community efforts, click here.

Have you volunteered for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid yet? Learn how to get involved here!

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Jul
26
2013
11:44 am

Gas South honored by COVA for community service efforts

At Gas South, we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve. That means taking part in social service projects, partnering with local schools, and sponsoring community events. It’s a part of an initiative we call Gas South Cares.

I’m thrilled to report that our efforts have been recognized. Gas South was recently named Corporation of the Year by the Council of Volunteer Administrators (COVA) of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Gas South was nominated for the award by the Georgia chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, one of the oldest and largest charitable organizations in Georgia.

COVA, a nonprofit membership organization of volunteer administrators founded in 1972, awards the Corporation of the Year award to businesses that have expressed a commitment to promoting volunteerism within the workforce.

The award recognizes Gas South employees’ dedication to reinvesting in the hometown community of our company.

Gas South received the award at COVA’s annual meeting, which took place in June. John Berry, president and CEO of Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia, gave the keynote address.

Guests also participated in a silent auction, with all proceeds providing funding for grants to help COVA members attend conferences and professional development workshops.

 

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