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Sawnee EMC supports local charities, teachers

At a glance

Other local organizations that received funding from the Sawnee EMC Foundation included:

* Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girls Club

* North Metro Miracle League

* St. Vincent de Paul – Christ Redeemer in Dawson

* Act Together Ministries

* The Place of Forsyth County Inc.

* CASA for Children Inc.

* Rainbow Children’s Home Inc.

* North Fulton Community Charities

* St. Vincent de Paul – Good Shepard Conference

* Angel House of Georgia

* TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation


Classroom grants

Grants totaling about $13,000 were awarded to the following Forsyth County teachers:

* Coal Mountain Elementary: Nancee Worley

* Piney Grove Middle: Beth Binns and Kristen Deuschle

* South Forsyth High: Jeff Olney

* West Forsyth High: Jessica Griffin and Heather Tallant

* Whitlow Elementary: Brittany Farr and Vickie Sexton


How to apply

Interested applicants must submit a formal application to the Foundation board for consideration. Charities must be located in Sawnee EMC’s service area and/or provide services within the territory to qualify.

School teachers may also apply for funds through the Bright Ideas program, which is part of Operation Round Up. A public or private teacher is eligible to apply as long as the school is within the service area.

For more information about Operation Round Up, contact Cindy Badgett at (678) 455-1399 or

For more information about Lambert’s Blessings in a Backpack, contact Nick Futrell at (404) 915-7049 or

CUMMING — Two Forsyth County high school seniors who started a local chapter of a nonprofit as freshmen just got a big boost from the Sawnee Electric Membership Foundation to expand their operations.

Nick Futrell, Kinsey White and about 60 Lambert High School students volunteer every Friday morning to pack kid-friendly food in drawstring backpacks that adult drivers deliver to 11 schools throughout the district.

The effort, which provides food to 130 elementary and middle school students, is part of a national organization called Blessings in a Backpack.

“Without that food, those kids wouldn’t have food to eat on the weekend, which results in lower test scores and overall health,” Futrell said. “Through the program we’ve seen great successes in academic success and achievement skills and other measureable factors.”

It costs $80 to feed one child for the school year, he said. Kids return the backpacks each week to be refilled with items including applesauce, macaroni and cheese and juice boxes.

Volunteers also write letters to the younger students to provide an emotional and personal connection, Futrell said.

“It turns out there’s an overwhelming need for impoverished individuals in the area,” he said.

Sawnee EMC recently donated $5,000 to the group, allowing it to sponsor an additional 63 students next school year.

“We buy all of the food from the local Publix at full market price,” Futrell said. “We will use every dime of [the donation] to buy food.”

The donation was part of a total $26,490 the corporation distributed to local charities through its Operation Round Up program.

Money was collected from more than 20,000 Sawnee EMC members deciding to round their monthly electric bill up to the next highest dollar, said Cindy Badgett, director of external affairs for the company.

“This ‘extra change’ goes directly into the Sawnee Foundation and is gifted back out into the communities Sawnee EMC serves,” Badgett said. “The average donation a member makes annually is $6 … pennies a month.”