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Deal encourages day of service
Events Saturday include Cumming
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Forsyth County News

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Volunteers can find additional information on Gov.-elect Nathan Deal's day of service Saturday at www.dealinaugural.com or by calling (404) 681-4717. The Web site includes a local contact for each project.

Community service projects are scheduled to begin across the state Saturday as the lead-off to Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s swearing-in ceremony Monday.

In Deal's home of Gainesville, volunteers can pitch in at two locations, said Harris Blackwood, a spokesman for the inauguration.

Events will be held at Good News Clinics and Good News at Noon mission.

“The day is sort of a way to pay tribute to him and our state and pay tribute to people in need,” Blackwood said.

Across Georgia, volunteers will mobilize for 31 projects, which include a river cleanup in Athens and a park project in Marietta.

In Cumming, volunteers will pack boxed lunches between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at There's Hope for the Hungry, a ministry committed to evangelizing and feeding people in need.

The day of service is billed as “With a Servant’s Heart.”

Blackwood said the governor-elect wanted to emphasize the importance of giving back to the community as a way to help strengthen the state.

“In a year when folks felt the effects of the economy, we felt there was a need to give back, and it’s also in keeping with the lifelong tradition of service of the governor-elect,” Blackwood said.

"He has been a giving person and has helped numerous people through his office.”

Saturday, volunteers at Good News Clinics in Gainesville will welcome patients into the building and help them fill out paperwork. The clinic offers free medical care to homeless and low-income people.

Good News at Noon, a local homeless shelter, will ask volunteers to sort and stock the food pantry at their facility, Blackwood said. He expects the projects will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The inaugural committee also announced that volunteers will receive two tickets to a concert that evening featuring country artists Mark Wills and the Kinchafoonee Cowboys. The concert is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta.

“We could’ve just thrown a party Saturday night, but to leave a little sweat equity in various corners of state and to come celebrate that will make it a special day,” Blackwood said.

Deal will be sworn into office at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 in front of the state Capitol in Atlanta.