If you could do one thing — had one wish that would improve your neighborhood — what would it be? Now, what if someone gave you $5,000 to make it happen?
These are the questions we here at Creative Loafing have been asking Atlantans over the last three months in anticipation of our 2013 Neighborhood Issue. This year, in conjunction with our annual city guide, we're launching the Do Good Campaign, a series of grassroots partnerships with Atlanta neighborhoods and nonprofits to help them raise funds for projects they might not have the resources to tackle otherwise. Need bike lanes on the Westside? Literacy programs in Clarkston? Speed bumps in the West End? More mopeds in Inman Park? We want to help make these things happen. (OK, mopeds are probably a stretch.)
Here's how it works: CL will help community organizations raise up to $2,500 through 30-day online fundraisers. Campaign sponsor The Home Depot Foundation will match contributions dollar for dollar (that's a potential budget of $5,000) to make the projects become realities. The Home Depot Foundation normally focuses on veterans' issues, but when we explained the Do Good Campaign, the organization signed on to sponsor not one, but 12 projects at $2,500 each.
"Atlanta is our hometown, we were established here 35 years ago, so it's really important to us to be a good neighbor to Atlanta," says Heather Prill Pritchard, manager of national partnerships and Atlanta hometown giving for The Home Depot Foundation. "Every one of our associates loves giving back in the community so this is a great opportunity for us. We're happy to be a partner so that we can work with [CL] and the residents and Team Depot [volunteers] to make our neighborhoods a better place."
We're starting with three projects: a historic restoration at Oakland Cemetery in Grant Park; an arts-based anti-litter campaign in Capitol View/Capitol View Manor; and a memorial park dedicated to late community activist Marie Cowser in Old Fourth Ward.
Fundraising begins March 28 and runs through April 27 at clatl.com/DoGood. All participating organizations are 501c3 nonprofits, so that means your contributions are tax-deductible. In a lot of cases, projects need manpower as much as money, so volunteering to support any of these projects is just as valuable.
The Do Good Campaign will be ongoing, with opportunities for neighborhood organizations and nonprofits around the city to nominate projects they think will change things for the better, and, well, do some good in the ATL. We want you to tell us what your neighborhood's needs are through our online nominations form so that our Do Good panel can select future projects. We've started the brainstorm in this issue with Wish Lists created by those who live and work in more than 20 neighborhoods in metro Atlanta, as well as community listings to point you toward the Do-Gooders in your community.
It's a lot. And it's exciting. We hope that you'll join us in doing some good in Atlanta.
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