Local lawyer leads volunteers to provide everything from mattresses to food for those in need.
What started as one law office filling a big need for local children has evolved into an entire community coming together to better lives in Coffee County, GA. At the core of this small group, known as the Good Deeds Club of Coffee County, is Lisa Leverette.
In 2011, Lisa and her colleagues learned of fundraisers to help children and families in the community in Coffee County, a rural area in middle Georgia with about 40,000 people, many surviving in poor living conditions. These fundraisers came up so often that Lisa and a group decided to do more.
“We realized there are so many people around us who need help and the community was willing to help,” says Lisa. “We just needed to know how and when.”
Good Deeds Club relies on local churches and school counselors to identify people in need, and giving comes in many forms. The organization has provided mattresses and furniture to families who did not have them, clothing, hygiene items, appliances and more.
“One of our original projects was donating mattresses to help children get a good night’s sleep, and keep them safe from bed bugs,” says Lisa. “If a kid comes to school with bed bug bites, that can turn into a catastrophic event for a family.”
Often one of the greatest gifts for someone in need is hope, Lisa says. She believes that through God all things are possible, and she tries to show the people she helps that there is a way to break out of the poverty cycle and that it is OK to ask for help.
This kind of help requires a certain amount of nimbleness and the Good Deeds Club has been exactly that. With a pandemic devastating many families, volunteers have reorganized to provide more than just meals, helping to stock pantries so that families can use the money they have to pay bills and keep a roof over their heads.
Next on the horizon for the group is a food bank to help feed families that need it the most. In July, Good Deeds Club will partner with local churches as founding members of the Coffee County Food Bank.
None of the work done by Good Deeds would be possible without the help of the community, says Lisa.
“People show up to help every time we ask, and they treat everyone with kindness.”
Cingo means to surround and secure — to protect. That’s what we do. And we have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to make protection a part of what they do, too. That’s why we’ve launched Circle & Shield, our award to a member of the community who helps make the world a better place, a safer place.