Commentary by John Howell

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to multiply your donations in Panola

These lines are written to complement Charlie Mitchell’s excellent column about effective charitable giving, published below starting on page A4.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In Panola County we are aware of at least four organizations worthy of your donations because they can multiply the dollars you contribute.

1. Panola Secret Santa. Volunteers organize a clearinghouse to have children in needy families “adopted” for Christmas. Many hands at work freely give their time toward this effort. You can help, too. The need is greater this year. Contact Diane Davis at 662-604-0496 to volunteer or donate.

2. Panola County Food Pantry. The need for food provided to families through the pantry has increased substantially this year. All donations are appreciated. Cash donations are multiplied through purchases from the Mid-South Food Bank which allows the pantry to buy food goods for far less than the consumer.

The pantry is having to serve the increased demand from two locations — the Presbyterian Church on Eureka Street and from their storage building at the corner of Eureka Street and the Square. To get an idea of their need for one large building to house all their services, try driving through the Square about 12:30 p.m. today (Tuesday). You’ll see the food delivery truck.

Contact pantry coordinator Marie Leland at 380-7230 or 563-7595.

3. Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Mississippi. You may have noticed last week that the clubs were recipients of several generous donations. Don’t be fooled into thinking that their needs have been met. The Boys and Girls Clubs are still far short of making up the operating money that has been cut by outside sources from their operating budget. They are more dependent that ever before on local support. They are staffed by volunteers and paid staffers who are very well underpaid. To find out how you can help, contact executive director Belinda Morris, 578-7309.

4. Panola Habitat for Humanity. The need is simple: two acres of land, preferably donated, which would be a suitable location for their next home. A worthy family has been selected. Volunteers are ready to go to work. Materials have been or will donated or purchased from suppliers who help by cutting prices. Contact chapter secretary Mary Murphy, 578-2930.

These are our recommendations of worthy gift recipients who will multiply the dollars, in-kind donations or services that you give.