Volunteers package good on MLK Day for families in need

Community service events were taking place all over Atlanta and the nation to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16. Whether it was cleaning parks or feeding the homeless, people participated in activities to make their communities just a little bit better.

In Dunwoody, The Packaged Good, an inspirational environment where kids and community groups can decorate and personalize care packages and create craft projects for people in need, hosted a service event to benefit Community Assistance Center and Homeless at Heart, a nonprofit focused on helping the homeless, as recipients of the care packages. It partners with over 20 reputable, vetted charities and provides care packages ongoing for the charity to distribute.

CAC serves neighbors in need in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. CAC is there for families and individuals experiencing crisis situations and assists with basic needs, to prevent homelessness and hunger.

The Packaged Good hoped to get about 500 volunteers to help pack 2,000 care packages. With over 1,400 volunteers, the organization made over 2,800 packages to benefit the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities.

“Our mission is to empower kids, families and groups, so it was important to create an environment where they could serve on MLK Day. The day involved our volunteers packaging toiletries, snacks and socks for the homeless and decorating cards to go with them,” said Sally Mundell, founder and CEO of The Packaged Good.

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The giving back doesn’t stop here. People can support The Packaged Good by donating toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoos, lotions, crayons, small toys, small stuffed animals with tags, pens, pads. “We will need over 150,000 items this year!” said Mundell.

Additionally, the community can support CAC by working on a regular basis such as once a week or once a month in the area of their choice such as the food pantry, the thrift shop, the reception desk, as a client interviewer, adult education teacher or more.

Since opening seven months ago, The Packaged Good has made and donated almost 12,000 care packages, with 40 percent going to CAC. In 2016, CAC helped 600 families stay in their homes, while providing over 6,300 lunches to children during the summer - among other services.

“It was great to have volunteers of all ages who had never heard of CAC learning about the needs in the community, learning about what we do and becoming committed to participate in the future in making a difference in their own community,” said Tamara Carrera, CEO/executive director of CAC.

In other news: From Jan. 12 – 15, Kroger customers rounded up their purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference benefitting the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Customers and associates across Kroger stores in Georgia raised nearly $78,000 in four days to benefit GOCA to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, as well as help prevent others from facing this disease.

Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at doing.goodAJC@gmail.com

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