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Reporter’s Notebook: A new pantry for Grove Park and more

Maggie Lee
Family of namesake Claudia Kemp cut the ribbon on Claudia's House July 14, 2020 with Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall. L-R: Cynthia Hines, Commissioner Natalie Hall, Anthony Gates, Mariah Hines, Larenzia Lawrence, Nick Woods, Marvin Hines, Shon Hines and LaTonya Gates. Credit: Special Family of namesake Claudia Kemp cut the ribbon on Claudia's House July 14, 2020 with Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall. L-R: Cynthia Hines, Commissioner Natalie Hall, Anthony Gates, Mariah Hines, Larenzia Lawrence, Nick Woods, Marvin Hines, Shon Hines and LaTonya Gates. Credit: Special
Family of namesake Claudia Kemp cut the ribbon on Claudia’s House July 14, 2020 with Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall. L-R: Cynthia Hines, Commissioner Natalie Hall, Anthony Gates, Mariah Hines, Larenzia Lawrence,  Nick Woods, Marvin Hines, Shon Hines and LaTonya Gates. Credit: Special

There’s no “back to normal” in sight as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Georgia.

Yet reporter’s notes from this week include some things “going back to normal.”

On Aug. 13, Fulton County’s Marshal’s Department will start doing evictions that had already been ordered before COVID-19 began. Though hearings on new cases are still on hold. And Xpress commuter bus fares are are returning on Aug. 3, after a nearly four-month pandemic suspension.

If you need a free COVID-19 test, Fulton County lists locations.

On to more metro happenings this week.

Claudia’s House food pantry and resource center opens in Grove Park

With COVID-19 ending so many jobs and closing some of the few shops that sell necessities in Grove Park, a nonprofit that has served children has opened a new community food pantry and resource center. They have plans to make it permanent.

Claudia’s House is the new place serving up some of the influx of donations that have been given to PAWKids this year in the wake of the pandemic. Since 2014, PAWKids has already been serving Grove Park kids’ spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development needs with things like clothes, homework help, mentoring and summer camps.

Shortly after the pandemic began, a donation arrived to help feed client families. It was followed by more donations of food, money, even meals prepared by home cooks and chefs. The donor list includes local churches, nonprofits, businesses, community groups and individuals including T.I. and Killer Mike.

Claudia’s House is in a building that PAWKids has been able to rent for the property taxes and to renovate with the the help of donors.

And now they’re looking to raise $180,000 to buy the building outright.

Claudia’s House is named for Claudia Kemp, the grandmother of PAWKids founder and leader LaTonya Gates.

Want to get help or give help? Check out PAWKids‘ website or Facebook page.

Claudia’s House will be open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Grove Park residents can visit the building at 1633 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway to fill out an application to receive meals, and PAWKids volunteers will deliver meals to those who are unable to leave their homes.

-By Maggie Lee

Dr. Lisa Waddell joins CDC Foundation, will lead and guide COVID-19 efforts

Dr. Lisa Waddell, who was most recently a top leader at the March of Dimes, will join the CDC Foundation at the end of July. As the Foundation’s chief medical officer, Waddell will help develop and lead strategies for the Foundation advisors who support the COVID-19 Corps.

Waddell received her doctor of medicine from the Medical College of Virginia and a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Virginia. She completed her residency in preventive medicine/public health from the Medical College of Virginia, and she received her master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Atlanta-based CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit, but was created by the U.S. Congress as the sole entity to assemble private sector and philanthropic support for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-By Maggie Lee

Darlene Schultz named CEO of Georgia Works!, plans geographic expansion

A metro Atlanta-based program that helps men transition out of homelessness and into self-sufficiency is getting a new leader.

Darlene Schultz was named is the new CEO of Georgia Works! She is a former member of its board and for 11 years was CEO of 3Keys, a nonprofit that provides permanent supportive housing for people who have mental illnesses.

Since 2013, more than 850 men have graduated from Georgia Works’ programs — which include housing, workforce training, addiction treatment, education and more. More than 70% of men graduate from the program within a year and more than 80% of men remain employed and housed after graduation.

“I am thrilled to join Georgia Works! as CEO and look forward to continuing the organization’s great work,” Schultz said in a press release. “I am ready to work hard to expand this life-changing program beyond Atlanta into Georgia and across the southeast.”

-By Maggie Lee

UGA raises $1.45 billion

The University of Georgia raised $1.45 billion in a fundraising campaign that ran from November, 2016 until June 30 this year.

Donations included the largest single gift ever given to UGA—$30 million from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in 2016. As well as 354,504 gifts of $100 or less.

The donations will pay for more than 3,600 new scholarship awards, according to the school, plus a variety of buildings and endowed faculty positions and more. See what the Commit to Georgia money bought.

-By Maggie Lee

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Maggie Lee
Maggie Lee

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.

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