Letter to the Editor: Support local nonprofits in season of giving

This Thanksgiving, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation has much to be thankful for – another year of successful grants in the classrooms of Demopolis and the completion of our $1 Million “Hallelujah Goal” as a start to an Endowment Fund for perpetual funding.

None of this work would be possible without the support of our donors, large and small. I think it is critical to note that over 90% of the funding for our School Foundation comes from local individuals and businesses.

As we approach the Christmas season, I want to encourage all the citizens of the Demopolis area to support your local nonprofits first.  None of my fellow partners in charitable work in Demopolis have large staff or fancy advertising agencies to create elaborate mailings and TV advertisements. But locally, our nonprofits:

  • Feed the hungry at the Demopolis Food Pantry
  • Care for the elderly at Braxton Senior Day Care
  • Offer afterschool and summer resources at the Theo Ratliff Center
  • Provide learning resources for all ages at the Demopolis Public Library
  • Find homes for animals through the Bigbee Humane Society
  • Share and maintain our local history at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum, Marengo Historical Society, and Gaineswood Historic Site
  • Improve health care for our community through the Hospital Auxiliary
  • Create opportunities to experience a wide range of arts programs through the Canebrake Players and Two Rivers Arts Council
  • Provide scholarships for high school students through the Bargain Box
  • Ensure students are receiving the “extras” that make a good education great through the Demopolis City Schools Foundation

This list could go on and on, but all of this work is supported primarily at the local level and depends on our support of time, talent, and treasure to serve our fellow citizens. Whatever cause you are passionate about, there are ways to be involved right here on a local level.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday, a day where you may see a lot of social media posts asking for donations to charitable organizations. Before you send your check off to a national organization, or even one in Birmingham or Montgomery, consider your local nonprofits first and what Demopolis and West Alabama would be like without them.

In this season of giving, just as you need to shop local to support your neighborhood business owners, you need to give local to support charities who support your neighbors. With your continued support, we can truly live up to our name as a “City of The People.”


Amanda Barnes

Executive Director

Demopolis City Schools Foundation