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Ogeechee Area Hospice donates to local homeless mission
By JEFF HARRISON
W HOSPICE
Ogeechee Area Hospice staff donated cleaning and hygiene products to Statesboro's Open Hearts Community Mission on Thursday. - photo by JEFF HARRISON/staff

    An organization that is no stranger to giving was presented a gift of its own Thursday by the Ogeechee Area Hospice.
    Two containers overflowing with donated goods were presented to representatives of Statesboro’s Open Hearts Community Mission to assist families and individuals in need.
    The assortment of cleaning and personal hygiene products was collected by staff at the Ogeechee Area Hospice this month and is part of a yearly giveaway by the local nonprofit.
    “The employees really opened up their hearts,” said Tinker Lanier, the coordinator of nonprofit giving at Ogeechee Area Hospice. “We have so many people in the community give to us, so we try to give back every year. This year, we had the idea of providing for the mission.
    “An organization like (the Open Hearts Community Mission), in helping the homeless, is doing a wonderful thing,” she said.
    The Open Hearts Community Mission is a local group dedicated to serving the homeless and people facing economic hardship. The group aims to promote self-sufficiency by improving physical, mental, emotional and financial needs — and addressing social, moral and educational conditions, according to Mission Chairman Delia Mobley.
    “This donation is huge. The supplies are very much needed,” Mobley said. “We have had donations before, but never anything of this scale.”
    Donated items included necessities that are often unaffordable for the homeless or those facing severe financial struggles — items that can’t be purchased with food stamps.
    “There were several things that a lot of people don’t have and can’t afford,” Lanier said. “The list included shampoo, toothpastes, deodorant, oven cleaners, paper towels, soap, and several other items — a little bit of everything, really.”
    Mobley and Jim Benton, the vice chairman of Open Hearts Community Mission, were on hand Thursday to accept the donation.
    Mobley said the goods will go a long way to assist several people in Bulloch County.
    “Items like these are the supplies that are really needed,” she said. “Our supplies do not go only to the people we put up in a hotel, but also to people who have contacted the mission that can barely make ends-meat.”
    According to Benton, people receiving aid must qualify through an interview process with Mission administrators.
    The Open Hearts Community Mission was established in February last year, and since August 2011, has assisted more than 260 people.
    The mission serves as an emergency shelter provider and aims to “get people back on their feet and remain or become productive members of society,” Benton said.
    For more information about the mission, visit ohcm.org or call (912) 682-0812.
   
    Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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