BAXLEY, Ga. (WTOC) -"Called to Love" started as an idea in December of 2017, but less than a year later, it was operating as a nonprofit organization. In less than two years, it has changed the lives of the under-served in Appling County.
The record highs might have stopped, but not the need for relief from the heat.
“Through the day, I can turn it back up to high cool and it blows higher,” said Linda Mitchell. “It was like the answer to a prayer in order to get this air conditioner and just sit down and not worry about it being hot outside.”
Linda Mitchell said she felt like she was getting sunburn inside last week, before she got a visit and a brand new air conditioning unit from Called to Love, a nonprofit organization that is spreading help widely and quickly in Appling County.
“We do food boxes, we have a blessing box out front that people can come in the middle of the night and get items they need, we have clothing, we have the foster children, we do whatever we can to support DEFACS,” said Amy Branch, the founder of Called to Love. “We found that when there’s children in need, there’s normally a family in need, so now we’re getting in to helping families.”
The group is also getting into hearts in the Baxley community. Last week, they asked on Facebook for help to cool the homes of some elderly neighbors. Within days, they had received donations of a couple dozen air conditioning units and 40 fans.
“It’s the community,” said Branch. "And people want to help, they do. They want to help, they just don’t know what
Amy Branch shepherds that kindness through Called to Love, by taking donated items and distributing them to less fortunate neighbors through the organization she started a year and a half ago that continues to reveal the need that exists in Appling County.
“Since February, we’re looking at about 40 a day that we’re helping, probably about 500 families. We try to vet it as much as we can, but we just let God take it,” said Branch. “We pray. I always tell them I’ve got to talk to the board. I have a board because we’re non-profit, but he’s my board. We give them a bible, we pray with them and if they need other resources, some type of counseling, we reach out to the different resources in Appling County.”
And last week, the WTOC Community Champions at Called to Love reached into a new direction by providing as much comfort as they could.
“They brought me an air conditioner and it went from me having to go in and wash up every two or three hours to laying in my bed, watching TV and being cool all the time, being able to open the door and cook,” said Mitchell.
There will be a ribbon cutting on Thursday at Called to Love’s new 3,400-square foot facilty, but the organization has already outgrown that space and is looking for a larger building to store all the items that are donated by the community on a regular basis.