Donations being gathered for ‘Give Change That Counts’ program

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department (SPD) announced its support of a county-wide campaign that aims to reduce the need for panhandling.

Throughout September and October, SPD is collecting goods to be donated to Give Change That Counts.

Give Change That Counts is a community-wide initiative, that is getting support from the City of Savannah, Chatham County as well as other entities like the Savannah Downtown Business Association.

The association’s executive director says the campaign’s success hinges not only on donations of supplies, but also money.

“Giving it to the campaign is what’s going to help us open day centers throughout Savannah and Chatham County, giving these individuals somewhere else to go, and a different alternative to standing on the streets asking for money,” said Jackie Schott, Executive Director of the SDBA.

The Savannah Downtown Business Association is also collecting backpacks, sheets and blankets and sleeping bags.

Also gathering donations at each of their precincts, is the Savannah Police Department.

“We feel like it’s a great way for us to help out with that by collecting donations as well to donate to Give Change That Counts,” said Savannah Police Captain Shamonica Badie. “The Give Change That Counts initiative is one that is going to offer our homeless residents a safe haven. It’s going to offer them food, they’ll have shelter for the day. They can even get clothing, they’ll be able to take a shower.”

Captain Badie said right now, there are boxes inside each Savannah precinct. If you want to arrange a drop-off, just call the precinct or the SPD public information office.

All that’s gathered will go to the day centers.

Schott said, “The goal for the day centers is to use foundations that are already open and already there, so that we are not looking at constructing any new buildings for this, but again, partnering and creating more partnerships with the community to get these day centers up and running.”

Schott explained once the campaign to raise funds and gather donations ends next month, they’ll know how many day centers they’ll be able to open up around the county.

The campaign is an initiative led by the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless with collaboration and financial support from Chatham County, the City of Savannah, and major economic development groups including the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce/Visit Savannah, Savannah Downtown Business Association, Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah’s Waterfront, and the Tourism Leadership Council.

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