MCINTOSH CARES, INC. IS A DIVERSE COALITION UNITED IN PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT LOCAL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS WHICH DIRECTLY IMPACT THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN MCINTOSH COUNTY.
Who we're helping this year:
All proceeds go to:
McIntosh Food Programs
The American Legion ~ Unknown Soldier Post #137, Darien, GA
Several organizations in McIntosh County are dedicated to the goal of helping our neighbors thrive by ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry. These organizations provide nutritious food to county residents who, due to illness, financial crisis, or other emergency, find themselves struggling to feed themselves and their families. Most of the organizations are faith based; none would exist without dedicated volunteers and donations from across the community.
Once a month, several churches provide food to those in need. First Credit Hill Baptist Church food pantry is open the second Saturday of every month.
Morgan’s Chapel United Methodist Church provides a substantial amount of food, primarily serving the northern end of the County. The Chapel’s program started in 2012 and serves 150-200 families a month. Distribution is held on the fourth Wednesday of every month, except for November and December, when it is held on the third Wednesday.
Darien United Methodist Church provides a large container of groceries and other items, delivered if necessary, including to Sapelo Island. The program was initiated when Covid began, primarily to enable the elderly and immunocompromised to not go out in public if possible. The program grew quickly, and on the second Thursday and Friday of every month, food is now provided to over 400 families.
Darien United Methodist also sponsors an impressive program known as the “Backpack Buddies.” Every week during the school term, over 100 children take home enough food for the two-day weekend; on long weekend and holidays, they take home enough food for the number of days the children are out of school. Northside Baptist Church assists with the middle school program.
St. Andrews and St. Cyprians Episcopal churches also make food available. In addition, they host Two Saints Café, which serves a free lunch every Thursday. The lunch program was started for those in need in 2019 to provide not only food but an opportunity to gather with others. Over 100 meals are typically served each week.
Similarly, Darien United Methodist Church hosts Charlie’s Place every Tuesday. The lunch was started in 2010 and over 120 people attend regularly, drawing a diverse crowd for a hot, homemade meal and fellowship.
Charlie’s Place has been forced to become a drive-through lunch due to lack of space in the Church’s fellowship hall, caused by the operation of the other food programs hosted out of the church. Recognizing the need not only for the provision of food in the county, but the need for appropriate space to receive, store and distribute food, several interested community members are spearheading an effort to build a dedicated center for the Church’s food pantry.
While the community wide support for the food ministries is remarkable, particularly for such a relatively small community facing a great need, Covid, and more recently, inflation, has strained available resources and greatly increased the need for support of these programs.
HART (Human Animal Resource Team, Inc.)
HART was co-founded in 1993 by two McIntosh County, Georgia, citizens who were seriously interested in improving the lives of McIntosh County’s stray and abandoned animals. At that time, there were inadequate and unenforced animal ordinances, no animal control unit and no municipal animal shelter (pound).
Thirty-three citizens who shared the co-founders’ concerns attended HART’s first organizational meeting on July 9, 1993. Progress was rapid: HART was incorporated the next year, coalesced into an all-volunteer, grassroots animal welfare organization and established a Mission -- “To create a humane and effective solution for the stray and abandoned companion animals of McIntosh County, Georgia”. A Vision of creating a unique public/private partnership among HART and the governments of McIntosh County and the City of Darien, with the goal of building an animal shelter, quickly emerged.
HART successfully encouraged government leaders to build a shelter and helped raise funds for McIntosh County Animal Services to open in August of 2005. HART’s dream of establishing a humane animal control program at the grassroots level was off to a grand start!
With high hopes of shaping the philosophy, policies and procedures of MCAS so that it would not operate as the typical “catch and kill” facility, HART asked the county to entrust management to them, and from 2012 – 2016, shelter records documented a 90% to 98% Live Release rate. When HART’s valiant efforts to save every healthy, friendly, treatable animal collided with a county budget boundary, the county resumed management of MCAS on October 12, 2016. The transition amplified a stark reality: The uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats is the root cause of overpopulation epidemics. This turning point led HART to narrow its purpose strictly to a serious, proactive focus on Spay/Neuter and Humane Education.
HART began a sterilization voucher program in 1996 that has grown into a streamlined, aggressive highly successful subsidy program for McIntosh County dogs and cats. The program is financed primarily through sales proceeds from a small thrift Store, the HART Re-tail Store. To date, HART has records documenting surgeries of more than 8,000 dogs and cats.
The American Legion - Unknown Soldier Post #137, Darien, GA
Founded in 1919, The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most influential veterans service organization. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of America’s veterans, their families, our military, and our communities by our devotion to mutual helpfulness. Fundraising and donations are the means by which each Post supports veteran’s programs and activities.
Currently, the Post is supporting the Golden Isles Veterans Village Inc., a 501C3 Corporation. It is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to get homeless veterans back into society. The project is to build a transitional community featuring thirty single-occupancy tiny houses and Community Center where residents can live in a safe and supportive environment in Brunswick. This hand-up program is only for veterans. They are going to accomplish this by providing residents with medical and physical services, counseling, education, skills identification, job training and job placement. The village is in construction phase.