BREAKING GOOD NEWS: Nonprofit highlights this week around Savannah

Spreading good news about nonprofits, charity and goodwill in our community.

SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex partners with Savannah Tree Foundation to grow native seedlings on-site

SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex – an innovative multi-use, multi-tenant industrial terminal site in Savannah with a strong focus on sustainability – recently partnered with Savannah Tree Foundation to grow native tree seedlings on-site as part of a larger effort to protect and expand the shade canopy throughout Chatham County.

Dulany Industries, Inc. donated the use of a one-acre site located near SeaPoint’s 1 MW solar array, honeybee apiary and pollinator garden, as well as water and electricity, to support the Savannah Tree Foundation’s new initiative. The Savannah Tree Foundation is currently growing 1,500 native trees at SeaPoint, all of which will be planted in locations across Chatham County.

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Savannah Tree Foundation
Reed Dulany, Matt White, Zoe Rinker (left to right)

“We’re incredibly honored to help jump-start the Savannah Tree Foundation’s impressive new native plant nursery program,” said Reed Dulany III, chairman and CEO of Dulany Industries, Inc. “My parents were longtime supporters of the Savannah Tree Foundation, so I understand the importance of growing and protecting our local tree canopy.”

Seedlings are currently being grown in containers on-site, including live oak, tulip, poplar, persimmon, whitefringe and bald cypress trees. The one-acre site at SeaPoint can accommodate up to 4,000 seedlings.

“Our goal is to grow local, native shade, ornamental and fruit trees that are hard to get at area garden centers,” explained Zoe Rinker, executive director of the Savannah Tree Foundation. “Thanks to the generous support of Dulany Industries, we’ve hired a qualified nursery manager to make sure we’re doing this in a way that is sustainable and long-lasting.”

The Savannah Tree Foundation’s new plant nursery will complement the ongoing focus on sustainability at SeaPoint. The nonprofit has planted more than 5,600 trees since its founding and is committed to protecting and growing the tree canopy in Savannah and Chatham County through planting, protecting and engaging the community.

Earlier this year, Savannah Tree Foundation was awarded a major grant by the Georgia Forestry Commission as part of its federally-funded Trees Across Georgia program. The grant will fund the Savannah Tree Foundation’s Canopy Corps program, which addresses tree inequity and provides green job training opportunities in Chatham County.

SeaPoint won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IV’s 2023 Phoenix Award for the for the environmental clean-up of the former Tronox/Kerr-McGee industrial site on Savannah’s eastside, which is the largest environmental remediation project by area since the inception of the Georgia Brownfield Program and was completed by Terracon Consultants in 2022. The $38 million privately funded project spanned 755 acres and included 84 distinct work elements.

The SeaPoint Complex remediation project also earned the 2023 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Honor Award, 2023 Georgia American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) People’s Choice Award and 2022 Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Environmental Excellence Award.

With more than 600 upland acres of land for development, a mile of deepwater access directly on the main shipping channel, plus existing rail, utilities and office buildings in a Federal Opportunity Zone, SeaPoint Complex has attracted significant interest from national and international companies interested in expanding to coastal Georgia. SeaPoint Complex is a joint venture between Dulany Industries, Inc. and NantWorks. According to a University of Georgia study, SeaPoint will create 1,700+ new high-wage jobs in a federal Opportunity Zone in Savannah, Ga., and generate an estimated annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion.

Flannery O’Connor Home to host storytime for kids at public libraries

On Saturday, May 25 (11–11:30 am) at the Bull Street Library (2002 Bull St.), in conjunction with Live Oak Public Libraries, The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of the South’s greatest writers, will host Flannery O’Connor Storytime for children in celebration of O’Connor’s 99th birthday. Lee Griffith, Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home Museum Board Member, will read The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor, A Life written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Ping Zhu.

Carriage Tours of Savannah honors active duty military & veterans with free rides on May 26 in observance of Memorial Day

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Carriage Tours of Savannah

Carriage Tours of Savannah is offering limited complimentary carriage rides for active duty military personnel and veterans on Sunday, May 26 from 10 am to 1 pm in honor of Memorial Day (May 27). The initiative aims to express gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by servicemen and women in defense of the country.

Owned and operated by Cara Marshall for nearly two decades, Carriage Tours of Savannah has become a beloved fixture in the historic city. Marshall, alongside her dedicated family, including her son who serves in the Navy, deeply understands the importance of recognizing and honoring the brave individuals who have served in the armed forces.

“As a family with deep military roots, we hold profound respect for our active duty military and veterans and their contributions to our nation,” said Cara Marshall, owner of Carriage Tours of Savannah. “Memorial Day holds special significance for us as we remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It’s our privilege to offer these complimentary carriage rides as a small token of our appreciation.”

Throughout history, horses have played a significant role in military operations, serving as loyal companions to soldiers. From carrying soldiers into battle to transporting supplies and messages, horses have been indispensable assets. This historic connection between horses and the military further underscores the symbolism behind our carriage rides on Memorial Day, as we pay homage to the enduring bond between our armed forces and these noble animals.

The free rides will be available to active duty U.S. military members, veterans & their families who present their military ID and must be booked online in advance. Each ride will last approximately 30 minutes and will depart from City Market, located at Jefferson and W. St. Julian Street. Due to limited availability, reservations must be made online.

For more information about Carriage Tours of Savannah, please visit or call 912-236-6756.

City to host Super Saturday Grant Kick-Off on June 1

On Saturday, June 1, at the Pennsylvania Avenue Resource Center (PARC), the City of Savannah will host Super Saturday Grant Kick-Off workshop to assist interested nonprofit organizations in applying for grants made available through four programs offered by the city. The event begins at 8:30 am and concludes at noon. PARC is located at 425 Pennsylvania Avenue.

click to enlarge BREAKING GOOD NEWS: Nonprofit highlights this week around Savannah
PARC (425 Pennsylvania Ave.)

Beginning June 1, the city will be accepting Community Partnership Program (CPP) applications for 2025 funding of social services programs and Violence Reduction Grant applications for 2025 funding to support programs that focus on violence reduction among youth and young adults.

Nonprofit organizations who provide services to persons experiencing homelessness may apply for the 2025 Day Center Mini-Grant Program. The application period for these programs will close on July 12 at 5 pm.

The City will also be accepting 2025 Arts and Culture Enrichment (ACE) applications for funding of arts, culture and heritage programs from June 12 to July 28. Proposed programs must take place in the 2025 calendar year and within the city limits of Savannah. All interested applicants are encouraged to attend the Super Saturday Grant Kick-Off workshop to learn more.

Use the links and phone numbers below to learn additional information regarding applications, guidelines and city programs.

Family Promise of the Coastal Empire announces Coastal Conversations fundraising breakfast

Family Promise of the Coastal Empire is slated to host a fundraising breakfast at 9 am on Tuesday, June 4, Coastal Conversations. This inaugural Family Promise breakfast fundraiser will be held at the JA Colonial Group Discovery Center, located at 11935 Abercorn Street.

Led by Family Promise of the Coastal Empire’s CEO, Katrina Bostick, this new initiative will be an opportunity for attendees to meet and have meaningful discussions. Conversations will explore the challenges of family homelessness in our community and brainstorm collaborative solutions through a panel composed of respected developers, real estate agents, local government officials, and nonprofit leaders.

Panelists include:

  • Anita Smith-Dixon – Executive Director, Community Housing Services

  • Jennifer Dulong – Executive Director, Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless

  • Erika Maston – Vice President, Multifamily at CBRE

“Together, we will delve into strategies about affordable housing and discuss how we can work together to uplift families and build a stronger future for our children,” said Bostick. “By joining us at Coastal Conversations, you’ll be contributing to positive change in our community and making a lasting impact on the lives of families in need in our community. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of these important discussions.”

Tickets are $25 per person, and sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information about this event, or to purchase tickets, please visit

Tharros Place gets donation from Floor & Decor for more than $30,000

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Tharros Place
Doug Carter, Julie Wade, Sandra Wade (from left to right)

Tharros Place, a nonprofit providing residential services for girls ages 12 to 17 who are survivors of human trafficking, recently announced it received a donation from Floor & Decor worth more than $30,000, including $23,000 in tile and a $7,500 grant.

“Having the support of businesses in our community makes all the difference in our success,” said Julie Wade, Executive Director of Tharros Place. “With Floor & Decor’s assistance, we were able to have our communal kitchen beautifully tiled and will use the additional funding to make Tharros Place an inviting, safe haven for our girls.”

Last year, Tharros Place opened its doors to survivors of human trafficking. The residential facility is open 24/7 and staffed by trained and licensed professionals providing trauma-informed, client-centered care to girls ages 12 to 17. The Savannah Floor & Decor Distribution Center leaders selected Tharros Place to receive the monetary and in-kind donation.

“Through our Floor & Decor Cares program, we are committed to making contributions to organizations that impact lives,” said Sandra Wade, Senior Human Resources Manager for the Floor & Decor Distribution Center in Bloomingdale. “Our local charitable community efforts are driven in large part by our stores who choose organizations that are important to their local community, and we felt Tharros Place was incredibly deserving and doing the necessary work of fighting human trafficking locally.”

In 2022, 494 minors (average age of 14) were identified as victims of human trafficking. Chatham County ranks fourth in the state for the number of sex trafficking cases of minors. Tharros Place’s ultimate goal is to transform those girls from victims to young women brimming with confidence, self-respect, and courage.

The issue is of particular concern for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp, who created the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education (GRACE) Commission to eliminate human trafficking as a threat to people in every corner of Georgia.

Senior Citizens, Inc. receives grant from Enterprise Mobility Foundation to Fund Meals on Wheels Services

Senior Citizens, Inc. (SCI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people age successfully, has been awarded a $3,000 grant from Enterprise Mobility Foundation to use for its Meals on Wheels program. Funds from the grant will provide meals to homebound seniors in the local community.

“We would like to thank Enterprise Mobility Foundation for being such a great partner”, said Patti Lyons, president of SCI, “this grant will allow us to provide additional meals, wellness checks and friendly smiles to older adults in need. At a time when federal funding continues to be cut, the support from partners such as Enterprise Mobility Foundation becomes even more important.”

Savannah Speech & Hearing Center receives grant from Herschel V. Jenkins Memorial Fund

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center (SSHC) was recently awarded a grant from The Savannah Community Foundation Herschel V. Jenkins Memorial Fund for a new summer camp program.

The camp will be directed by SSHC's Speech-Language Pathology department; its goal will be to identify and mitigate speech and language impairments with children. When working with the young children, SSHC aims to enable them to build strong literacy foundations and become effective communicators.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Georgia/South Carolina names Susannah Downer 2024 Savannah Visionary of the Year

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Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Susannah Downer (middle)

The Georgia/ South Carolina Region of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has named Susannah Downer as its 2024 Visionary of the Year for Savannah.

Downer, who also currently serves as Shoppe Manager for Emily McCarthy, spearheaded an incredible 10-week campaign that resulted in raising $173,884 toward the LLS vision of a world without blood cancer. For three decades, LLS’s Visionaries of the Year philanthropic competition has brought together thousands of dedicated volunteers across the country from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are driven to reach their own personal best. However, it’s proven to be about much more than individuals and teams winning a competition — it is about exemplary leaders stepping up and championing others to help LLS carry out its life saving mission.

The 2024 candidate class in Savannah collectively raised over $542,529 to further the LLS mission. Sterling Seacrest Pritchard Client Advisor Caroline Gregory and McIntosh Realty Team Broker/Realtor Christy Marsengill served as co-chairs for this year’s campaign.

“I am beyond proud of what our team and candidates accomplished this year,” said Gregory. “The resilience, courage and community strength that these volunteers demonstrated shows that we can make a difference by standing together and fighting to find cures.”

Since its inception 75 years ago, LLS has invested more than $1.7 billion in groundbreaking research in search of cures. Despite progress, more than a third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis. Proceeds also enable LLS to carry out its holistic, 360-degree approach in communities by providing patients, survivors, families, and caregivers free assistance, support, and resources, and by advocating for policies that give access to better, more affordable cancer care.

For more information or to get involved, visit and follow along on social media @LLSusa.

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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