Helping the homeless

Living in a big city, one of the more uncomfortable aspects of walking down a sidewalk is seeing the homeless begging for money.

Many are polite and just sit with a sign. Others are more aggressive. Some people dig out the change in their pockets and drop them into a cup. Others refuse and walk on by, believing the money will only be used for drugs or alcohol.

It is a dilemma for everyone.

Homelessness is an epic problem in this country, the greatest and richest in the world. But it’s not relegated to just big cities. Homelessness is everywhere, even in Coweta County.

But what to do?

Newnan native Andrew Wilkin has come up with a noble idea. Instead of having to decide whether it’s worth it to give money to those out on the street, why not support the organizations who focus on helping the homeless?

To that end, he founded the “Homeless Help Card” project. Basically, it’s a discount card for purchases. Proceeds from the card go to organizations helping the poor. He started it in Athens while attending the University of Georgia. There are more than 100 places – primarily restaurants but also family activity centers, hair stylists and more.

And now he’s brought it to Coweta.

Seventy percent of the card’s $20 purchase price (for an annual subscription) benefits designated organizations. Nonprofits that sell the cards get the remaining 30 percent. Schools also can join in and receive 50 percent of the purchase price. Twenty percent goes to the designated organization, and the remaining 30 percent pays for administrative costs and expansion of the program.

For now, the designated organizations selected by Wilkin are Bridging the Gap, a food ministry, and Coweta Samaritan Clinic, a free health clinic for low-income Cowetans.

Throughout our county, 32 businesses in 34 locations currently honor the card. Discounts range from a percentage off purchases to buy one get one free, or free items with larger purchases.

We salute these businesses for helping out – thank you.

You can help, too. This is a great way to help out organizations working with those who need help. It also gives you a discount and allows you to thank those businesses involved in the project.

To learn more, please visit . It’s a great way to help those less fortunate.

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