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P&G donates to Easter Seals

Siblings Tifton Hall, 17, and Bethany Hall, 15, are among the children in the area whose families have been using Megan's House, a respite home for children up to age 17 who have developmental disabilities, autism or are medically fragile. Procter & Gamble presented a donation of $1,000 to officials at Easter Seals Southern Georgia Wednesday in support of Megan's House.

Siblings Tifton Hall, 17, and Bethany Hall, 15, are among the children in the area whose families have been using Megan's House, a respite home for children up to age 17 who have developmental disabilities, autism or are medically fragile. Procter & Gamble presented a donation of $1,000 to officials at Easter Seals Southern Georgia Wednesday in support of Megan's House.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Representatives from Procter & Gamble's Albany plant were at the Easter Seals Southern Georgia office on Palmyra Road Wednesday to present a check to Megan's House.

Procter & Gamble has been an active supporter of the respite home, as well as other Easter Seals programs, in the past. The company presented a $1,000 donation as part of the "Friends of Megan's House" campaign, through which 12 area businesses and organizations can sponsor Megan's House during a month in 2013.

"Easter Seals does a great job with the community and supports its needs," said Vince Falcione, external relations manager for the Albany Procter & Gamble plant. "...I'm tickled to death to present this check to Megan's House.

"We've supported Megan's House for a couple of years. These are children in need, and their families need help. Easter Seals does great work and (we are glad to) be able to support them and what they do."

The sponsorships help provide respite care to families of children up to age 17 who have developmental disabilities, autism or are medically fragile at a cost of $100 per day. That breaks down to about 10 days worth of overhead costs and services to families paid for through the $1,000 donations.

The average family uses the home for three to four days, and pays about $6-$30 a day, officials at Easter Seals say.

In the Easter Seals Southern Georgia region, there were 51 children served at three Megan's House locations -- in Albany, Valdosta and Waycross -- while 415 days of respite care were provided to families, officials say.

The program came into being in memory of Megan Hollomon, who died unexpectedly in 2003 at the age of 14. She was diagnosed with Partial Trisomy 22 Chromosome Disorder shortly after birth, leaving her mentally and physically challenged.

"This is our only program without a guaranteed source of funding," said Nicki Wilson, director of respite and family support services for Easter Seals Southern Georgia. "(With help), we've kept the doors open since 2004.

"If we don't have continued funding, we can't provide services."

In the traditional models Easter Seals has used for its fundraising efforts, the organization has usually brought in roughly $10,000-$12,000.

"We are on track to bringing in that much (with the 'Friends of Megan's House' campaign), and it is less labor intensive," Wilson said.

Flint Community Bank, all the area Sertoma clubs and Bush Animal Clinic have been among the organizations that have given to the campaign so far. Wilson said a business has already been booked for August, but she would not say who it was. September has been blacked out due to the upcoming kick-off for this year's United Way of Southwest Georgia campaign -- another source of funding for Easter Seals.

There are still businesses that need to be booked for the months of October, November and December, Wilson said.

Those interested in learning more about the "Friends of Megan's House" campaign can call (229) 439-7061 or email enwilsonswga-easterseals.org.