At some Atlanta Schools, the Pandemic has Provided a Silver Lining—a Stronger, More Urgent Sense of Community

On March 12, Atlanta Public Schools’ announced that its buildings would close to students and staff for a minimum of two weeks. The following day, the 13th, Michelle Ampong received a call asking her to come to her children’s school, Parkside Elementary, in Grant Park. (The school that, full disclosure, my children also attend.) School staff had just one day to distribute all available devices to kids to take home, but many students were missing the necessary permission slips.

Ampong, who’d been helping the school reach out to families living at Trestletree Village Apartments, a low-income family housing complex, joined a small group of other parents and staff. Crammed into an office, they spent the whole day calling and texting families.

Annual National Philanthropy Day Celebrates Fundraising Heroes in Atlanta

On October 29, the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Atlanta Chapter executed their annual event: National Philanthropy Day, a celebration of greater Atlanta’s philanthropic advocates and 1,000 other like-hearted individuals traditionally held in the Georgia Aquarium’s captivating ballroom. Year after year, AFP outdoes themselves in style and execution, but this year’s coronavirus brought up a set of new challenges, and the association tackled this head-on.

From the captivating speakers to the beautiful messaging on how Atlantans are showing up and showing out for their neighbors, this year’s virtual event was nothing short of spectacular! The event recognized traditional awards including Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year, Kim Gresh and three teen volunteers of the year, Siya Kalra, Mary Grace Morrison and Grey Cohen. Mary-Kate Starkel, director of development at redefinED Atlanta, earned the Stellar Professional Award and Kiana Lawrence, major gifts and planned giving manager at Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, was recognized with the Young Professional Award.