By Marc Takacs
2013 was a very wet year in case anyone missed it; meaning that a lot of old roofs in and around East Atlanta didn’t hold up. Fortunately, Neighbor in Need was there to help those seniors lacking the resources to make the repairs. Of the nine families the group assisted, five of them needed roof work that would have quickly made a home uninhabitable if not repaired. The volunteer-run group, which is an initiative of EACA, stepped in with contractor partners to make emergency repairs and roof replacements. There were also a number of plumbing and HVAC repairs performed through the course of the year that helped keep our seniors safe and able to continue to live in their homes.
Neighbor in Need wants to thank the volunteer members who, in addition to their own personal and professional duties, gave of their time and talent to raise money, write grants, interview potential clients, set policies, market the organization, manage construction projects, administer insurance, budgets, and raise money. Jeff Whitehouse, Joe Bartlett, Nancy Carpenter, Sinead Quinn, Marc Takacs, Phil Henderson, Leigh Layton, Jim Giannakakis, Annie Price, and Rebecca Merchant have all been key players in the project along with great community support. Our local vendors, Bell Roofing, M Cary and Daughters Plumbing, Fire and Ice HVAC, The Educated Craftsman Carpentry, Woodology Carpentry, and New Light Electric are the keys to the success of the program. These businesses combine skill and quality work with a giving heart. We can’t do this without them, and they are assets to our community. Call them when a need arises, and know you’ll be in good hands.
Fundraising efforts, grants, and donations are the lifeblood of the program. Our supporters, both big and small, are appreciated. Many individuals have given to the program over the years, particularly when we’re trying to help one of their immediate neighbors. There are too many to list, but they know who they are, and we especially appreciate their efforts. Other larger grantors and donors this year included: Run Before You Crawl, the East Atlanta BeerFest, Green Stone Designs, Councilperson Natalyn Archibong, Marc Takacs Realty, and the East Atlanta Santa. Thanks to you all!
Fundraising events, like the Annual Pumpkin Sale at the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market serve the dual purpose of getting the word out about the program and putting a few dollars in the bank. The Annual Poker Tournament, coming up on March 29 at the Midway Pub at 10:00am, is another opportunity to interact with the community in an entertaining way. Atlanta Poker is once again running a professional-style tournament with big prizes, and the Midway has graciously offered to open early and will get the bar open for the players as well. The entry fee is $50 per player, and there is a limit of 50 players. Re-buys will be allowed early in the tourney, with Atlanta Poker making the decision as to when to take that option away. Even if you’re not an experienced player, this is an enjoyable event that has the right balance of professional play and fun players. Details will be released on Facebook and other communication avenues. Sign up early.
Seniors in our community are often targets of predatory contractors or find themselves in difficult circumstances in which they have to decide between food in the refrigerator, medical treatment, or home maintenance. Charities like Neighbor in Need act as a safety net to preserve the social diversity of our neighborhood while preventing blighted properties from scarring the local landscape. For more information on Neighbor in Need, go to www.eaca.net and look under the Initiatives tab, or look us up on Facebook under Neighbor in Need East Atlanta.
East Atlanta Neighbor in Need Finishes a Wet 2013
By Marc Takacs