Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer
Recently elected Macon County Commissioner Danny Antoine and Realtor Evan Harrell will enduring freezing temperatures in the evening spending 24 hours, in the bucket of a large crane as part of the Cold for a Cause annual effort to raise funds, food, and needed winter items for individuals in the region. The crane, sponsored by Commissioner Josh Young, will be parked at Franklin Plaza, in front of Dalton’s Christian Book Store, on Georgia Road, starting Friday, Jan. 20, at noon until Sunday, Jan. 22, at noon.
“We need jackets, blankets, gloves, toboggans, socks, warm clothes, and canned goods,” said Tim Hogsed, Macon County CareNet’s director.
Annually, more than 6,000 pieces of clothing and blankets, and close to 10,000 pounds of food and personal care products have been donated during the event. Cold for a Cause was begun by Patrick Jenkins in 2009 and for 10 years, Jenkins spent 48 hours braving cold weather and hunkering down in the bucket of a crane parked in front of Macon County Farm Bureau. He and Joe Sanders, owner of J.R. Sanders Company who provided the crane, came up with the event idea as a way to start a new year off by giving back to the community. The goal was to encourage citizens during the 48-hour time period to drop off donations of coats, blankets, canned foods, and personal hygiene items for Macon County CareNet to distribute to needy families.
Cold for a Cause is considered one of CareNet’s most important activities that generates not only needed items but awareness of the ongoing services and supplies that CareNet provides for the community.
Hogsed has pointed out that since the pandemic, CareNet’s services have been in greater demand. Besides thousands of pounds of food needed to feed thousands of needy families and individuals, at least 800 bags of food are sent home each week in backpacks so that food-insecure school children will be able to eat over the weekend.
Needed items can be dropped off this weekend at the Cold for a Cause site at Franklin Plaza. For more information about CareNet, visit the organization’s website.