AS PRINTED IN THE DEC 20, 2019 EDITION OF THE SAVANNAH BUSINESS JOURNAL - The Inspire Your Community podcast, which was launched this year by Chris Tilton, one of two principals at the Dewitt Tilton Group construction firm, to share inspiring local stories of inspiration, kindness and positivity, wrapped up 2019 with a $2,000 donation to Backpacks of Love and a volunteer session of packing family food boxes.
The podcast launched in the spring of 2019, seeking to inspire the community with true stories and to support the organizations that generated those stories with Dewitt Tilton Group’s philanthropy. Projects to date have included support for the family of a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty, funding for art supplies at a local elementary school and a creative project that supports local breast cancer survivors.
For the final episode of the year, the podcast turned its attention to the Backpacks of Love program in Richmond Hill, Ga. This organization, launched in January 2013, sends needy and potentially hungry children home with bags of food every Friday, as well as boxes of food on holiday breaks, filling the gaps ordinarily filled by their school-based breakfasts and lunches. The United Way of the Coastal Empire partners with the New Beginnings Community Church to provide funding that allows the group to obtain food from Second Harvest Food Bank, and other donations supplement the amount and type of food included.
Each Friday, the participating children each receive a bag containing two entrees such as soup or ravioli, a two-pack of instant oatmeal, an individual cereal package, a granola bar, fruit snack, crackers, cookies, fruit cup or fresh fruit, juice box and shelf-stable milk.
Melodie Lane, director of Backpacks of Love, worked with the Dewitt Tilton Group before the holiday break as they and their families packed over 25 food boxes with a ham or turkey, instant potatoes, canned yams, six to eight cans of vegetables and a can of gravy, several boxes of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and sauce, peanut butter and jelly, beans, bread, rice, cornmeal mix, pancake mix and syrup, cake mix and frosting, plus a bag of candy canes or other holiday candy.
“The thought of children going hungry is just not acceptable,” said Chris Tilton, host of the podcast. “We wanted to support Backpacks of Love because these folks are not only feeding children during the holidays but throughout the school year. This effort is truly inspiring.”
The podcast will be accessible on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and other places where podcasts can be found.
For more information on the Backpacks of Love program, visit https://richmondhill.church/backpacks