Friday, November 26, 1999
During holiday season, many people's thoughts turn to those who have slipped through the safety net and are in dire need of help to have a joyous season.
In Coweta County, one businessman takes the season to heart by giving back to the community that has made him a success.
Starting today, Mike Fitzpatrick Ford Lincoln Mercury will donate $100 in a program dubbed Wish Upon a Ford to the Coweta County Department of Family and Children Services for each car he sells between now and Christmas.
Last year, Fitzpatrick started the same program Dec. 1 and was able to donate $10,000 to the organization. This year, with an earlier start, he's hoping to raise $15,000.
The funds are used to help elderly residents on fixed incomes who need a little help to be able to stay in their own homes, along with nearly 170 children in foster care.
The program also helps families in crisis, who may have lost a job or have a prolonged illness.
DFACS director Bill McKorkle said the organization finds these families in different ways.
Sometimes neighbors call, or the police or schools tell us. We've even gotten tips from the Postal Service, he said. The money definitely helps many residents have a happier holiday.
The money will be used in so many different ways. It might provide Christmas presents for a family that would not be able to have a Christmas, or it might simply keep their electricity and heat on during the winter months, said McKorkle.
When buying a car, residents can tell the dealer where they would like their money donated. The options include money for a teenager who might want to come home, funds for an elderly person or money for a family in need.
Without donations like Mike Fitzpatrick's Wish Upon a Ford, many people who were helped out last year would not have received assistance. They depend on these donations, said McKorkle.