Shellie Johnson with her friend Ezekiel during a build week with The Fuller Center in Nicaragua.

Shellie Johnson with her friend Ezekiel during a build week with The Fuller Center in Nicaragua.

THE FULLER CENTER FOR HOUSING

I joined the grass-roots Fuller Center for Housing in June 2011. It was founded by late Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Millard Fuller, a man I knew from my earlier newspaper days in Americus, Georgia. The Fuller Center partners with families to help them build and repair homes in dozens of communities across the United States and around the world. It truly is a hand-UP and not a handout — and that’s why so many people from the left, the right and the center join together to support The Fuller Center’s work. FullerCenter.org


THE PERRY GEORGIA FULLER CENTER FOR HOUSING

The Fuller Center accomplishes its work through locally run and managed grass-roots affiliates called covenant partners. The Perry Georgia Fuller Center works in the community where my family lives and focuses exclusively on helping existing homeowners — especially the elderly and disabled — make repairs to their homes. The Perry Georgia Fuller Center (which has no paid positions nor an office to maintain) relies on generous donors and volunteers to accomplish its work. FullerCenter.org/PerryGA


SAMARITAN’S CLOSET OF PERRY, GEORGIA

The grass-roots Samaritan’s Closet sells gently used and never worn clothes donated by local residents at extremely low prices. With quality items as low as $1, they provide incredible value for those in search of decent apparel for men and women, boys and girls. They also have no paid staff, and 100 percent of their profits go to support other nonprofits in Perry, Georgia.  Learn more.


READING ON MY MIND

Reading on My Mind is a grass-roots literacy nonprofit started in 2009 by Taylor and Lorie Peterson in Perry, Georgia. Their mission is to provide free books to individuals who may not have access to a library or financial resources to purchase books at stores. www.readingonmymindinc.com


ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL

You might have noticed I prefer to support grass-roots nonprofits, where I believe dollars go further and accountability and results are clearer. Granted, St. Jude is not grass-roots and I wish we didn’t need the good work that St. Jude does — but we do. The services they provide to sick children and their families are invaluable, but they require your support. www.StJude.org