Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 16, 2014

Auction raises funds for Community Depot

VALDOSTA — Joan Bailey has lived her life in such a way that even the small things have become large.

As the former First Lady of Valdosta State University, she often encounters people who thank her for something she did, some occasion when one of her acts has changed or shaped a life. Some occasion, which she admits, she doesn’t always recall – a kind word, a gesture, in a lifetime of generosity of time, talents and

compassionate spirit. A person never knows how some daily action, a daily word of encouragement can change everything for someone else.

Of course, she takes no credit for such things. But the former students and others thanking her know.

Mrs. Bailey has made a difference.

She continues making a difference with the Community Depot, an organization which raises awareness and funds for the local chapters of the American Red Cross, Easter Seals and the Humane Society. The Community Depot, 1602 N. Ashley St., honored Bailey by naming its Joan Bailey Center for her.

The Community Depot uses the idea of a thrift shop to help its designated charitable organizations, explains Ralph Jackson, Community Depot director. People donate items to the Community Depot’s Joan Bailey Center, these items are readied for sale, and are sold with proceeds going toward the designated organizations. Meanwhile, shoppers can find items at low prices.

However, some donated items have the potential to garner higher prices. Jackson shares examples of donated items such as a Wooten desk with burled walnut front panels appraised at $16,000; a new treadmill appraised at $1,000; numerous still-boxed women’s shoes, handbags, a framed signed letter from astronaut Jim Irvin. The types of items that would be a shame to sell for a few dollars, especially when they could do so much good for the designated organizations, Jackson says, but also the types of items that if tagged at a more appropriate price might scare off traditional thrift-shop consumers.

Since the Community Depot opened last June, the organization has placed these and other items aside. Next weekend, the Joan Bailey Center hosts a live and silent auction for these items at Mathis City Auditorium. The event will include entertainment, food and a chance to help the American Red Cross, Easter Seals and the Humane Society.

Jackson says the Community Depot is growing with help from people such as Joan Bailey, who serves as the organization’s chairperson. Jackson says he regularly consults with her for advice and insight.

He met with her and late husband Dr. Hugh Bailey, former VSU president, before going forward with the Community Depot concept. They listened to Jackson, offered advice and support for the idea. Had the Baileys not believed in the idea, Jackson says he would have likely abandoned the project.

Dr. Bailey did not see the opening of the Community Depot. He passed away in October 2012.

Mrs. Bailey says the organization has kept her busy since her husband’s passing.

Of course, she recalls the years when she did not have to seek ways to keep busy.

Being VSU First Lady was not an official position but it was a full-time job dealing with events, visitors, social occasions, faculty, students and more. Mrs. Bailey laughs recalling one time, years ago, when she sought a little rest as first lady.

She had been working non-stop preparing for an event and felt the need for some undisturbed rest. She stepped into a closet by the Magnolia Room, wrapped herself in stored drapes and took a nap. A student found Mrs. Bailey and didn’t think the First Lady was sleeping. The student screamed for help which ended Mrs. Bailey’s nap.

Joan Bailey enjoyed those busy years. She loved seeing young people develop their talents. The greatest joy was seeing the students graduate. Seeing their families beam with pride. To know that in many cases this student was the first member of a family to graduate. To share a word, a gesture, a smile with these students.

A small thing that changes a life in a big way.


The Joan Bailey Center/Community Depot hosts a live/silent auction.

When: Saturday, March 22, doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St.

Admission: $12, single; $20, couple, includes food and entertainment.

More information on this event and the organization: Visit

Text Only
Local News
  • EOM July 2014.jpg Sgt. Jonathan Yeargin Honored as July 2014 Employee of the Month

    Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored Jonathan Yeargin as the July 2014 Employee of the Month at the July 10 City Council meeting.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay Griner.jpeg Griner wins Lowndes commission runoff

    A long nine-week runoff election between Clay Griner and G. Norman Bennett came to an end Tuesday night with Griner beating Bennett by 1,060 votes, with approximately 70 provisional ballots left to count.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140722-Runoff_Voting003.jpg State Senate District 8 too close to call

    The race for State Senate District 8 appeared too close to call as of The Times print deadline late Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia_Stew.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final years of the Obama administration.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • County OKs $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment

    By a divided vote, the Lowndes County Commission approved spending $1,638,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to improve the county’s water quality as per an agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    July 23, 2014

  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results