VALDOSTA – When Cindy Stone saw a need in the community, she stepped up to the plate.

Stone is the community liaison for the Hospice of South Georgia and the Langdale Hospice House.

Through the hospice, Stone banded together with other individuals to assist programs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I started thinking, how can we make a difference in the community,” she said.

The hospice formed the Caring Hearts project in conjunction with Brian Sumner State Farm Insurance, Janet Lineberger of Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate, Todd Shiver of Southern Point Investment Partners and Marnie Watson of Bennett Watson Estate and Elder Law.

The group’s first community effort benefitted workers of the COVID-19 screening station at South Georgia Medical Center’s Smith Northview campus.

Caring Hearts connected with Hogan’s Pharmacy and Chancy’s Drugs to provide lunch for the staff members at the station in August.

“That was such a big hit with everyone,” Stone said. “Everyone was so excited and so appreciative.”

With the success of the first venture, Caring Hearts continued its endeavors. This time, Alzheimer’s Caregiver Time-Out received assistance.

The group presented more than $1,300 and a collection of household supplies to ACTO recently.

In Sumner’s absence, his wife, Susan, presented his donation while Southern Point financial advisors Jo Pate and Greg Bright presented a check on behalf of Shiver.

“It was very touching for all of us to know that we’re helping someone that has had so much of an impact in our community,” Stone said.

Ann Walker-Smith, executive director of ACTO, called the donations a blessing.

She said she plans using the money to replace funds used to take care of a broken pipe and a resulting flood at the ACTO center.

The center remains closed to clients due to Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter in place order for the medically fragile.

Stone said she felt led by God to help Smith and ACTO.

She and others plan to continue the Caring Hearts project quarterly. They seek to partner with other businesses that would like to sponsor families or nonprofits.

“We want to make a difference in the community, one project at a time,” Stone said. “My hope is that other businesses will see that they can make a difference and take part in this, as well.”

Call Stone at (229) 563-9922 for more information.

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