On Wednesday, August 3, Walmart donated bookbags of supplies and five bicycles to Unity-N-Community for its Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) program and $3,000 to Communities in Schools of Central Georgia (CIS). The donation was made at the Walmart on Harrison Road.

"There is always a need for us to help children discover the love of riding their bikes around the neighborhood, whether that's to school, to a friend's house, or just up and down the street, and many of our parents may not be able to afford one for them," says Steve Allen, Unity-N-Community Board Chair.

The money being donated to CIS will buy Mindfulness Journals for each of the students they work with in six Bibb County elementary schools. These journals have guided writing prompts to help students stay calm, focused, and present.

"When we begin teaching children effective communication and non-violent strategies while they are in elementary school, we empower them to choose a safe and successful future for themselves," says Taryn Collinsworth, CIS Chief Executive Officer.

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"This is a small donation to a big cause, so I hope the children see that people in our community are watching and care about their future," says Neal Haslem, Account Manager Development with Coca-Cola's Sav

annah River Division.

"These bikes will be part of our incentive program with children that is helping show them there is value and reward in doing what's right for our friends, family, and community," adds Allen.

The bicycles will be given to children at a future Rhyme Against Crime event. This event – along with a Fathers' Day cookout, one-on-one conflict resolution sessions at the Buck Melton Center, and others – are part of the organization's outreach effort that is part of the MVP program.

About Macon Violence Prevention

In 2021, Mayor Miller invited community leaders to come together to address violent crime through the Macon Violence Prevention program. Following 14 community forums and community-wide surveys, these leaders developed the Macon Violence Prevention Strategic Plan, with an emphasis on youth outreach. Grant recipients were asked to submit applications for evidence-based programming that aligns with the MVP Strategic Plan.

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On Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Macon-Bibb County City Hall, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia joined Mayor Lester Miller and community leaders to announce the first round of Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) grant recipients. More than $800,000 in funding is being awarded to 25 nonprofit and faith-based organizations as part of ongoing efforts to prevent violent crime in Macon-Bibb County.

"The Community Foundation is pleased to be part of this historic effort to prevent violent crime in our community," said Kathryn Dennis, President of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. "We look forward to working with these diverse organizations as they use these resources to make their good ideas a reality for our community."

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