Pioneer employees donate to Greenville High, Safe Harbor

Published 2:59 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

The employees of Pioneer Electric Cooperative made a $509.30 donation to Greenville High School Thursday. Pictured from left to right are Joseph Dean, GHS principal; Linda Horn, Pioneer vice president of member services; Bettdonna Mack, GHS social worker; and Angela Green, Pioneer communications specialist. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Bettdonna Mack just couldn’t understand it.

Time and time again she saw students turn up in the office for violating Greenville High School’s uniform policy.

“We had students who were constantly being written up for not wearing a belt,” Mack said.

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Eventually Mack, the school’s social worker, decided to get to the bottom of the situation. What she learned is that the students didn’t have belts to wear with their uniform.

That got Mack to thinking.

“How many other students have similar needs that go unnoticed because they hide it?” Mack said.

As Mack looked around the campus and talked with students, she realized there was a need to find a way to provide assistance to students whose families do not have the resources to provide children with items such as backpacks, full school uniforms, shoes and coats.

Mack envisioned a clothing closest for students at the school, but lacked the funds.

On Thursday, Mack got a helping hand from the employees of Pioneer Electric Cooperative in the form of a $509.30 check.

“Concern for our community is one of the founding principles of Pioneer Electric,” said Angela Green, Pioneer Electric Cooperative communications specialist. “Donating money to different organizations in the community, like Safe Harbor or Greenville High School, is a way for us to give back to the community.”

Pioneer Electric’s employees also made a $509.30 donation to Safe Harbor on Thursday. Safe Harbor works with law enforcement, the judicial system and the Department of Human Resources in Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw counties to assist children who have been victims of crime or who have witnessed a crime.

The money donated to the Secret Assistance Closet at GHS and Safe Harbor was raised through employee donations and then supplemented with matching funds from Pioneer Electric Cooperative.

“Each year we select a charity to give the money we raise to, and this year there was a tie between Safe Harbor and GHS, so we divided the money between to two,” Green said.

Mack said she was “extremely grateful” for the donation from Pioneer Electric’s employees.

Mack said that the Secret Assistance Closet is still in need of gently used or new school uniforms, new socks and underwear in the packages, coats and jackets, new or gently used backpacks and gently used clothing.

The Secret Assistance Closet cannot accept furniture or household items, used socks and underwear, sheets or towels or toys.

Mack said the school is in need of a washer and dryer to clean the clothes before giving them to students.

Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Mack at (334) 382-2608, ext. 2200.