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Members of Southside Church recently wrapped up their Be Rich campaign, donating more than $300,000 to area non-profit organizations.

On the cusp of the holiday season, with its inherent focus on gratitude and gift-giving, Southside Church wrapped up its 2021 Be Rich campaign—a month-long emphasis on giving to and serving through local non-profits already impacting the community.

In 2021, attendees of Southside Church, with locations in Stockbridge, Peachtree City and Newnan, gave $301,702 to the Be Rich fund. The church, in return, gave every dollar away to 11 partner non-profit organizations in Henry, Fayette and Coweta counties.

“Be Rich is an incredible opportunity to show the community that God and the Church is for them,” said Southside Senior Pastor Chris Patton. “We have so many non-profit organizations that are doing tremendous good for those in need, way beyond what churches can do, and it is a privilege to partner with them.”

As a result of the 2021 Be Rich campaign, 946 people associated with Southside committed to serving with the same partners. This influx of volunteer manpower encourages the organizations already making a difference in the community and, along with the Be Rich donations, multiplies their existing efforts to change lives across the Southside of Atlanta and beyond.

Bloom, a non-profit foster care organization in Fayetteville, supports foster families and provides free clothing, shoes and other items to foster children through Bloom Closet. Becky Davenport, president and CEO of Bloom, thanked Southside for its Be Rich donation: “This check from Be Rich is a game changer for us. It is going to allow us to reach out to over half of the children in foster care in the state of Georgia through our new program, the Bloom Closet Express, where we can take our program at the Bloom Closet and take it to the streets and bring clothing and essentials and much-needed school supplies to underserved children in our state.”

Backpack Buddies, a 501c3 non-profit organization in Newnan, addresses the increasing endemic of hunger among school children in the U.S. by supplying weekend food packages for up to 1,150 children in the Coweta County school system. Lori Burnett, program coordinator for Backpack Buddies, emphasized the significance of Southside’s support. “Because of your generosity with Be Rich, we’re able to serve more and more kids in Coweta County, and we are so incredibly grateful and thankful for the way that you guys have trusted us to do what it is that we feel like God has called us to do at Backpack Buddies,” she said.

Virtuous Women Life Academy (VWLA) in Stockbridge seeks to elevate women in the metro Atlanta area, especially single mothers, through mentoring and connection. June Wood, the chief encouragement officer at VWLA, said Southside’s donations—of money and service—have already impacted the organization’s effectiveness.

“Because of the Be Rich campaign, the Virtuous Women Life Academy has been able to recruit more mentors. Therefore, we’re able to touch more single mothers and we’re able to have more group mentoring, so we’re able to really allow the women to be encouraged at a higher level,” she said. “The Be Rich campaign also has helped us offset some of our operational expenses including insurance and training and certification expenses.”

In addition to Bloom, Backpack Buddies and Virtuous Women Life Academy, other non-profits in Fayette, Coweta and Henry counties who received a donation from Southside’s 2021 Be Rich campaign are Midwest Food Bank, Real Life Center, i58 Mission, Elevate Coweta Students, Community Brickworks, RiverLife, Operation Lunchbox and Haven House.

Southside Church first joined Northpoint Church and other partners participating in Be Rich a decade ago, raising $87,000 and serving a combined 461 hours that year. This year, as one of 76 churches in 20 states and five countries taking part in Be Rich, Southside contributed to a cumulative 26,991 hours served and $8,408,840 given away. The impact of Be Rich stretches across the state, communities across the U.S. and the world.

“As followers of Jesus, we want to be outward facing rather than inward focused,” Patton said. “Our mission is to inspire and endear our community to follow Jesus, and Be Rich is the embodiment of what that should look like.”

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