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Monsanto Fund aids Hands of Mercy, Humane Society

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 4:16 am

Check presentation

Lincoln County farmer Gary Priest (far left) and Randy Morgan, (far right) territory sales manager for the Monsanto Co., present the checks to (from left) Betty Lawrence, Hands of Mercy Outreach director, Barbara Cantrell, president, Humane Society of Lincoln County, and Gerrica Moran, Humane Society of Lincoln County volunteer.

Two local non-profit organizations – Hands of Mercy Outreach and the Humane Society of Lincoln County – have each received $2,500 donations from the Monsanto Co., thanks in part to the efforts of a Lincoln County farmer.

The Monsanto Fund sponsors America’s Farmers Grow Communities as a way to support farming communities across the country. The program, which launched in 2010, allows farmers to enter to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite community non-profit organization. One winner is selected in each of 1,271 eligible counties in 39 states – eligibility is based counties being declared disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Gary Priest, a local farmer, was the winner from Lincoln County.

To further support counties that have been declared disaster areas by the USDA due to drought, winning farmers in these counties can choose where to direct an additional $2,500 donation based on community needs that surfaced because of the drought.

Priest chose Hands of Mercy Outreach and the local Humane Society to be recipients of $2,500 each from the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

“The people of Lincoln County would like to thank the Monsanto Co. for these generous donations,” said Priest in making the presentations here recently.

The Monsanto Fund will invest over $5 million to nonprofit organizations across the country through Grow Communities this year. This was Monsanto Company’s third year to fund the America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Monsanto is an agricultural Fortune 500 Company based in St. Louis, Mo., and is committed to sustainable agriculture based on producing more, conserving more and improving lives.

The mission of the Humane Society of Lincoln County is to operate the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Animal Shelter with thoughtful compassion, promote lifetime placement for unwanted and abandoned pets, help to reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs, educate the local community on responsible pet ownership, seek justice for animal cruelty offenders and promote the proper care and humane treatment of all animals of Lincoln County.

“We receive 3,000 animals per year and appreciate the donation on behalf of Gary Priest and the Monsanto Co.,” said Kim Emami-Davis of the HSLC.

The shelter depends on monetary contributions and donations of food and supplies to continue to operate.

Hands of Mercy was started in 2006 as a Christ-centered 501 (c) (3) organization that offers food and clothing assistance to those in need. The outreach is located at 101 Easy Street in Fayetteville and is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The phone number is (931) 433-4263.

Hands of Mercy is solely operated by wonderful volunteers, and no one is financially compensated. Through financial blessings from many area churches, Hands of Mercy also offers utility bill assistance. In order to receive assistance, clients need to provide a copy of their driver’s license, proof of Lincoln County residence and proof of income.

Food and clothing assistance is provided every quarter, and utility bill assistance is every two years.

“Within the last year, we have seen God bring much growth in opening doors for additional ministry opportunities,” said Tina Hudson, Hands of Mercy administrator. One of the additional ministries is a Mobile Food Pantry that they host at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds several times a year, where they provide a grocery cart full of perishable and non-perishable food items to 250 families in need.

The ministry also holds a huge Mobile Pantry in the summer geared toward local children to provide them with free shoes, backpacks, school supplies and haircuts. This year they will offer free health screenings for children.

“This money is a huge blessing and will help as we minister to the immediate needs of those hurting and struggling with hunger in Lincoln County!”

New this year, rural community members in eligible counties have the opportunity to suggest an idea or initiative that needs funding within their communities. For more information on this program, log on to www.americasfarmers.com/growcommunities.