Solicitor’s office assists local nonprofits through donations

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

On Tuesday, the Troup County Solicitors Office donated much-needed supplies to local nonprofits through its Pretrial Diversion Program.

Solicitor General Sandra Heath Taylor said the program gives low-level offenders, first-time offenders and offenders where the victim may be more damaged by a criminal sentence an opportunity to resolve their case without developing a criminal record.

“We hold their case in abeyance while they complete community service, anger management, get mental health treatment or attend the batterers intervention program,” Taylor said. “If they have community service but work at a job that may have them working 50 or 60 hours a week, we’ll let them buy out at minimum wage items that are donatable to the nonprofits in the community that are servicing our victims.”

Taylor said when someone is bringing in something for the program their faces light up and they often ask about other non-profits they can give to. Somethings that have been donated through the program are toilet paper, school supplies, clothing, backpacks, hygiene products, and diapers.

This time around The Exceptional Way and Circles of Troup County were the recipients of the program.

“We’ve had this program for a few years and try to go to different nonprofits. I’m pretty familiar with the nonprofits in the area and try to give donations to people who are going to be able to use the products that we have. I’m happy to hear from any nonprofits that want to get on our list,” Taylor said.

Jodie Maharrey, program coordinator for The Exceptional Way, said the organization was excited to receive the donation.

“We always need things. So it’s nice when someone sees us and asks us is there something in particular we need. The donation today will help us with some of our activities, crafts and daily life at the Exceptional Way,” Maharrey said.

Sherri Brown, executive director of Circles of Troup County, said the organization is thrilled to be a recipient of the program.

“We’re thrilled when people recognize that the families we work with are really working to set and reach goals to be stable but are struggling at times. This is super helpful and to have someone come alongside and recognize that it’s great,” Brown said.

Taylor said the goal of the program is to adapt people from a criminal lifestyle to one that is a productive member of society.

“I love doing the donations because nonprofits have been particularly hit by the economy, and it gives a chance for us to give back to the nonprofit agencies that are helping victims. It’s been amazing how some of these criminal defendants come in with children’s clothes, diapers, or car seats. I’ve had several of them say, I’ve never done this before, I’m going to start giving to people regularly,” Taylor said.

She said the office found it important to do the program to show the importance of giving back.

“All of us need to learn to get back. It’s important for defendants to learn to give and be productive members of society by donating and using their time productively to help other people. It also helps them not have a criminal record, so they can go forward in a positive way with their life and hopefully learn from the mistakes they made,” Taylor said.