Project SHARE focus of new advertising campaign

Neighbors helping neighbors.

Project SHARE, The Salvation Army’s emergency assistance fund, has been making that scenario a reality for the past 15 years. The statewide program typically assists more than 40,000 Georgians each year with emergency needs such as food, shelter, clothing, medical and utility bills.

Georgia Power’s new statewide advertising campaign -- the company’s first wave of ads for 2000 -- spotlights the program and the company’s involvement.

As The Salvation Army’s original partner in Project SHARE, Georgia Power customers support the program by voluntarily adding a set amount of money per month to their electric bills, contributions that are matched by the company. To date, customer and matching contributions have exceeded $27 million.

“Since its creation, Project SHARE has helped more than one million Georgians, who for a variety of reasons, have found themselves in need,” said Maj. Charles W. White, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army of Georgia.

Still, he added, the number of those in need far exceeds available resources.

That’s one reason Project SHARE is being featured in Georgia Power’s new ad campaign, which is designed to increase awareness and participation in the program. The television, radio and print ads debut March 27 and will run through April. The April Georgia Power bill insert will also promote Project SHARE.

“We’re proud to support Project SHARE because we truly believe in it,” Georgia Power President and CEO David Ratcliffe said of the company’s involvement. “Neighbors helping neighbors in this way is part of what we mean when we say we are ‘A Citizen Wherever We Serve.’ ”

SHARE has always been a valuable temporary resource for Georgians facing illness or other unexpected crises, White said. The program has expanded over the years to include most of the state’s Electric Membership Corporations, Savannah Electric, United Cities Gas and many municipal utility companies, among others.

Funds donated to Project SHARE are distributed in all 159 counties in Georgia through Salvation Army Corps Community Centers. In counties where there is no Corps, requests for assistance are taken by the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services and forwarded to the Salvation Army for payment. Funds raised in each county are earmarked for those needing assistance in that particular county.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, the nation’s largest generator of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the state’s 59,000 square miles. Georgia Power’s rates are more than 15 percent below the national average and its 1.8 million customers are in all but six of Georgia’s 159 counties.