Above: Pencil Power co-chairs Lee Kansas (left) and Ruthanne Warnick (center) help deliver 22,750 pencils to Barbara Prevost Overton for the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s child hunger programs.

The Hadassah National Convention in Atlanta in late July had a goal of collecting 10,000 No. 2 pencils for its Pencil Power community service project.

The conventioneers more than doubled the goal.

Lee Kansas and Ruthanne Warnick, who co-chaired the service project, collected 22,750 pencils for schoolchildren served by the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Kids in Need program. Hadassah members, associates and convention guests donated 17,750 pencils, and Office Depot contributed 5,000.

Barbara Prevost Overton, who directs child hunger programs for the food bank and oversees the Kids in Need program, had suggested pencils when Kansas and Warnick sought ideas for the project.

Overton said a child can easily go through 50 pencils during a school year, and the donated pencils ease the financial burden of school supplies for families and for teachers.

Kansas and Warnick presented a symbolic box of pencils to Overton at the closing ceremony of the convention, and they thanked convention attendees for their generosity toward Atlanta schoolchildren.


Braves on Board With Backpack Project

Just as Backpack Project founder Zack Leitz was getting started on his junior year at the University of Georgia, the Atlanta Braves gave him a surprise honor Thursday, Aug. 18.

The Braves singled out one hero a day for Community Heroes Week during a home stand against the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals.

Leitz, a Dunwoody High School graduate, was honored on the field during a game against the Nationals and, more important, received a $5,000 donation from the Atlanta Braves Foundation for the Backpack Project, which fills backpacks with necessities and distributes them to the homeless.

Several Braves, including Matt Kemp, Chase d’Arnaud and Joel De La Cruz, helped UGA students fill more backpacks.