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Committee gives to Backpack Buddies
LLECAug13 11
Liberty-Long Employer Committee President Niesha Williams presents a check Aug. 13 to Jennifer Darsey, right, director of the United Way Liberty County office. The $310 donation benefited the Backpack Buddies program. - photo by Photo provided.

The Liberty-Long Employer Committee on Aug. 13 joined the ranks of donors to Liberty County’s growing Backpack Buddies program.
The group, composed of business professionals who meet monthly to establish and maintain a working relationship between the employer community and the Georgia Department of Labor, donated 50 percent of the $620 they raised through a raffle held in conjunction with the annual Back to School Rally on July 13.
Committee President Niesha Williams, a human-resources specialist with the city of Hinesville, presented the $310 check to United Way of the Coastal Empire Liberty County office Director Jennifer Darsey. The donation is among the LLEC’s community service projects.
Darsey thanked the group for its donation and spoke about the Backpack Buddy program.
“We can’t do things through the United Way without the support of the community,” she said.
The program began in early 2012 at Frank Long Elementary School. By the end of the 2012-13 school year, the program provided weekend meals to 525 students per week and included each elementary school, Darsey added.
“It’s not just about feeding,” she continued. “Because if a child is hungry on Monday morning, they have tummy aches and headaches, they’re stressing … we’re trying to get their bellies filled so that on Monday, when they go to school, they’re ready to learn.”
Williams said contributing to Backpack Buddies is among several outreach projects for the committee, among contributions to Toys for Tots and the Kirk Healing Center.
Williams thanked committee members and sponsors who made possible the group’s raffle and handouts at the Back to School Rally. Sponsors included Walmart, McDonald’s, Hinesville Day Spa, Big Lots, Coastal EMC, VIP Office Furniture and Supply, Hinesville Cinema, Liberty Regional Medical Center and the La Quinta Inn.
The group meets at 11:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, email

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