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Target grant funds Project Lifesaver
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Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, Capt. David Edwards, Target asset-protection group leader Nick Ferris, Target Distribution Center general manager Melinda MacDonald and asset protection technician Joseph Robertson pose for a photo. Target presented a $1,000 check to the LCSO to help fund Project Lifesaver. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Representatives from the Target Distribution Center in Midway were in Hinesville on Friday afternoon to present the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office a $1,000 check to help fund Project Lifesaver.
Project Lifesaver is a nationwide program utilizing specialized tracking devices that help locate patients with Alzheimer’s, autism, traumatic brain injuries, Down syndrome and other cognitive disorders, should they wander away from their parents, guardians or caregivers.
The devices emit a tracking signal. If a client is reported missing, the device is activated, alerting a specialized tracking team to respond.
It’s not the first time Target has helped with the cause. In 2011, Target offered the LCSO the opportunity to apply for a community grant and awarded $750 to Project Lifesaver the first year the county implemented the program.
“This will help families out who otherwise would not be able to afford the batteries or the device, and the device is something that we use to track the family members … I just can’t say enough about how generous Target has been through the years to the sheriff’s office,” LCSO Capt. David Edwards said, adding that each tracking device costs $300.
Edwards said Target also has helped fund other community projects, such as neighborhood-watch programs, throughout the years with community grants.
“Target has always had a focus on community giving, especially in those areas where our team members work and live,” Target Distribution general manager Melinda MacDonald said. “From a safety and security stand point, it is really important that our members understand the value that we place on that, not only in our facilities but within the community we live.”
MacDonald said she learned about Project Lifesaver when she moved here about six months ago after being named general manager.
“It’s been really cool to learn a little bit more about this area and all the different programs they (the LCSO) offer for their community, and it is a cool opportunity for us to get a chance to play a part in that,” MacDonald said.
LCSO Sheriff Steve Sikes said Project Lifesaver is something he implemented in the county because he has a few close friends who have children with autism.
“From day one this project has pulled on my heart strings simply because I have some close friends that this program has already probably served and likely saved a life. Just seeing these guys give to our community is near and dear to my heart. I wish all businesses could step up to the plate and do this sort of thing … but they’ve been blessed and now they are blessing others, and it means a lot to me,” Sikes said as he addressed the Target representatives.
The sheriff said Project Lifesaver “gives peace of mind to the parents and to us as police officers who are here to protect the public. The caregivers of the clients can have peace of mind knowing where that client is and knowing they can be located within 22 minutes … the technology is available, but the funds aren’t and these guys are stepping up to the plate and putting the funds in place for us to buy more devices.”
Project Lifesaver is locally implemented in Liberty, Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties.
For more information on Project Lifesaver, call Edwards at 408-3106 or 876-4555.

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