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FaithWorks singing to raise funds

COVINGTON -- Supporters of FaithWorks are joining together in song to raise money for the nonprofit organization.

Sing-A-Song of Love, an event that will include performances by choirs and individuals who are members of the 35 local churches that support FaithWorks, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Church at Covington, located at 11975 Ga. Highway 142 in Oxford.

Thus far, scheduled performers include choirs and groups from First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Porterdale Baptist Church and The Church of the Good Shepherd. Covington City Councilwoman Janet Goodman and local businessman Robert Rhodes are also scheduled to perform. Rhodes will sing a song he composed for the occasion.

"Admission is free, but we hope attendees will feel it in their hearts to make generous donations to go toward our strained coffers," said Della Royston, event chair. Sandwiches and homemade desserts will be available before the event, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., she added.

"We're very excited about the interest in the community in support of what will be a fun and fundraising evening," said Kendra Boone, FaithWorks board chair. "Coming together for a good cause helps to create a sense of community and to increase awareness of the needs of others."

This the first fundraiser FaithWorks has conducted since it opened four years ago. The organization provides rent and utility assistance to those in need. FaithWorks has made grants for rent and utility assistance totaling more than $500,000 since opening, according to Executive Director Dennis Cheek. The organization relies primarily on donations from local churches to stay in operation.

"We thought this was an opportunity to bring churches together to do a singing, and someone suggested we pass the plate. If you get good church folks together, you've got to pass the plate," Cheek said. "We work off donations, and we're expecting to have problems this coming year because of the many times we had to close last year (due to lack of funding). We hope to get some money put aside so we'll not have to close."

Cheek said FaithWorks gave $16,000 in assistance during the month of January, even after limiting assistance to those with cut-off or eviction notices.

Applicants to FaithWorks are required to submit documentation to prove their need and investigators seek additional information to confirm the validity of requests. Rent and utility assistance are paid to landlords or utility service providers.

FaithWorks takes applications from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call 770-784-1884.