covid-19 update from our executive director
Dear community members:
We pray that you, your families, your friends, and neighbors remain in good health during this pandemic. Although the office is closed to the public in order to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, we are working from home via phone and email. East Athens Development Corporation, in partnership with community residents and partners, is committed to doing whatever is safely possible to assist the community’s most vulnerable families with emergency food and other essential needs during this unprecedented time.
EADC has increased our once per month emergency food distribution to twice monthly drive-thru mobile food distribution. In addition, in alliance with partner agencies, we are putting in place measures to address crisis food needs on an ongoing basis. These measures include special appointments, referrals and follow up, and limited home delivery to the elderly and disabled. We are also undertaking a public awareness campaign to educate the East Athens residents about COVID-19 and the importance of protecting themselves and others against the virus. We will do our best to point community members to proper resources and updated information. Those needing food or other support can call our helpline at 706-208-0048 or email us at email@example.com .
Due to grave health concerns, careful planning is proceeding all activities. EADC is abiding by appropriate protocols in carrying out all activities, including social distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing gloves while handling food, and regularly disinfecting surfaces. The non-elderly adults who assist with the food distribution will follow the protocols. Furthermore, considering health concerns, and to help limit person-to-person contact, during the drive thru distribution, food packages will be placed in the trunk of cars and not inside vehicles.
Remember, prayer is essential. Protect yourself and others. Practice social distancing. Please abide by all recommended protocols including staying at home except to obtain essential needs such as food and medicine.
Also, please say a special prayer of gratitude for our healthcare workers and first responders who are for fighting for our safety. More than ever, we appreciate your dedication and value your input and suggestions.
Thank you for your continued support. We are all in this together.
Fred O. Smith, Sr.
East Athens Development Corporation, Inc.
DONATE TO EADC's Emergency relief fund
Creature comforts supports eadc
March 4th is “EADC Wednesday” at Creature Comforts Brewing Company, starting at 5 p.m. All profits from the night will support the work of the East Athens Development Corporation and eight other agencies participating in the company’s 2020 “Get Comfortable” award-winning corporate give-back campaign.
Get Comfortable 2020 is a year-round campaign with a pronounced season of emphasis taking place February 5 through April 15, during which the brewery will donate 100-percent of its Wednesday taproom profits towards the give-back fund. Creature Comforts Downtown Taproom and Brewery is in Athens at 271 West Hancock Avenue.
Since its inception in 2015, the, campaign, in alliance with like-minded corporate givers, has mobilized approximately $1M to meet “the greatest needs” in Athens. Last year’s campaign generated $351,841 for nine local agencies.
“We hope folks will come out when we feature their work in our taproom on Wednesday, March 4th; 100% of all profits from the night will go to support the work of Get Comfortable generally, and EADC specifically,” says Matt Stevens, Creature Comforts VP of Strategic Impact.
Believing good companies are good citizens, the campaign aims to align local philanthropy to resource the agencies meeting our city's greatest needs. “Having tracked with a number of agencies over the years, it's always exciting when our data analysis and Advisory Council identify a new partner,” Stevens said. “We are therefore thrilled to work this year for the first time with EADC.”
During the 2020 season, Creature Comforts is partnering with Allagash Brewing Company which gives back 1-percent of all its sales. Allagash is committed to its local community, making it a natural partner, Stevens added.
EADC executive director Fred Smith says the funding will support the upward economic mobility of struggling Athens families.” In partnership with the Innovative Health Care Institute, the monies will support training, certification, and job placement among some of Athens’ most vulnerable unemployed, underemployed and unskilled citizens.
Also, 100-percent of the profits from the collaboration beer sales and Get Comfortable merchandise will go back into the fund, as will proceeds from any related events. The brewery also works alongside local businesses to generate additional profits for the fund.
On February 11th, the Creature Comforts received the goBeyondProfit Champion Award, which recognizes Georgia companies exemplifying corporate generosity in addressing pressing community needs.
fred smith, sr. named eadc's executive director
Athens, Georgia— Fred O. Smith Sr., a retired Georgia Department of Labor official, has been named Executive Director of the East Athens Development Corporation. The Board of Directors unanimously voted for him to assume the position during their Feb. 17 meeting, effective immediately. Smith served 18 months as Interim Executive Director of the organization.
“We look forward to continued progress in our quest to bring improved access to economic opportunities and community preservation and improvement to the citizens of East Athens and beyond,” board chairwoman Dr. Diane Dunston said. “We appreciate Mr. Smith’s skills and dedication.”
Smith reports to the board and is responsible for day-to-day operations, which include managing staff and committees, as well as developing initiatives and partnerships that support the organization’s mission.
“There’s a renewed energy emerging in the community around EADC,” Smith said. “I’m honored to be a part of the growing can-do momentum."
"EADC is having a measurable positive impact in the lives of the youth and adults we serve. We are confident the impact will continue to grow in the coming months and years,” he added.
Smith brings a broad range of professional experience and grassroots involvement to the role. He spent more than 30 years in state government, retiring in 2013 as District Director of the Georgia Department of Labor. He oversaw a multi-million-dollar budget and more than 100 employees. His district, responsible for career and unemployment services to citizens in 27 Georgia counties, encompassed the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) and the Northeast Georgia Region.
Prior to his appointment as District Director in 2008, he was a Regional Representative in the Labor Department’s Career Development Division in Atlanta where he provided technical assistance and support to the state workforce areas. He also served on the Labor Department’s program review and data validation teams.
Previously, he spent 14 years in Athens as a Regional Administrator in the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Rental Assistance Division. In 1993 he was promoted to the central office in Atlanta where he designed and headed DCA’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program. A savings incentive program, FSS encouraged and supported economic independence by families receiving federal rental assistance. Under Smith’s leadership, numerous low-income family members gained jobs or better jobs, furthered their education, and started escrow savings accounts; several went from receiving public housing assistance to homeownership. Smith holds a degree in sociology from Augusta’s Paine College (1975) and a master’s in journalism and mass communications from the University of Georgia (1978).
His community involvement includes Co-Founder of the Athens Area Black History Bowl. He is a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), serves on the board of the Athens Historical Society, and is a member of Clarke NAACP education committee.
A supporter of higher education for under-served students, the local scholarship committee he chairs has raised more than $25,000 since 2013, for Paine College and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
He’s the recipient of numerous awards including the 2019 Dr. Ray McNair Lifetime Achievement Award and the Zeta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s 2018 Athens Citizen of the Year. In 2017, he, along with his wife, received the University of Georgia President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award. The NAACP awarded him the Ralph Mark Gilbert Award for his activism on behalf of the enslaved people burial grounds on the University of Georgia campus.
Focusing on first-time home buyers, East Athens Development Corporation, in partnership with ACTION, Inc., developed and executed a informative, interactive workshop focused on the homebuying process, as well as improving your credit, developing a budget, and setting goals to get in control of your finances. In addition, agents from each step of the homebuying process were present.