Pay it Forward

Sheriff, police chief volunteer for annual Cold for a Cause

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Deena Bouknight

Pastors, business people, governmental representatives, and more have volunteered annually for one of CareNet’s most important fundraisers, Cold for a Cause. But this year, Macon County’s top law enforcement leaders will brave winter weather and frigid temperatures to draw attention to Cold for a Cause, which is a 48-hour, weekend-long effort to collect food, blankets, coats, and more for Macon County residents in need.

Town of Franklin Chief of Police Devin Holland 

Beginning Jan. 19 and lasting until Jan. 21, Town of Franklin Chief of Police Devin Holland and Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks will spend 24 hours each suspended in a crane bucket parked at Franklin Plaza, in front of Dalton’s Christian Book Store. Volunteers with CareNet will gather donated coats, blankets, and canned goods, explained Tim Hogsed, executive director of the Macon County Care Network (CareNet). Joe Sanders has offered the use of his crane for Cold for a Cause for many years.

“Cold for a Cause starts noon on Friday, Jan. 19, and lasts until noon, Sunday, Jan. 21,” he said. “I was asked to do the Cold for a Cause event,” said Holland, “and, of course, I felt the need to do it since I am on the CareNet board of directors, and being the chief of police. As always, I expect a great donation drive. Our community is very giving, and I foresee another successful Cold for a Cause event.”

Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks

Typically, at least one 14-foot box truck is filled to capacity with donated items during each Cold for a Cause event, with another truck at least partially filled. Hogsed hopes CareNet will experience even greater generosity this year, due to an increased need for basic necessities by local individuals and families throughout the year.

“CareNet serves many individuals and families in Macon County,” Holland pointed out. “This past year has been a struggle obtaining food sources and funding. CareNet not only provides food, but also clothing for people in need. [And the CareNet offices provide space for] other community resource organizations within their facilities, which is an added benefit to those they serve.”

CARENET’S EXECUTIVE Director Tim Hogsed hopes at least two large trucks will be filled to capacity with donated items during Cold for a Cause.

In fact, CareNet was established locally in 1988 by churches in Macon County as a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation and non-denominational ministry. The primary goal is to serve as a central location to provide relief for anyone experiencing crisis relating to basic necessities. The CareNet Thrift Store was started in 1998 to raise money for CareNet clients and program costs.

Anyone who is unable to donate during Cold for a Cause can drop off food and other items during normal business hours at CareNet’s main facility, 130 Bidwell Street, Franklin. CareNet is always in need of financial donations as well; monies raised purchase food when inventory needs replenishing.