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First Steps earns grant
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A program to help parents of newborns has received a $15,000 grant.

First Steps at Northeast Georgia Medical Center received the grant from the Jackson Electric Membership Corp. Foundation, which is funded by the cooperative’s members through the Operation Round Up program.

First Steps will provide more than 300 parents of newborns born at the hospital with local community resources, parenting education materials and emotional support from a trained volunteers until the child is 3 months old. And thanks to the grant, those services and support will be provided at no charge.

“We look at the program as the instruction manual that all parents wish for when having a new baby,” First Steps Coordinator McKenzie Weaver said. “We want all parents delivering at NGMC to know that their care will not stop when they go home. First Steps support is just a phone call away.”

Operation Round Up increases a cooperative member’s electric bill to the next highest whole dollar amount.

The difference is distributed by the Jackson EMC Foundation, which gives grants to groups and individuals in the EMC’s 10-county service area. Grants typically are limited to $3,500 for an individual and $15,000 for groups and 100 percent of the Operation Round Up contributions are distributed in grants.

“Their support is overwhelming,” Weaver said. “We would be unable to provide First Steps services during the next year without them.”

The partnership between Jackson EMC and First Steps will make sure that parents are off on the right foot as they take their first steps in parenting, she said.

For more information about First Steps, please contact McKenzie Weaver, First Steps coordinator, at 770-219-7959.
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