By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — Less than two years ago, nine women came together during a lunch outing in Fulton, wanting to make a difference. Now, that difference has become more than they could ever imagine.
The Friends for Charity group has gone from a small, non-profit organization, to now 25 members and growing, who have donated more than $11,000 to those in need since their 2011 inception.
Friends for Charity President Pat Pitton was part of that initial group who wanted to create an organization aimed to helping people in and around their community.
”We all originally belonged to other organizations that folded and we all got along so well together that we thought we would keep something going,” Pitton said. “That’s how we came up with the Friends for Charity idea.”
As their organization continues to grow and reach out to more people needing assistance, Pitton and her team of officers are amazed at what they have already accomplished and the interest it has generated in the Fulton and Clinton area.
Spanning as far south as Camanche to as far north as Savanna, Ill., and everywhere in between, Friends for Charity is reaching out to a variety of people in need, making small and sometimes large contributions to their lives.
Some of their major donations have been as much as $500 to children facing medical treatment, and some as small as $150 to provide groceries to a family in need. No matter the size of the donation, the incentive always remains the same.
”Our blessing comes from the people we help,” Pitton said. “Nothing feels better than helping someone in need.”
None of that would be possible without the generosity of people in their community who contribute to the organization either through finances or support, Pitton said.
The biggest contribution to the Friends for Charity organization Pitton has been a part of took place not long ago at one of their many fundraising events.
While they were selling baked goods at their annual Pie Sale event, a person approached the group with a check for $5,000 to go toward their charity.
“People are very generous,” Pitton said. “They like to give, they just need to know who to give to.”
To open more opportunities for people to give, Friends for Charity is seeking a 501C3 verification to become recognized by the government, a process that is still being processed. After they receive their 501C3 exemption, Pitton expects they will have a multitude of opportunities come their way.
In addition to having more opportunities to help their fellow neighbors, Pitton also anticipates as their organization grows, more people will be interested getting involved with their charity.
“We welcome anyone who is interested in joining,” Pitton said. “
Friends for Charity meets every first Monday of the month, holidays excluded, at 408 11th Ave. in Fulton.