Tifton Gazette

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December 25, 2013

Woman's generosity 'sparks' joy

TIFTON — A Valdosta State University student who’s originally from Tifton is celebrating this Christmas season by giving back to an organization in her hometown.

On Christmas Day, 19-year-old Marleshia Davis provided toys to some local children through Ruth’s Cottage, which provides a 12-bed confidential safe shelter to victims and their children in need of emergency residential services. According to their website, programs for children and adults are centered on safety planning, enhancing life skills, building self esteem, improving anger and stress management and building communication skills.

Davis says the donation was a surprise. She purchased the toys with her own money but is planning to open the project to the public next year so others can help donate. She said the idea to donate toys to Ruth’s Cottage started in early November.

“I feel sometimes that Ruth’s Cottage gets overlooked during toy drives. You never hear about them getting toys,” she commented.

Davis said this is a jump-start to what she has planned for the future.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own organization to give back to the community,” she said, noting that her donation to Ruth’s Cottage is already allowing her to give back, even if it’s something small.

“Kids are not asking for much,” she said. “The littlest thing can spark their joy.”

Davis is a sophomore at VSU, majoring in nursing. It has always been her dream to start a non-profit organization to help kids. She says she’s not donating to Ruth’s Cottage because of the recognition; she looks forward to giving back. She said some people are not fortunate enough to have as much as others, and she would whether give back knowing she did something.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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