Giving as good as it gets

On Friday, Santa Claus tossed his red suit in favor of a green jacket.


Once again, Augusta National Golf Club's generosity made it possible for the Community Foundation of the CSRA to play Santa and give out just over $400,000 in much-needed and appreciated grants to 34 area nonprofit agencies.

A parade of nonprofit executives took the microphone at a press conference Friday to share their gratitude to the Augusta National and the Community Foundation and to explain how their individual grants would be used.

The grants -- awarded only after reviews of each application by 126 volunteer screeners -- will fund everything from help for abused children to senior services, hunger, art programs, animal rescue, technology for students with disabilities and mentoring programs for minority and low-income students.

Recipient agencies will be using the carefully distributed funds to help tens of thousands in Richmond, Columbia, Burke and McDuffie counties in Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina.

If you don't know anything about it, you should know that the Community Foundation is a most beautiful instrument of giving. It's a 501(c)(3) that manages, invests and distributes philanthropic contributions as requested by donors -- either targeted at certain charities or unrestricted, so givers can designate a recipient or let the foundation do that.

Since 1997, again thanks largely to the Augusta National, the Community Foundation has given out $3.37 million in unrestricted funds to deserving nonprofits -- and a total of $26.6 million overall.

Santa should be so productive.