Category Archives: Activism

Kemp Issues Tips on Charitable Giving

Secretary of State Brian Kemp offers advice to Georgians planning to donate to charitable organizations during this year’s holiday season. Kemp wants donors to make sure any gifts are solicited honestly and used appropriately.

“As we approach the holiday season, Georgians begin looking for ways to lend a helping hand to those in need,” stated Secretary Kemp. “Unfortunately, bad actors view this time of year as the perfect opportunity to scam well-meaning donors. Before you open your checkbook, do your homework to make sure your donation will reach the intended recipients.”

Secretary Kemp issues the following tips for charitable giving to Georgians:

– Research charities before you contribute. A number of online resources can help you research charities. The Better Business Bureau, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving AllianceGuideStarCharity Navigator, and Charity Watch provide detailed information about charitable organizations. Also, take time to review the organization’s own website.

– Take the time to make sure that your money is really going to help those in need. Ask how much of your donation will go to the cause.  The percentage of your contribution that a charity spends on fundraising activities, employee salaries, or expenses which do not directly support the charity’s stated mission varies greatly by organization.

– Be wary of telephone solicitors asking for contributions. If you are solicited by phone, ask the individual to put the request in writing and provide detailed information and material about the charity and its program. Also, ask if the person conducting the solicitation is a volunteer or a paid fundraiser for that charity. 

– Never give your credit card, debit card, or bank account information to a telephone solicitor. Be particularly cautious of couriers willing to rush out to your home or business to pick up your contribution. Avoid sending cash donations. Donate by credit card or mail a check directly to the charity. Do not make payments to individuals. If your contribution exceeds $250, you should receive a letter from the charity confirming its charitable status as well as the amount of your donation.

– If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax-deductible status with the Internal Revenue Service. “Tax exempt,” “non-profit”, and “tax-deductible” are not synonymous. Only “tax-deductible” means your contribution is deductible on your income tax return. If you contribute to a charity, make sure you get a receipt which shows the amount of your contribution and states that the contribution is tax-deductible. The IRS has a searchable database (“Exempt Organizations Check”) of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

– Not all organizations with charitable-sounding names are actually charities. Many organizations adopt names confusingly similar to well-known charities. Be sure you know exactly who is asking for your contribution.

The Charities Division encourages Georgians to contact division staff if they receive suspicious charitable solicitations. To report suspicious activity, call (404) 654-6023. You can also email to submit a complaint.

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders.  For more information about the office, go to

Trail of Tears Meeting in Canton, GA

The September 9, 2017 meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association (GA TOTA) will be held at 10:30 am at the Sequoyah Regional Library in Canton, GA. Our speaker will be Michael Hitt and the topic will be “Cherokee Lands Along the Chattahoochee”.  Mr. Hitt is a former law enforcement officer and currently serves as historian for the Roswell Preservation Commission. He offers historical tours of the Roswell area. In addition to his research into Native American sites in the Roswell area, he is an avid Civil War history buff.

The Sequoyah Regional Library is located at 116 Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton, GA. The telephone number of the library is 770-479-3090.

The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the Southeast. The Association consists of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

Our meetings are free and open to the public. You need not have Native American ancestry to attend our meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this fascinating and tragic period in our country’s history. For more information about the TOTA, visit the National TOTA website at  and the Georgia Chapter website at For further information about the September meeting, contact Tony Harris at

Toiletry Drive Supports Homeless Vets Across Georgia

The sixth annual Stand Up for Stand Down toiletry drive for Georgia’s homeless Veterans kicks off May 29 (Memorial Day) through August 11.

Sponsored by the Georgia District Pilot International Clubs and Georgia Cancer Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, the drive collects much-needed toiletry and personal care items to fill “comfort bags” for Veterans who attend Stand Down events throughout North and Central Georgia.

“Stand Down” is a military term that refers to the time when troops are brought back from the battlefield for rest and recuperation. Each year, Stand Down events across the country provide health care and other services to help thousands of homeless Veterans get back on their feet. The 2016 Stand Up for Stand Down drive collected more than 10 thousand pounds of toiletry items to fill more than 2,000 comfort bags for homeless vets in Georgia.

Travel/sample-size toiletry and personal care items are needed including toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, combs/brushes, body wash/soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion and feminine products. Donations can be dropped off at any of the 26 Georgia Cancer Specialists locations in Georgia. For a list of locations, visit

For more information about the Stand Up for Stand Down drive or to volunteer sorting, call 770-864-5347 or visit