Last Sunday, our community awakened to the news of a confirmed coronavirus case in Coffee County. On the same day, our community awakened to the news that God is still in control. “Faith without works is dead.” Our community’s strong faith was on full display as our community illuminated the Coffee Regional Medical Center parking lot in prayer for the safety of our healthcare providers. We must keep the faith and get to work. Our work is very simple. Avoid social gatherings, stay six feet apart, no hand shaking, no fist bumps, no elbow bumps, no hugging, wash your hands, cover mouth when coughing and/or sneezing into a tissue, and stay home if you are not feeling well.
During uncertain times, we show our true compassion for each other. Right now, we are in an uncertain times where information is changing concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please follow the guidelines set forth by President Trump (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf, CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html), and Georgia Public Health Officials (https://dph.georgia.gov/). Our local agency, Coffee Regional Medical Center, is updating their Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/pg/CoffeeRegional/) daily with information concerning our area. Please take necessary precautions to keep yourself and your family healthy. I cannot praise our Coffee Regional Medical Center staff or local health care professionals enough! What a great job they are doing handling this situation. Be sure to say thank you to our health care professionals out there!
Wow, the City of Douglas and Coffee County citizens I am humbled to announce the Grand Opening of “Dogger General”. That’s right! We are truly blessed to have “Dogger General” located in our community. First of all, I did not misspell Dollar General. What is a “Dogger General”? To put it as simple as possible, “Dogger General” is a store of love. We often hear love is an action word. “Dogger General” is a store located at Satilla Elementary School that supports and rewards our child for being good students. The entire staff at Satilla Elementary School created a store of “I love our students!”
Wouldn’t it be great for all the schools to start rewarding students for acts of kindness, citizenship, leadership, compassion, and selflessness? At Satilla School, students earn “Bulldog Bucks”. The janitor to the principal rewards students with Bulldog Bucks to shop at the “Dogger General”. Students have the opportunity to shop for snacks and toys using Bulldog Bucks in the “Dogger General”. However, some students buy shampoo, soap, and toothpaste for their homes. In our school system, students face untold challenges everyday outside the walls of our schools. Ignoring the hard facts and demanding situations of a child’s life does not improve our children’s life. We are better as a community when the boundaries set by our organizations and society are no longer as important as committing to making a child’s life better. Our students have needs beyond the classroom and should not ignore those needs.
“To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).” If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, and time, it is expected that we benefit others. Satilla Elementary School, I truly believe God is pleased with the creation of “Dogger General” and programs like this that benefit our youth. As the Mayor of the City of Douglas, I am extremely grateful and humbled by the display of love for our children. If you are reading this article, and your child’s school has a program like this in place, donate to it. If not, create a program. Support Satilla Elementary School’s “Dogger General” and other schools or organizations within our community with similar programs. If you wish to donate to “Dogger General”, donations can be sent to Satilla Elementary School, 5325 Old Axson Rd, Douglas, GA 31535 and write “Dogger General” on memo line.
I also want to brag on other youth in our community – we are excelling across the state in athletic events. Douglas Coffee County Parks and Recreation hosted several GRPA District II Basketball Tournaments. We had four youth league recreation teams win district and go on to represent Douglas and Coffee County at the State GRPA Basketball Tournaments. The CCA Patriots Girls Basketball team represented our community well at the Final 4 Basketball Tournament. On the college level, South Georgia State College is having an outstanding season! Congratulations to all our youth and our community is extremely proud of them.
Our CMAR projects are moving along. The Municipal Services Complex located on the bypass is nearing and end and the contractors are applying the final touches to this project. Soon the Electric Department, Water/Wastewater Department, Public Works, and Parks Maintenance will be moving to join our Vehicle Maintenance Department at one location. Once that project is complete, we will begin moving dirt on the next phase.
I just finished my Census 2020 and sent it in. This year, you can mail your form in, complete it online https://my2020census.gov/, or by phone 844-330-2020, or call the number associated with you . Locally, we have a Complete Count Committee. Your Count matters for our community. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year, and the results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. According to https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html in 2010, we only had a 64 percent City response count, 60 percent Coffee County response in 2010. Your information is confidential and will not be share with any government agency. Come on Douglas and Coffee County! Complete the Census form and send it in. Every. One. Counts!
We made history on March 10, 2020! City of Douglas government, Coffee County government, Coffee County Board of Education and Douglas-Coffee Economic Development Authority has created a historical moment for Douglas and Coffee County by signing the intergovernmental agreement to bring Douglas Square into fruition. What a shining example of the working together to lead the way for progress for generations to come in Douglas, Coffee County, and our region of Georgia.