Good Neighbors program receives nonprofit status

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Good Neighbors of Blount County, a community group designed to provide the basic needs of food, shelter, transportation, medical or utility assistance to those in need, has received notification of receiving their 501(c)3 status.

The mission of Good Neighbors states, "We are people living our faith by empowering, educating, and partnering with our neighbors to improve the quality of life in Blount County." Founded in 1996 by Our Lady of Fatima and Highland Presbyterian churches under the umbrella of the Blount County Ecumenical Action Council, the organization has served its mission mainly through contributions from local churches and individuals.

Receiving the 501(c)3 status will enhance the organizations fund raising opportunities, say organizers, because donations made to Good Neighbors are now tax deductible, which includes financial donations as well as in-kind donations.

Jeanna Stewart, volunteer coordinator for Good Neighbors, says in a press release, "This is such an exciting time for us.

Obtaining our 501(c)3 status opens many new doors. We are now eligible for grants and government funding. In addition, having our tax-exempt status makes it much more attractive for individuals to donate. They now have a tax write off, which further encourages contributions from individual donors and businesses".

Stewart said any contributions made will be used to serve Blount County residents only. "The great thing about Good Neighbors is that our money stays right here in Blount County," she said. "When you make a donation, you can feel confident knowing that your contribution is going to help one of your neighbors."

Donations can be made by check to Good Neighbors of Blount County. The address is Good Neighbors, 1021 Hampshire Drive, Maryville, TN 37804.

Good Neighbors is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To reach by phone, call 865-681-5420.

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