Commissioner donates portion of paycheck to charities

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Augusta's district seven commissioner Donnie Smith followed through Thursday on a promise he made on the campaign trail last year, that he would donate a piece of his paycheck to deserving charities.

Smith is giving away about $2,500 or 25% of his commission paycheck to five charities in Augusta.

"This was simply an opportunity for me as a public servant to give back," said Smith.

Smith gave the money away at the Augusta Exchange Club because he says the group set an example for him of how to give to others.

"My dad died and then about a month later my sister died of breast cancer and I can remember the phone calls I got from you all. I can remember the phone calls and emails," he said.

Smith says since he shared the hard times with this group he also wanted to share the good too.

During Thursday's meeting that meant $500 donations to the That's What Friends Are For, a no-kill animal shelter, The Ronald McDonald House, the Boys & Girls Club of Augusta, Harmony Baptist Church and the University Hospital Breast Center.

Smiths only stipulation is the money must go directly to people in need.

University Hospital development officer Kathleen Balie says the money will go right where it's needed.

"The money stays right here in the community and provides mammograms to uninsured women who cannot afford them," she said.

The donations will also help children develop into the city's future leaders.

"Getting them more built up, not only spiritually but educationally and getting them good interpersonal skills and getting them prepared to go out into life," said member of Harmony Baptist Church Ann Miller.

"It just validates the importance of having mentors and places for these kids to go where they're safe and secure and actually prospering," said the Boys & Girls Club Capital Campaign Manager Millie Klosinski.

Smith says he's planning to give away an even bigger cut of his paycheck again next year.

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