Continuing to volunteer for the "greater good" of their community, Cartersville Service League members are busy taking orders for their annual Poinsettia Sale. Along with spreading holiday cheer, the festive plants will generate needed funds for area scholarships and nonprofits.
"Since 1941 when the Cartersville Service League was founded, the mission of the league has been to be a catalyst for support to needy children and families in our area," said Danae Gambill, president of the CSL, which is comprised of 41 Bartow County women, who serve six-year terms and annually volunteer at least 60 hours. "The range and areas of service have changed over the years, but our mission has been the same — putting our community’s needs above our own. The fundraisers that we organize and diligently implement each year are not only a good way for our league members to work together and cultivate friendships among ourselves, but also to work hard to raise funds for the specific groups and scholarships we support.
"The poinsettia fundraiser is always met with enthusiasm from consistent customers, whether it be for personal purchase or for gifts for employees, teachers or other loved ones. The plants really sell themselves, and it is a joy for us to be a part of this special fundraiser each year."
Depending on its overall size and number of blooms, the flowering shrubs cost $10, $16 or $20. The deadline to order the plants — available in red, white and pink— is Nov. 6. CSL members will deliver the poinsettias Nov. 28.
"Last year was the biggest sale to date,” said Poinsettia Sale Cochair Shawnee Westmoreland, adding 2017's benefit sold 2,617 plants. “ … The annual Cartersville Service League Poinsettia Sale brings in the majority of funds that we are able to give back to the community each spring. Every penny that the league raises through its fundraising goes back into the community.
"In the spring of 2018, CSL was able to give back over $43,535.62 to the children of Bartow County. By supporting [the] CSL Poinsettia Sale, you help the children of Bartow County and you get beautiful flowers for your home, church or office. They also make beautiful customer and coworker gifts. Thank you for your continued support each year, we couldn't do this without community help."
The Poinsettia Sale’s proceeds will be combined with funds generated through other CSL benefits and presented to local charities in 2019.
As Westmoreland mentioned, the CSL — with the public's support — distributed more than $43,000 March 27 among the following organizations — Advocates for Children, Bartow Christmas Coalition, Bartow Education Foundation, Bartow Family Resources, Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, Bartow History Museum, Bartow County Juvenile Court, Bartow County Library System, Bartow Literacy Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Cartersville Medical Center Project SEARCH, Etowah Scholarship Foundation, Hands of Christ’s Douglas Street and First Presbyterian sites, The Guardian Angels Program, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, New Beginnings Food Outreach, Mentor Bartow, REACH Georgia, Bartow County Shop With a Hero, Steps of Faith Dance Company, The Bookmobile and Tranquility House.
"We encourage and rely on the community to be as involved as they can in the Cartersville Service League," Gambill said. "That can be achieved in many ways, but, specifically for this time of year, in ordering poinsettias to support our annual fundraising efforts.
"The success of the poinsettia fundraiser is very important to the league since we give 100 percent of the proceeds we earn to a range of organizations who formally request assistance from us. We support groups who directly impact children and families in our area, so it is important for people to realize that their purchases are for a greater good."
For more information about the Poinsettia Sale, contact Westmoreland at 678-873-1597 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Brooke Slocumb at 678-371-9381 or email@example.com. Orders can be mailed to Cartersville Service League, P.O. Box 1678, Cartersville, GA 30120.
For more information about the CSL, visit the organization’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CartersvilleServiceLeagueSince1941/.