Local charities and individuals focused on alleviating poverty and its effects have been nominated for this year’s CLASSY awards, the largest international ceremony recognizing philanthropic achievement.

MedShare, which ships surplus medical supplies to hospitals in developing countries, has been named a regional finalist in the disaster relief and international aid category. The organization provided 13 40-foot shipping containers filled with $3 million worth of medical supplies to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the country.  

Atlanta-based Global Soap Project operates similarly to MedShare, collecting used soap from hotels, reprocessing it into new bars and shipping it to refugee camps and other needy communities. Launched in 2009 by former refugee Derreck Kayongo, the group has been nominated in the charity of the year and health and well-being categories for the Southern region.

Atlanta writer Betty Londergan, whose husband, Lawrence Schall, is president of Oglethorpe College, has been nominated for her work as a self-described “blogging ambassador” for Heifer International, an Arkansas-based organization that provides livestock and training to help poor families escape the cycle of poverty.

Ms. Londergan is visiting 12 countries to document the impact of Heifer International’s work, chronicling her adventures on a blog at www.heifer12x12.com. She has been nominated for the CLASSY award for volunteer of the year.

The three finalists have often worked together. MedShare raised money for Global Soap Project’s first shipment, while Ms. Londergan wrote about Mr. Kayongo on her first blog, What Gives 365, and later donated to the project. The CLASSY Awards will be held in San Diego in September.

Visit http://www.stayclassy.org/classy-awards for more information. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...