The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is partnering with state law enforcement agencies, Channel 2 WSB-TV, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Caring for Others Inc. to help raise funds for south Georgia residents who survived the tornado outbreak last month.

The Convoy of Care will take a load of supplies to south Georgia on Sunday. Mount Zion Baptist Church in Albany will accept the donations and distribute supplies on site.

Online cash donations are also possible. Funds collected through Caring for Others will be disbursed directly to Long Term Recovery Committees being established in Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox and Worth counties in coordination with GEMA.

Caring for Others is accepting online cash donations at http://caring4others.org -- click on "South Georgia Disaster Relief" at the top of the page, or checks may be mailed to Caring for Others Inc., 3537 Browns Mill Road S.E., Atlanta, GA 30354. Please indicate that you are donating to South Georgia Tornado Relief.

Seventeen Georgians were killed by tornadoes that blew through south Georgia in January and caused more than $100 million worth of damage. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says much of the damage was to structures and properties that were uninsured.

Next Wednesday, conservation-minded citizens from across Georgia will convene on the state Capitol to call on legislators to protect drinking water during the Georgia Water Coalition's Capitol Conservation Day. The Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI) will provide van transportation from Rome to Atlanta and back for the event that runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The free event includes a complimentary breakfast, a brief workshop explaining current legislative issues and how to lobby state legislators, and a visit to the Capitol to talk with them. The CRBI shuttle van will leave Rome at 6 a.m. and return by 3 p.m. Those interested should contact CRBI at (706) 232-2724 or email Joe Cook at jcook@coosa.org. Individuals can also register online at http://gawater.org/blog/event/capital-conservation-day.

"Legislators want to hear from their constituents, and when ordinary citizens make the effort to come to the Capitol it makes a big impression," said Joe Cook, CRBI advocacy and communication coordinator. "This is a chance for voters to have a voice in shaping the future of our state."

Also, on March 1 from noon to 2 p.m. CRBI is assisting with the organization of the Georgians For Trust Fund Honesty Rally at Liberty Plaza adjacent to the state Capitol. The rally is designed to bring attention to the numerous state programs that are funded through fees that are assessed when Georgia citizens purchase new tires, dump trash at a landfill, pay their cellphone bill or pay a speeding or traffic fine.

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