When it comes to charitable giving, Georgians rank high

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Shelley Mann at 770-963-9205 ext. 1305 or shelley.mann@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Pat yourselves on the back this week! A new study shows Southerners are among the most giving when it comes to charities, and Georgia ranks 19th in the country in terms of charitable giving.

According to the Catalogue of Philanthropy's generosity index, released last week, New Englanders are the least generous. The index takes into account both "having" and "giving" and is based on an average of adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns.

Group collecting items for pets

from violent homes

Sugar Hill-based FurEver Friends Pet Sitting Inc., is collecting money and pet items for the Wishbones for Pets program. The program is organized by professional pet sitters and is designed to be for pets what "Toys for Tots" is for children.

Items collected locally will go to Ahimsa House Inc., a nonprofit shelter for animals from homes with a history of domestic violence. Ahimsa House, located in Alpharetta, is the only shelter of its kind in the state.

Any pet goods or donations, such as canned and dry cat and dog foods, cat litter, flea prevention products or treats and toys, can be dropped off at the following locations: Bath and Bones Boutique, 1735 Buford Highway, No. 320, Cumming, or Lanier Animal Hospital, 5885 Cumming Highway in Sugar Hill.

You can also make a donation online at www.ahimsahouse.org. For more information, call 770-380-4551 or visit www.fureverfriendspetsitting.com.

Suwanee leaders will go to jail

for a good cause

Suwanee community and business leaders will be hauled off to jail Thursday, but not in the way you might think. The "jailbirds" will serve time to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of its Suwanee Lock-Up.

The well-known Suwaneeans will be picked up by local law enforcement officers and taken to a "jail" at Outback Steakhouse. Once there, they can call friends and business associates to help raise their bail - all of which will go to the association to help provide medical services and fund research to cure more than 40 neuromuscular diseases. For more information, call 770-621-9800.

Festival of Lights to benefit groups

The Georgia Piedmont Arts Center will hold a Festival of Lights celebration and auction Saturday to benefit the arts center and Pup and Cat Co. Guests can place silent bids on decorated table top trees from 1 to 4 p.m. Festivities will include food, singing, an art sale, pet adoptions and pictures with Santa. The center is located at 105 E. Athens St. in Winder.

Local businessman hosts a charitable turkey shoot

Gwinnett businessman and chairman of the Gwinnett Republican Party, J. Gregory Howard, is sponsoring the second annual Turkey Shoot for Charity, scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event, held at American Classic Marksman, 5305 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Norcross, will benefit the Conquering Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit group that grants wishes for adult cancer patients. Participants can take five shots for $5 at the turkey targets, and the best shot will win a certificate for a ham or turkey from Honey Baked Ham. Participants must bring their own firearms, and scopes are not permitted.

Visit www.conquering-cancer.com.

Krispy Kreme stores hosting toy drive

Local Krispy Kreme stores are collecting new and unused toys for local children as part of the "Today Show" Holiday Toy Drive through Dec. 4.

All toys collected will be donated to local nonprofit groups in Georgia, such as homeless shelters, children's group homes, schools. foster family services, domestic abuse shelters, missions, military bases and hospitals.

Every customer who brings a toy with a $5 value or higher will receive a free original glazed doughnut. Last holiday season, the "Today" holiday drive provided $32.6 million worth of toys, books, games, clothing and more to about three million children.