More than just money

FROM STAFF REPORTS
Monetary donations to nonprofit organizations and charities serve as the backbone for those organizations’ functioning, but there is much more needed to ensure their success.
Local Keller Williams realtor Sonia Coleman knows this firsthand, and has dedicated countless hours to ensuring the success of a well-known local non-profit.
A few weeks ago, Coleman donated $600 from her sales to Project SEARCH, which works with special-needs students in Shelby County, Pelham and Alabaster schools to offer the students internships at area businesses, and also works to find the students jobs after they graduate.
But beyond that, Coleman has been heavily involved with Project SEARCH since volunteering to help with a Habitat for Humanity build alongside Project SEARCH class members in November 2013.
After seeing how hard the SEARCH class members worked during the Habitat build, Coleman said she became encouraged to dedicate much of her time to the program whenever she could.
While she was most well-known by Project SEARCH’s most recent graduates, she is quickly making friends with the current class, as was apparent during the program’s open house in late November.
“It does put things into perspective as far as your own troubles,” Coleman said. “They are all facing challenges, and they are always upbeat, always in a good mood.”
We praise Coleman for supporting the organization in more ways than one. While Coleman is always quick to shine the spotlight on the program’s students, SEARCH job coach Kim Kielbasa didn’t shy away from praising her friend for the support.
“It’s because of wonderful people like her that we can keep growing,” Kielbasa said. “But the time she has spent being a part of Project SEARCH, you can’t put a price on that.”