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Savage Innovations: 2nd 25 Days of Giving Underway

January 4, 2020

The crisp new $100 bill arrived in the mail a few days ago with the only instruction being that I “bless someone in the community” with the money. And, I knew the young men at Savage Innovations, Ben Keith and Dustin Keeling, were at work once again. You see Savage Innovations, a local company located on Prospect Road, set out in 2015 to make a difference and to “do God’s will and love people” in addition to being a successful company that makes and markets GPS tracking unit cases used by most college football programs these days. Oh, and by the way, Alabama and Georgia are just two of the teams who are clients of Savage Innovations. The company’s business model includes donating 94 to 95 percent of their profi t to charities, schools and people in need. Keith and Keeling started their 25 Days of Giving drive in 2018. Here’s how they do it: They send a $100 bill to 25 invitees around the world with instructions to give the money on a certain date before Christmas.

My assigned date was Monday, Dec. 16. “We want you to bless someone in your community with the $100. Pray about how to use it to bless someone. Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Be bold! Be unique and think outside the box,” the instructions read. All we invitees have to do is detail the giving experience with either a video or written description. Because I dabble in words for a living, I chose the written option. The Savage Innovations people then compile all the videos and descriptions and release a post on the company’s Facebook page on Christmas Day for everyone to enjoy. The 25 invitees selected for the giving event are spread out amongst the United States and internationally. It makes for a pretty special posting. This is the second year Savage Innovations has invited me to participate and I gladly accepted the challenge to be bold. Only, I wasn’t so bold, because I felt like God kept putting right before my very eyes the people/ organization to whom I should give the money.

Three or four times in the past month, Renea Ledsome, leader of Girl Scout Troop 11421 in Toccoa, had spoken in my presence about the needs for her troop of girls. You see, Troop 11421 consists of 50-60 girls, most of whom have been or are in foster care or who come from lower income backgrounds. Troop members have big dreams to help the community, Ledsome kept saying, but it’s hard to make those dreams come true when Scouts don’t even have the wherewithal to purchase Girl Scout uniforms. And, it’s a struggle for the troop to pull off things as simple as a Christmas party for the girls. The last time I heard Ledsome speak, which was to my Sunday school class on Dec. 8, I had decided to give the $100 to them. As it happened, Ledsome popped into The Toccoa Record close to the the appropriate day and I touched her arm indicating I needed a word or two with the constantly in motion dynamo. I explained that I had a $100 bill that had been gifted me with instructions to donate it to a worthy cause in the community. I had determined Girl Scout Troop 11421 was the appropriate worthy cause, and then Renae surprised me.

Without saying a word,she promptly hugged my neck right here in front of God and everybody at The Toccoa Record. Neck hugging isn’t very common here at The Record. Neck wringing, yes. Neck hugging? Can’t remember the last time I’ve witnessed that in this office. “Bless you and the ones who gave you the money,” she said. “I’m going to use this right now to throw the Christmas party for the troop.” And, off she went leaving me with this old goose egg in my throat. As happened in 2018, I was left wondering who had just been blessed more at the moment, the recipient of the $100 or the giver. Thank you, Savage Innovations, for thinking of me this Christmas.

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