International paper company foundation awards thousands to area schools and non-profit groups.

International Paper Company Foundation is focused on critical community needs where their people work and live. That's why they're helping out organizations throughout the Golden Triangle.

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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Individuals, community groups, and businesses often fill unmet needs during the holiday season.

But one company works all year long, giving thousands of dollars to several organizations.

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International Paper Company Foundation has been focused on critical community needs where their people work and live.

That’s why they’re helping out organizations throughout the Golden Triangle.

International Paper Company Foundation put on its red Santa Claus hat to deliver gifts to some community organizations.

Communications Manager Kellum Kim said the foundation awarded $70,000 to area schools and non-profit groups.

“Signature causes that we focus on are education primary around literacy, hunger, health and wellness, disaster life and then e have some extra for critical community needs. They look at the community, they look at the needs around the community. It’s a great reach through the foundation that we’re able to impact a lot of lives,” said Kim.

Lynn Brown with the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus said a $2,000 gift helped members grow.

“This new fund they’ve given allows us to bring our outside garden inside with the new-age technology we like to call a Tower Garden. We’re able to grow vegetables all year long inside of the clubhouse. Kids learn basically how to live a healthier lifestyle through eating vegetables, exercise, and things of that nature,” said Brown.

A grant to The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System helped employees stay at the top of their game.

“For us, it’s extremely beneficial because a lot of time budgets are tight and with this grant, we want to make sure that we’re staying re-certified,” said Director Erin Busbea.

“How did you use this grant? How did it impact? How many lives did you touch? What was the real effect that this money had on these people’s lives? We just hear stories in general about the ways that the funds were used and the difference that was made in the community,” said Kim.

For more information about the grant or how you can apply, click here.