Health TRUST Rockdale, the grant-making division of the Hospital Authority of Rockdale County (HARC), will disburse more than $555,000 by the end of the year to nonprofit agencies working to improve the physical and mental health of Rockdale residents.

The HARC Board of Trustees voted to award the funds on what just happened to be “Giving Tuesday,” a global day of giving that is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It was the largest amount awarded in any of Health Trust Rockdale’s grant cycles, which have taken place twice a year since the program’s inception in 2010. To date, HARC has invested more than $3 million in work being done by its grantee partners.

The funds awarded on Tuesday will go to 21 different agencies in amounts ranging from $500 to $275,000 to support such services as medical and dental care for indigent and uninsured resident; nutritional supplements for homebound seniors; family planning, pre-natal care and positive parenting programs for at-risk populations; wheelchairs, walkers and other items needed by mobility-impaired citizens; and counseling for those suffering from mental and behavioral health issues, including addiction.

“This community is very fortunate to have so many outstanding agencies working to give hope to people with healthcare needs,” said Aldren Sadler Sr., Chairman of HARC’s nine-member Board of Trustees. “It is gratifying for those of us serving on the Authority to be able to partner with these organizations and support their efforts through our grants program. The programs we fund are meeting needs that would otherwise go unmet and, by doing that, they are changing and even saving lives.”

To ensure that the Authority will be able to continue to support such programs well into the future, it implemented a well-thought-out investment strategy and adopted a conservative spending policy aimed at preserving the value of its investment corpus in perpetuity. The spending policy, adopted in 2013, dictates how much HARC can budget for grants each year based on the performance of its investments.  As such, applicants meeting all of HARC’s criteria may not be awarded the full amount requested.