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Contributed photo / Charity Lewis, right, helped raise over $23,000 to help LaFayette High School student Macy Allgood with her cancer treatment last year. Her biggest fundraiser yet, in a matter of weeks Lewis pulled together bands, volunteers, food vendors and items to auction and raffle off.

Helping people has always been a priority for Charity Lewis of Chickamauga. For the past decade, Lewis, 40, has become known in Walker County as a part-time event coordinator, raising money and goods for people and organizations in need.

Commonly, people will reach out to her via Facebook, tagging or messaging her directly pleading for help. She tries her best to share their needs with her network, but only hosts special events for those she hasn't met who may not be getting much attention.

"I love helping people that really need help," she said. "Everybody I've helped I have not known, I just follow their stories."

Since Lewis usually doesn't know the people she seeks to help, she contacts those in need on Facebook. "Most people say 'yeah' right off, but I have people they can talk to so they can know who I am," she said.

In order to form a complete picture of their needs, she asks for personal details — medical history, what type of transportation they may need, how often doctors visits are, whether they have insurance. All of this informs how much she may want to aim to raise and how big the event should be.

Earlier this summer, the Walker County Animal Shelter halted intake of animals due to overcrowding and lack of supplies, so Lewis set out to gather donations. She brought together local Girl Scouts and volunteers outside of the Walmart in LaFayette for the aptly named Pause for Paws drive.

Emily Sadler, director of the Walker County Animal Shelter, said it took over two hours to sort through the two van loads of donations.

Lewis plans nearly every event she hosts by herself, calling upon volunteers to help with raffle tables, activities and music. Corey Rose, 26, has helped Lewis out at her events, sometimes performing with his band, Rosewood Grits. He admits he's gotten choked up seeing the impact he can help to make on people's lives thought Lewis' work.

"When you show up and see these sometimes hundreds of people you don't know, you know that's a huge outreach," said Rose.

When she's not pulling together bands, volunteers, food vendors and items to auction and raffle off, Lewis works as a produce manager and employee-owner at Save A Lot in Fort Oglethorpe. She has three children of her own and said taking the time to talk to struggling community members, putting out calls to event spaces and volunteers and marketing the events can get a little hectic.

But when she ultimately hands over a check to someone struggling, she knows all the work is worth it.

"I'm an emotional person," Lewis said, her eyes tearing up. "I always say I want to take a break, but there will always be somebody who needs help."

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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