Maddox has never left North America. Now that she’s seventy-one and
living on Social Security, she probably never will. Which is all right,
because she lives in Clarkston. The world has come to her. In 1996,
Maddox, a home-healthcare nurse, began delivering surplus bread from
Publix to the town’s many foreign-born refugees. Unable to speak their
languages, she communicated with smiles and hand gestures. This is the
danger of giving a little: You suddenly find yourself giving a lot.
Soon they were inviting her in for tea. And they found a way to ask
questions. What does this letter ...
Bruce Morton grew up on Bollingbrook Drive in Beecher Hills, before the
dawn of Nintendo. He and his brothers played four square and kickball.
They started mudball wars. And they took refuge in the hardwood forest
behind their house. Morton grew up and had three children of his own,
but he never forgot those woods. A few years ago he found out that a
developer had bought the land and planned to clear it to make room for
new homes. By then Morton had helped incorporate the West Atlanta
Watershed Alliance, a group with hundreds of volunteers dedicated to
CARE, the Atlanta-based humanitarian organization, is not about Dr.
Helene Gayle. But it’s Gayle, CARE’s director since early 2006, and her
longtime public-health cred that have refocused the almost
Gayle ran the CDC’s AIDS program for twenty years, then moved on to
work on the disease for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When
CARE came calling, Gayle wasn’t sure she was ready to leave Seattle and
her work there—but then she remembered why she had gotten into public
health. “Ill health has as much to do with economic status, social
status in life—the things that we work ...
One hundred and six years after publication, The Call of the Wild
is still required reading in Greg Ott’s seventh-grade language arts
class. Mr. Ott has nothing against antiques. But at Northwestern Middle
School in Alpharetta, Ott has become known for something entirely
different: a high-tech whiteboard rigged with parts from a video game
machine. These interactive whiteboards can be purchased for a high
price, but the principal heard about a researcher at Carnegie Mellon
University who figured out a way to build one for a fraction of the
cost. He mentioned this to Ott, who helps implement the school’s ...
know they’re responsible for their own stockings come Christmas, but
for thousands of Atlanta children, the magic of the holidays rests
solely on the shoulders of one man: Don Crawford. In the thirteen
seasons he’s been executive director of the Empty Stocking Fund,
Crawford has helped bring presents to as many children (around 500,000)
as the Fund served in the seventy years before he took over. That
equals about 1 million happy kids since 1927.
Crawford, his pointed ears nestled next to a receding salt-and-pepper
pate, looks more like one of the Big Guy’s elves than the red-suited
A. B. Short has a missionary’s zeal and an entrepreneur’s imagination.
But early stints as both a minister and a businessman left him feeling
frustrated and out of place. Only while helping Bill Bolling launch the
Atlanta Community Food Bank in 1979 did he discover his perfect niche:
His first start-up, with longtime collaborator Bob Freeman, was Cafe
458 in 1988. This still-thriving MLK-district establishment—more
restaurant than soup kitchen—also serves up warm clothing, a mailing
address, counseling, and substance-abuse support groups.
But it was through his next venture—organic farming and helping start
the Morningside Farmers Market—that Short learned ...
his office on the twelfth floor at 75 Spring Street, Judge Horace
Taliaferro Ward—his middle name is the same as Booker T.
Washington’s—can see Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta University,
two of which gave him degrees. The University of Georgia, which he
never did attend (not for lack of trying), is too far off to glimpse.
The Richard B. Russell building in which he now sits is also a long way
from Ms. B.D. Davis’s small, segregated classroom in LaGrange, Georgia,
where he read Robinson Crusoe
and skipped fifth grade on his way to becoming valedictorian of East
In 1991, Suzanne Boas became president of Consumer Credit Counseling
Service of Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit organization founded in 1964 to
offer debt management advice to consumers just as the country’s crush
on credit cards was blossoming into a full-grown love affair. Since
then, her mission has been to teach consumers to “live beneath their
means.” When she took the helm, CCCS was a place for Atlantans to find
help when financial troubles crept into their lives; she oversaw
thirty-five employees and five offices. Today, in a recession that
defies hyperbole, Boas has watched her staff double since January 2008
From top: Pat Maddox, Greg Ott, Don Crawford, Horace Ward, and A.B. Short; all portraits but Short by Joe Martinez