The holiday season just became brighter for thousands of area residents, both young and old, thanks to an unexpected donation of $50,000 from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions’ parent companies to five local nonprofit organizations.

Five local charities, selected for their ability to maximize the good they can do for every dollar they receive, each have been given $10,000 to boost their works.

“After years of a recession economy and very tough year financially for us, this last-minute infusion of much-needed funding is a godsend,” said Travis McNeal, Golden Harvest Food Bank executive director. “With this generous donation, we’ve just gone from a highly-critical situation to one with options. Our friends at SRNS have yet again come through for us in our greatest time of need. We just can’t thank them enough.”

The five organizations receiving a $10,000 check from SRNS are Golden Harvest Food Bank, Area Churches Together Serving, Community Ministry of North Augusta, Gail Reyes Senior Center and Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta and the CSRA.

The gift of $10,000 is not just about giving to worthy charities, these specific charities are well-versed in leveraging donations to get the most out of every dollar.

ACTS Executive Director Vicki Bukovitz said her organization “can take this $10,000 and turn it into $50,000 of services in the area.”

Mike Gibbons, Golden Harvest Food Bank chief development officer for South Carolina, said that for every dollar they bring in, the organization can purchase $7 worth of food for needy families.

McNeal added that the $10,000 donation can be used to purchase 7,500 meals for those individuals and organizations using Golden Harvest resources.

“We’re fully aware of the shortages and the pain, both financial and emotional, that so many are now experiencing throughout the region,” said SRNS President and CEO Dwayne Wilson. “We frequently work with United Way agencies and nonprofit organizations dedicated to assisting those in need throughout the greater Aiken-Augusta area.

According to Wilson, knowing that this is always a difficult time of the year financially for most charitable organizations, SRNS chose to contact and offer aid to five of these groups. He stated that SRNS couldn’t be more pleased to assist these organizations during the holiday season, a time known for giving.

“It breaks my heart to see so many of the elderly and the working poor in our communities suffer year-round from lack of basic necessities such as food, housing and medical care,” said Bukovitz. “And this time of year is always the worst, emotionally, due to the Christmas holidays. We just can’t thank SRNS enough.”