Business

Rector, Reeder & Lofton: Behind The Scenes For Others.

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Gwinnett County is a wonderful place to live, work, play and serve. There are hundreds of opportunities for businesses, organizations, churches and individuals to get involved and serve others in Gwinnett County. Rector, Reeder & Lofton is one example of a business giving back to its community through three primary organizations: Living Hope USA, The Path Project, and Extreme Response International.

As you might have heard, Rector, Reeder & Lofton is “not your average CPA firm.” While their friendly, personalized service and support have set them apart from other firms, there is more to this story. The firm also currently works behind the scenes along-side many other organizations and mission focused groups to put others first and make the world a better place. Whether it was the sacrifice of time or using their accounting skills or resources, several of Gwinnett’s non-profit organizations have infrastructure history with Rector, Reeder & Lofton. This is a local firm strategically located in Lawrenceville to serve in the heart of Gwinnett County.

The principals of the firm are Dale Rector, Galen (Tieg) Reeder, and Brandy Lofton. All three are contributors to the local community in various ways. The basic DNA of the firm is to provide high quality accounting and financial services to those in our community and around the world. The main core value of this firm is “others first.” Fundamentally what this means is that the firm desires to serve people and businesses in the local community. Secondarily this means that Rector, Reeder & Lofton is seeking to obtain business and individual clients who have the same core values.

Since the firm’s inception, the core financial practice has been to contribute a percentage of “gross revenue” not “net profit” to charitable organizations, as they believe in the fundamental giving from the “first fruits” of their labor to show stewardship.

This act of giving was not designed to ultimately receive any benefit. The giving is a gift of love or a “giving back” to those who are less fortunate and do not have necessary resources. The firm has helped, among other efforts, to fund language translation work in Chile, helped with HIV/Aids treatment in Africa, traveled to Haiti for earthquake relief, sponsored Christmas parties in Ecuador, supported an orphanage in Honduras, and helped support underprivileged children in Gwinnett County.

Over the years, they have also participated in the founding of three primary 501c3 organizations in Gwinnett that serve our community and the world. Extreme Response International is a humanitarian aid organization committed to changing the lives of people living in extreme, often life threatening, situations across the world. Living Hope USA, was founded to help provide Living Hope Ministries in Cape Town, South Africa, a way to expand the impact they are having on over 40,000 lives that need help each year. And “The Path Project” located here in Gwinnett County, serves communities where drop out rates are skyrocketing and is putting an end to those statistics. They are creating new paths for the lives of the children there.

Rector, Reeder & Lofton understands that there are other CPA firms and financial services firms that contribute greatly to our communities. They believe that the donation of services, resources and staffing should be in the standard business model. “This is a matter of doing what we believe is right, it’s not that we care that anyone knows about what we do, or that we ever see a return because of it.” Dale Rector speaks for his partners as well. “We just want to encourage other businesses to do the same and get involved. We are intentional about it and we believe everyone should be. At the same time, we believe that the organizations we support are great options for serving the world and we encourage you to support them as well!”

Living Hope USA

Origins:
Living Hope International is an organization based in Cape Town, Africa and was first founded by John V. Thomas. John began the organization as a way to serve Jesus, and care for the poor and needy in his hometown. Since its inception, the organization has grown into an international ministry with US offices here in Gwinnett County. Volunteers from all over the world help serve the organization and carry out its mission.

For What Reason:
“Our mission is to first spread the good news of Jesus Christ in a life changing way and to encourage people to follow Him,” founder John Thomas explains. “During this past year Living Hope has been able to serve 46,840 people. To see so many receive hope, and have the despair of poverty, disease and addictions broken, makes us so grateful for all who have helped in this mammoth task.”

What They Do Now:
The ministries launched under the Living Hope banner are aimed to fight every aspect of poverty. “Living Care” serves the sick and the dying. “Living Grace” serves the homeless and substance abusers. “Living Way” trains the jobless to find provision for themselves and their families. “Living Right” teaches prevention and serves those affected by HIV in local communities around Cape Town.

How You Can Help:
To support Living Hope USA, or to get involved by volunteering with the organization, visit livinghope.co.za for more information.

“Our mission is to first spread the good news of Jesus Christ in a life changing way and to encourage people to follow Him.”   – John Thomas, Founder

The Path Project

Origins:
In 2012, Jim and Melinda Hollandsworth founded “The Path Project,” as a non-profit community and youth development organization. After first delivering Christmas presents to a needy family in one of Gwinnett’s trailer park communities in 2010, Jim and Melinda continued to visit and soon began helping children with their homework. Their efforts quickly transformed into a full fledged non-profit ministry with programs that help enrich the lives of the children and provide them with a path to graduate from their high schools.

For What Reason:
Jim explains the core mission of the Path Project in Gwinnett and other areas. “These mobile home parks are 95% Mexican immigrant families. Challenges include low income, drugs, and alcohol. What first jumped out to us was the really high drop out rates. There were almost no teenagers still attending high school, while there were tons of kids in elementary school. So, over the last 3 or 4 years we have aimed our programs to focus on academic help like reading and literacy  with the younger kids. There is homework help, tutoring and mentoring as kids get older into middle and high school ages.”

What They Do Now:
By partnering with families, schools, churches and businesses, The Path Project, helps children and teenagers in at-risk communities close the achievement gap, and find the right path for their lives.

How You Can Help:
To get involved and help further the mission of “The Path Project,” please visit: path-project.org/

Extreme Response International

Origins:
Extreme Response International is a humanitarian aid organization committed to changing the lives of people living in extreme, often life threatening situations. Founded by Snellville residents, Jerry and Dawn Carnill, who had moved to Quito, Ecuador and found families, including hundreds of children, living in the city dump there.  The Carnill’s soon created programs and systems to help the families in the city’s dump and began to partner with other organizations in Ecuador with a similar heart for helping others in need.  Becoming a full fledged humanitarian aid organization, Extreme Response International, began to expand their reach beyond the country to the far reaches of the world.

For What Reason:
Founder, Jerry Carnill, believes that “donations and money can change situations, but it’s through relationships that lives are changed.” Not only are the lives of the needy and impoverished changed through the relationships of the volunteers, but the lives of those that come to serve are also changed. Jerry recounts, “Dale Rector, as a representative of Extreme Response, took Jim and Melinda Hollandsworth on a trip to one of our partners, “Living Hope” in Africa. They came back and were so moved on that trip that it sparked something in their hearts that eventually led to “The Path Project” getting started.

What They Do Now:
From locations in North and South America, Africa and Asia, they operate a series of programs designed to bring help and hope to those in need, with a particular emphasis on at-risk children and women. Their impact is strengthened through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations.

How You Can Help:
To support Extreme Response, or to get involved by volunteering with the organization, visit.extremeresponse.org for more information.

“Donations and money can change situations, but it’s through relationships that lives are changed.”   – Jerry Carnill, Founder