School supplies sought for middle, high school studentsBy W. WINSTON SKINNER
Local service group Bridging the Gap is hoping Coweta County area residents will provide school supplies needed for about 250 middle and high school students.
BTG is working to gather backpacks for back-to-school for Coweta students. Alison Wallace, executive director of the organization, said First Baptist Church of Newnan donated 500 backpacks for elementary students, which Community Christian Church then filled with supplies.
Items may be brought to the BTG warehouse at 23 Andrews St. on the east side of downtown Newnan weekdays from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contributions may be made online at btgcommunity.org or by mail to Bridging the Gap, 23 Andrews St., Newnan, GA 30263.
With regard to the backpack outreach, BTG is “going through the counselors at the schools,” Wallace said. “They will identify the children.”
During the summer, BTG has given out more than 10,000 sack lunches to the children. “Our community, local churches, civic groups and also private donors have made it possible to reach our children in need,” Wallace said. “We could not have done it without your help. This has definitely been a team effort.”
Wallace reflected about the relationships that have developed during the summer and churches that have become energized to meet needs around them. “This is what it’s all about,” she said.
Wallace is also looking ahead to a fall fundraising drive and Christmas outreach.
On Sept. 8, BTG will be sponsoring its first “It Takes A Village” event. BTG is encouraging local churches, Sunday school classes, small groups and youth groups to hold a fundraiser of some kind that weekend.
She said she is hoping groups will hold a yard sale, bake sale, car wash or something similar and donate the proceeds to Bridging the Gap.
She said the BTG ministry is definitely a partnership with churches. Churches and church members help deliver food, volunteer at the warehouse and help with other facets of the group’s outreach. “We are a storehouse for churches to get things,” Wallace said.
She said BTG has a priority of raising $36,000 to purchase a refrigerated vehicle that will enable the ministry to expand its food program.
Christmas in Coweta will be making its debut this year. BTG will gather lists from churches and provide them back to churches for purchase and delivery. By going through BTG, churches will be able to limit duplication from people who seek help at Christmas from several organizations.
Application forms will also be going to schools and to the Coweta County Department of Family and Children Services. More details on the program will be announced soon.
“I am so excited to be a part of the hands and feet in Coweta, I see so much positive change and people working together to make this a better place to live,” Wallace said.
BTG began as a ministry that got food – fresh and packaged – to people who need it through a network of volunteers and ministries.
“We can no longer just feed hungry people,” Wallace reflected. “We must be aware of why people are hungry and offer solutions. Otherwise, we will just continue a growing cycle with no end.”