“I was blessed to be on the board for 10 years many years ago and just had an absolute love for what they do here at the center and a passion for their mission,” Lewis said. “I’ve just seen how many lives have been touched by this organization, this ministry, if you will. [I] was thrilled to have an opportunity to be able to serve in this capacity. ... I had been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years, volunteering with different ministries and organizations and really was ready to focus my energy and my time.
“... [Bartow Family Resources serves] a very unique need in our community. Many women have no place else to go for support and encouragement in their parenting or in their relationships. So we are, what I would consider, for sure a safe place for women, for couples to come.”
A nonprofit since 2007, the Cartersville organization meets more than 2,500 needs each year through its offerings, some of which include parenting classes, pregnancy education, pre- and post-abortion education, maternity and infant needs, support groups, Adoption Discovery classes and free pregnancy testing.
“In our particular ministry we do focus on moms who are expectant or who have children up to 3 years old,” Lewis said. “We provide things like diapers, formula, car seats, strollers, baby and maternity items. But we don’t just hand these things out. There is a great need for these things in our community [so] we have a program called Baby Bucks [and] we encourage our clients to [participate].
“We encourage them to come once a week and take a class,” she said, referring to parenting and marriage classes, and Bible studies. “... Each week, they get points for attending their class and they can use those points to shop at the Baby Bucks store. So we like to say, ‘It’s not just a hand out, it’s a hand up.’ I know sometimes that’s an overused phrase, but it really is true because we’re teaching them to grow as individuals, as couples, as parents and with that they’re rewarded by being able to shop at the store.”
For Bartow Family Resources Executive Director Maryland Guthas, making the Pregnancy & Mentoring Center director position full time enables the nonprofit to provide more consistent, personal service for clients.
“I think [it is important to have] the consistency of the same person, our clients being able to see the same person each day and [having] someone that can have the time to dedicate to really serve clients in a more personal way,” Guthas said. “When the decision was made to move to a full-time director, we decided to network within our own group, the board and our volunteers, and just prayed about who that person should be.
“Totally out of the blue, Kim’s name came to the surface and it seemed like every direction I turned somebody was mentioning, ‘Have you talked about Kim Lewis?’ Well Kim had been a stay-at-home mom for the past 18 years and I had no idea she might even be interested in going back into the workforce. So it was just such a pleasant surprise.”
For more information about the Pregnancy & Mentoring Center, 18 Douglas St., visit www.bartowfamilies.com or call 770-382-7224.