“To my understanding, there’s around 5 to 6,000 kids who are below the poverty level in Bartow County,” event coordinator Terry Terrell said, adding students who participate in the school Summer Feeding Program are informed about BGAKAC. “We are in the process of making about 10,000 copies of fliers that we are going to put in the lunch bags about six weeks before the actual event and about three weeks before the actual event, so they will be aware that this program is available to them.”
The organization started as an Eagle Scout project for Terrell’s son, Miles Terrell. He had seen Give a Kid a Chance start out in Mableton under Pastor Grant Cole, and he wanted to bring the program to Bartow County. While he intended to create something that was long-lasting, he didn’t know it would become a success.
“I kind of prayed about it and hoped that it would continue, but I never imagined that there would be 1,300; 1,400 kids ...,” Miles Terrell previously told The Daily Tribune News. “It’s just amazing to see all this [grow].”
According to www.bartowgiveakidachance.com, “In 2012, 1,400 at-risk children in Bartow County were served; our goal for 2013 is to serve 2,000. It is hard to imagine that we have so many children in need in our own county. In order to completely meet this need in our county we are asking our businesses and churches to donate time, money and supplies to the at-risk children of our community. This event is a joint effort between the Bartow Collaborative, the United Way, the Department of Labor Employer Committee, the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, local businesses, and churches of different denominations.”
Terrell further explained that the financial account for which funding for the event is channeled is guarded and monitored.
“Every penny is specifically spent for these kids,” Terrell said. “Our professional volunteers do not get paid anything, they come out and donate their time.”
For children who qualify for the program, parents can register at www.bartowgiveakidachance.com. If parents do not have access to a computer at home, they may register at any branch of the Bartow County Library, Cartersville Career Center and NorthPoint Church Food Pantry.
Volunteers ages 18 and up also can apply to help out at the event by visiting the event website. Last year’s event featured more than 250 volunteers.
— Jason Lowery contributed to this article.