Only in Bartow
by Jessica Loeding
Jan 30, 2014 | 2361 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two snowstorms. Two tornadoes. I have worked them all in the seven-plus years I have been at The Daily Tribune.

I came to Bartow County with no real knowledge of Cartersville or the county. I now know what a blessed community we have here.

Each and every time I ask, “What makes Bartow County special?”, during an interview for Bartow Bio, the subject almost always mentions the people — the small town feel, the hospitality, the sense of community. At no time do those attributes become more clear than during a crisis situation.

Today Adairsville marks the one-year anniversary of a deadly tornado as the county remains gripped by the remnants of almost 4 inches of snow. Two disasters of very different natures a year apart, but one thing remains the same — the community’s response.

As surrounding counties struggled into the day Wednesday to get stranded children home, local students were all home by 9 Tuesday night. Ideal? No, but better than many.

Parents, school system staff and law enforcement combined efforts — businesses donated vehicle, Commissioner Steve Taylor manned transportation. And, when asked Tuesday night, Sheriff Clark Millsap’s statement may have summed it all up: “It’s just what we do.”

Nowhere else does this happen. Only in Bartow.

Last year, with thousands of homes damaged in Bartow and Gordon counties, the community — specifically the faith-based segment — rallied around the city. Volunteers by the hundreds cleared debris, cooked meals, donated supplies and rebuilt homes. On Friday, the Adairsville Church of God is set to be recognized by the state with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s first “Praise and Preparedness” certification, a program modeled after last year’s tornado response.

Nowhere else does this happen. Only in Bartow.

The people who respond to these situations — firefighters, EMS, police officers, pastors, businesses, youth groups, schools — do it, not for the recognition but because that’s what Bartow County does.

We help each other. We give back. We support each other. We work together. And we do it because that’s the type place we live in, one with amazing people and a strong sense of community.

In so few places today is that apparent. Only in Bartow.

Jessica Loeding is the managing editor of The Daily Tribune News.