Several Good Samaritans in Bartow County have given generous end-of-the-year gifts to some of the area schools.
Kingston Elementary had its overdue after-school program balance paid in full by a local church while the Cartersville system as well as Pine Log and White elementary schools had their entire lunch debt wiped out.
On April 28, Kingston Elementary posted on its Facebook page that all overdue after-school balances must be paid before the 2020-21 school year begins.
The next morning, the Rev. Bill Cline, pastor of Kingston Baptist Church, was “on the phone with our after-school director,” Claudia Adams, to notify her of the church’s intentions to pay off the entire $1,383 debt, new KES Principal Allison LaRue said.
“This is a selfless gesture from a wonderfully supportive partner in the community,” she said. “Not only is this a burden removed from any families who owed money, it is a positive contribution to our school to be used to meet the educational and instructional needs of students and staff.”
Cline, who has pastored the church for almost six years, said he’s “not real sure” who came up with the idea to help out the 32 families that had accumulated after-school debt.
“We saw where the school had posted on Facebook that if you owed any monies for the after-school program, it needed to be paid,” he said. “We thought about the burden this must be for some parents. Especially with everything happening with COVID, many of these parents are probably still trying to find child care. Then also with everything KES has going on, trying to finish out this unusual school year, now they are having to try to collect money. We saw an opportunity to bless the school and families.”
The reason the church wanted to help the school revolves around a passage of Scripture in the New Testament.
“In the book of Acts, we read about the church being scattered,” Cline said. “In Acts chapter 8, the Bible says there was great joy in the city. That’s what we desire for KBC, is that there be great joy in our community because of us. Because we have the greatest joy of all in Jesus, we want to always be a blessing to our community. As pastor, I’m blessed to be a part of a church that is willing to demonstrate Christ’s love through their generosity.”
He added Adams was “very appreciative as always” when he contacted her about paying off the debt.
“We love KES,” he said.
The church, which has an average attendance of 60, assists the school with other services during the year, according to Cline.
“We provide Backpack Buddies,” he said. “Several of our members are Read to Grow volunteers, and we help with Christmas gifts through Hope for Christmas, and we occasionally will provide lunch for staff.”
LaRue said KES also helps with school supplies, clothing and staff recognition.
“Really anything we need, they have helped us with,” she said. “We can never show enough gratitude for their generosity and their commitment to the students at Kingston Elementary School.”
In Cartersville, a donation from a community member who wanted to remain anonymous wiped out the debt of all student cafeteria accounts with negative balances for the entire system, a contribution totaling $15,929.08.
“At any point in time, this would be a huge blessing,” School Nutrition Director Christina Nichols said. “However, when you consider all that has been happening in our community and our world, this is an extraordinary gift to our families. We are deeply grateful to our donor and hope that they know how much their generosity is appreciated throughout our community.”
The donor, who made the payment on April 16, wanted to pay off the outstanding balances for 602 students “in an effort to support families in our community,” Nichols added.
Good Samaritans also settled the lunch debts of students at White and Pine Log, according to posts on the schools’ Facebook pages.
Adam Brush of Drake Realty Inc., Amber and Colin Galford, Kelly Mauelshagen from The Northwest Georgia Moms Group and an anonymous donor marked all lunch charges at White paid in full, and another donation has been given to help with outstanding after-school balances.
For the second consecutive year, the moms group paid all student lunch debt at Pine Log, which helped out 30 families this year.
“We deeply appreciate your generosity, support and love for our children,” the post said.