Projects sought for SPLASH Bartow

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Striving to provide a "helping hand" across the county, SPLASH Bartow organizers are seeking service projects for the local mission effort July 10 to 13.

An acronym of Show People Love and Share Him, SPLASH Bartow will feature 400 middle-and high-school students from about 35 churches partaking in various projects ranging from conducting Backyard Bible Clubs to performing construction and yard maintenance tasks at residences and nonprofits.

"The goal of SPLASH Bartow is to teach teenagers to serve for a lifetime — that they're not the center of the universe ... and they were created to serve over a lifetime,” said the Rev. David Franklin, who serves as the SPLASH Bartow director and the associational missionary for Bartow Baptist Association. “So we want them to spend a lifetime of looking how to bless their community, wherever they go in life to be a giver and not a taker.

"[For SPLASH Bartow], we're looking for projects, like building handicap ramps, cleaning up yards, painting houses, washing houses. We've got projects with senior adults where you go in and change light bulbs — things that people may not be able to do for themselves or they find themselves in a situation where they just need a helping hand. A group of teenagers under adult supervision can come in and help in basically a two day or less period of time."

To fill out a project request form, area residents are urged to visit splashbartow.org.

"We've seen families come together tremendously through this,” said Andy Russell, projects coordinator for SPLASH Bartow. "… We're serving folks that are impoverished, that can't afford to make this happen on their own or they're shut in, they're widows. Then, it is beautiful to see other family members rise up when we do serve them and join us … and be a part of volunteering … and giving back to their community."

For more information, call the Bartow Baptist Association at 770-607-0300.