“We’re excited to share with our community all the great things that we have to offer here at Bartow Family Resources and to explain our services and allow them to see our baby store firsthand and give them an opportunity to connect with us and with our ministry,” Kim Lewis, Pregnancy & Mentoring Center director for Bartow Family Resources, said. “We exist to present a Christ-like view of life to our community and to help families that are in need of resources for their unborn children or their small children.
“We do that through providing the parenting classes and offering the Baby Bucks program and the baby store. ... We really appreciate the community’s support for what we do. We are the only resource center of our kind in Bartow County. We just want all residents to know what we do and to be able to spread the word about our services so that we can help more families.”
Fulfilling more than 2,000 needs each year, some of Bartow Family Resources’ complimentary offerings include parenting education, pregnancy options counseling, post-abortion recovery groups, maternity clothing, support groups, emergency baby supplies, adoption education and pregnancy tests.
To foster positive parenting skills, the Baby Bucks program was implemented in 2011. Last year, the baby store served more than 500 families. Located in the back of the nonprofit’s building at 18 Douglas St., the baby store offers a wide range of items — including diapers, wipes, cribs and strollers — in return for baby bucks, which can be attained in a variety of ways, such as by presenting an employee check stub, church bulletin or verification for prenatal or well-baby checkup appointments.
In March, Fishers of Men — a component of Cartersville First Baptist’s Mens Ministry — spearheaded a construction project at Bartow Family Resources’ 18 Douglas St. building to provide additional classroom space. With the majority of the volunteers hailing from Cartersville First Baptist, the effort also received support from Tabernacle Baptist, Oakland Heights Baptist and Lake Pointe Church.
“We had the [construction] project that was done by Fishers of Men the first of this year and then we received some grant money that enabled us to get some new TVs and some new decor for our center,” Bartow Family Resources Executive Director Maryland Guthas said. “So many people have said, ‘I just would love to see what you’ve done.’ And people intend to come by, but most of the time you know how it goes — you just never get around to it. So we decided we would just have a dedicated time that people could drop in, and too, we have found that some people have visited the Pregnancy Center and not the Relationship Center or vice versa.
“... It’s just going to be a good time to just kind of show off our little place. I think one thing [people will] take away is they’ll be astonished with how much we accomplish in so little space. We visited a center similar to ours in another city last year and it’s three times the size as ours with almost twice the budget and we serve more clients than they do. So many [people], even of our own donors, have never been inside the center and I think when they really see what we get accomplished with so little, they’ll feel proud to be a supporter of this.”
For more information about Bartow Family Resources, visit www.bartowfamilies.com or call 770-382-7224 or 678-894-6545.