BTG Community Outreach, Inc. (locally known as Bridging the Gap) is a nonprofit organization based in Coweta County, Georgia. We provide food, clothing, and household goods to people who are struggling in our community.
The mission of BTG is to provide assistance to hungry, homeless, and hurting people. Bridging the Gap achieves its mission in three ways:
3) RestoreLearn More About us
This summer my American Family Insurance agency helped Bridging the Gap to provide and serve lunches at CJ Park. As part of this service project, we closed down our office on two different dates so that the entire office could attend. My husband and I thought that it would be a good idea to bring our daughters, ages 10 and 6, along to serve lunches. The first day when we arrived the kids helped us unload the pizzas from the van and they began to serve lunches. They also spent time playing with the other kids on the playground. The kids had a great time! During this playtime, our daughter Addyson met Jacob. Addyson and Jacob hit it off immediately! Jacob told Addyson about his family and about his love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Over the next few days and weeks, Addyson could not stop talking about Jacob. We could tell that she was really looking forward to returning to the park to serve lunches prior to the start of school.
The kids and I showed up on the appointed day to serve lunches and assist with an art project. Addyson had gotten a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy for Jacob the morning prior to us going hoping he would be there. The kids had a blast playing and helping with the art project. We were there for a couple of hours and Addyson started to get worried that Jacob wasn’t going to come but right at the last minute she spotted his mom’s truck pulling in the parking lot. Jacob came up and gave Addyson a hug and she went to help him with gathering lunches and then he added his handprints to the art project. As they were talking, Jacob told Addyson that he had gotten a new bed and that he really wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillow. From the moment we left Addyson was on a quest to find him that pillow! She researched and saw to it that a new pillow was ordered for Jacob. We are currently working with Bridging the Gap staff to get Jacob’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillow to him. We hope he enjoys it!
Serving at Bridging the Gap has been a great experience for our office and our family. It was great to see our girls just being kids and enjoying their time together with the other kids. We have been able to make new friends and meet new people all while serving our community. I am also very thankful to Bridging the Gap for providing our children the opportunity to make new friends and to learn that we are often the ones who benefit when we take the opportunity to serve others. I hope Addyson never forgets the connection that she made with Jacob and I thank Bridging the Gap for helping to light the fire to serve in her heart.
*The name of the child has been changed for the protection of his privacy.
I’ve been a supporter of BTG and their variety of programs for years and heard about the previous years of summer lunch program but could not be apart as my work scheduled prevented my participation. My sister, Dana Wallace, mentioned she was helping with the first week of the program this year and I was excited to finally have the flexibility in my schedule. Looking back, I see how God used my naive and small yes to re-focus and remind me of my life purpose and ultimately challenge me to live outside “my bubble”.It was apparent from our first interactions that the kids participating in the program had many more needs than a sack lunch. Most days they needed a friend to play with, an adult to listen, an encouraging word, a hug, but mostly to know someone in this vast world cares for them. One of my favorites was the kid who “needed” my help to throw up after getting too hot and then after a little extra TLC asked me to walk him home.On the second day of summer lunch program, I was playing a ball game with a couple of boys who kept asking for additional lunches. I asked if they were still hungry and they said “yes!!”, and the additional lunches were provided. Through that conversation one of the boys mentioned they didn’t have any food at their home just one can of ravioli. I was completely humbled in that moment and knew what I must do! We gave the boys extra lunch bags to take home for dinner and that evening I went shopping for items for their pantry. Sadly, this scenario repeated itself multiple times throughout the summer. What a privilege an honor to literally fill in the gap for this family!I’ve heard and experienced that serving people is more about loving and getting to know them right where they are. What a pleasure to experiencing that first hand through one family this summer. At the beginning of the summer, mom would stay in the car while a couple of kids signed in and got their lunches for the family. One random day, I went to the car to talk to mom and see if she needed anything and just to chit chat. The next day, mom got out of the car with the kids and stayed for a little while to play games with the other volunteers. As the days past, I was able to spend more time with mom and family outside of the summer lunch program to invest in the relationship with this family. It was a true pleasure to invest in this family over the summer!I’m extremely thankful and grateful to have been able to be apart of this amazing program and all that BTG is doing in our community to feed, serve and restore!!