A giving community
There is ongoing conversation in our community about what citizens, organizations and even local governments can do to create a better place for teens and young adults, that will encourage these young people to pursue activities that will help them learn and grow.
Each of these groups inevitably looks at the issue from the angle that they are best suited at tackling the problem. For our local governments, the primary focus is often on physical structures, since capital projects can be created using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and are often eligible to be built using grant funding. So, they build parks and playgrounds and community spaces that the community can use as needed. (Troup County Parks and Recreation is the notable exception, but that is for another column.)
These projects have an important place in our community because they provide the basketball courts that teenagers play on, the swings for children and the trails and sidewalks that citizens and visitors young and old make use of.
However, they cannot do everything.
Meanwhile, our local organizations and local branches of large organizations tend to look to programs that will provide a vitally needed support network for our youth. Here in Troup County, there are programs to distribute books, distribute food, tutor students, help people find jobs and the list goes on.
Many of these groups work together when possible, but there is still a steady stream of new needs that the people behind these organizations identify and hope to overcome.
That is where we often see citizens step up to fill the gap. We see it again and again. Someone meets a student who needs help with something — a tutor, a place to play that is closer to home, a mentor — and they step up.
In the weekend edition of The LaGrange Daily News, we wrote about LaGrange Fire Department firefighters who have received overwhelming support from the community after being injured in a fire. We wrote about a local couple who hopes to use the grounds surrounding their home, which was built in 1833, to start a business that they hope will bless the community and its youth. We wrote about local civic clubs who sponsored a professional learning opportunity for some local teachers. Finally, we also wrote about a program that helps women get their lives back on track.
We live in an incredibly giving community, and we think these programs, along with the many others we write about regularly show that.
Now, let’s keep the ball rolling.