Our monthly outreach day falls on the 3rd Saturday of every month in the Allatoona Community and the 2nd Saturday of the month in Kingston. Our General Store and Build Team are able to help families with a few basic needs such as personal hygiene products, home cleaning supplies and minor home improvements. Partners such as the Street Store, Bookmobile and Red Door Food Pantry join us as well to provide additional resources such as food, clothing, and books!
There are 10 things you can't purchase with food stamps/EBT cards : hair care products, deodorant, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dental cleaning supplies, soap, diapers, women's sanitary products, cleaning products and lotion/sunscreen.
Years ago we learned that part of the financial struggle in the Allatoona Community was not having funds for or access to many of these products. And so the BLESS General Store was born. Since 2016 this program as grown exponentially, as we now serve over 100 families per month!
We believe that not having these products are detrimental to living a healthy and sanitary lifestyle. And it is through this program that we have been able to lift a small financial burden as well as provide something that is so crucial to our every day lives.
This program has grown through partnerships with the Cartersville City and Bartow County School systems we are able to help supply these same personal hygiene products to students. Several schools have supply closets that we contribute to routinely.
And finally, in 2020 we began supporting the Advocates for Children's RISE program which supports young adults that have aged out of their shelter and are living on their own and working towards becoming independent.
One of our basic needs is shelter. Most of the housing in the Allatoona Community are mobile homes or homes valued under $50,000. Every month families face tough decisions about whether or not to fix a hole in their roof or put groceries on the table. We have met many families that have been living without electricity or water for months because of the cost to fix problems. Many elderly adults in this community have extreme health conditions that can only get worse by living in these conditions. Not to mention the young children that call these places their home.
No one should have to live this way. Until we find a more permanent housing solution, we are committed to helping families with small repairs and renovations so they don't have to raise their kids in extremely dangerous situations. The Build Team works every month and during the entirety of BLESS Weekend to help these families live in a more sustainable and healthy environment.