Circles of Troup and its director Sherri Brown have partnered up with local community organizations to present poverty week starting on March 16.
Brown said the vision for this week is to educate the community about issues surrounding poverty and highlight those organization which serve those living in poverty.
According to Brown, 22 percent of Troup County residents are living in poverty, and one in three children are living in poverty. Brown said Troup is in the top nine counties in Georgia for children living in poverty.
“Poverty is often invisible and we want to make it less invisible,” Brown said. “Awareness is the first step in addressing a problem.”
Poverty week will feature 11 events and 11 organizations which are open to the public. Brown said she hopes people will attend one or two and learn about what is going on in their town.
“When people come to Circles for the first time, they will say ‘I can’t tell who’s poor and who’s not’ and I think that’s a good example of what happens in our community… we don’t realize that the people at school and co-workers may be living in poverty,” Brown said.
Brown said her long term goal is that the Troup community becomes a voice to breaking down barriers that keep people in poverty.
Poverty is highly complex and one common misconception is that it’s simple to get out of poverty Brown said.
The factors surrounding poverty are a combination of individual and systematic problems. Issues such as single motherhood, childcare, lack of transportation and mental illness are just some of the difficulties that restrain people from getting out of poverty.
“You cant just say if we got rid of all these things, we will get rid of poverty,” Brown said. “We have to open our hearts and open our minds to see how we can be part of the solution.”
With poverty week, organizations will put a focus not only on these issues but also on solution that are available.
Servant Scholars at LaGrange College have chosen poverty awareness week as their senior project and look to find solutions.
“We first looked at hunger issues, but felt we need to look at the bigger picture,” Alex Blount, senior servant scholar said. “We wanted to raise awareness about poverty and draw people to involvement rather than just throwing money at it.”
The following are open to the public and start next week:
Sunday, March 16, 7 p.m.
LaGrange College Servant Scholars will host a showing of the documentary film Poor America. Dickson Assembly room, Turner Hall
Monday, March 17, noon
Empty Bowl Lunch, sponsored by Circles of Troup County. Hear from participants who are moving toward self-sufficiency and from volunteers. This event is sold out.
Prevent Now informational seminar, led by McKenzie Jackson of Twin Cedars, provides information about the problem and training that is offered in Troup County regarding sexual abuse. Troup Baptist Association, 1301 Washington Street. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 706-884-1975
Tuesday, March 18, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Open house and first ever 25 percent off sale at Habitat ReStore. 333 Main Street.
Wednesday, March 19, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Coffee and Conversation at First Choice Women’s Center. This organization provides mentoring, parenting classes, free ultrasounds, abstinence education, maternity and baby items and support for pregnant women and their families. 300 Harwell Avenue.
Thursday, March 20, 9-11 a.m.
Open house, Baptist Tabernacle food closet. Staff and volunteer from the new LaGrange food warehouse of Feeding the Valley Food Bank will host a reception with coffee and cake. 849 S. Davis Road.
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Volunteer open house and tour, Emmaus Women’s Shelter. 321 Greenville Street.
Circles of Troup County graduation, Troup Baptist Association, 1301 Washington Street.
Thursday and Friday, March 20-21 4-6 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club after-school priority registration for its new location at Cannon Street School. Priority registration is five dollars and will be held at the current club at 623 Juniper Street.
Friday, March 21 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Open house and bus tour at DASH for LaGrange, 1200 Fourth Avenue. Lunch is provided. Call 706-298-0585 to register.
Monday-Friday, March 17-21 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Emma’s Attic Indoor Yard Sale. 321, Greenville Street.