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Bartow Family Resources draws women, families
by Monica Burge
September 24, 2013 03:09 PM | 2551 views | 0 0 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray.From left, Banquet team member Sara Wilson, executive director Maryland Guthas and center director Km Lewis will all be helping host the Bartow Family Resource Center's 3rd annual " Night of Life" fundraising banquet.
Staff / Erin Gray.From left, Banquet team member Sara Wilson, executive director Maryland Guthas and center director Km Lewis will all be helping host the Bartow Family Resource Center's 3rd annual " Night of Life" fundraising banquet.
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Maryland Guthas remembers when she was pregnant with her first child as a teenager. At the time there were little to no resources available for a young woman in crisis and Guthas said she doesn’t know what she would have done without the support of her family. Unfortunately, there are many, right here in Bartow County, who do not have a support system. But there are services are available for both women and men who are in need of pregnancy resources and relationship counseling at Bartow Family Resources and Guthas, who serves as executive director said because of her own story, she was drawn to the cause.

Bartow Family Resources, which includes a pregnancy center and relationship center, is a mecca for families, who find themselves either at a loss on how to prepare for and care for the arrival of a new life or are seeking enrichment through counselling, parenting classes, marriage classes/courses, support groups or educational classes.

“In my opinion, we are ‘boots on the ground,’” Guthas said. “We are where the rubber meets the road. Many times we are that first point of contact.”

The pregnancy center, formerly known as the Women’s Resource Center, expanded in 2012 to include the relationship center under the umbrella of Bartow Family Resources to encourage men as well as women to reach out for help said Kim Lewis, who serves as director of the pregnancy center.

“Really, these things work hand in hand,” said Lewis. “It really is an incredible system the way it works together.”

Cindy Smith serves as director for the relationship center.

In addition to the classes, education and assistance provided by the pregnancy center and the counseling provided by the relationship center, Bartow Family Resources also has a baby store on site that allows families to shop for their children, from newborn to three years old through the Baby Bucks program, which uses a “learn to earn” system and Bible studies to determine shopping eligibility.

Items range from clothing to necessity items such as cribs and car seats and Guthas said donations from the community are always accepted.

The nonprofit relies solely on donations from the community for its baby store as well as its day-to-day operations Guthas said and the resource center’s biggest fundraiser of the year will be held Oct. 3 at Georgia Highlands College.

Night of Life will feature speaker Kirk Walden and British musician Kevin Rowe and there are two ways to attend the free event. Sponsoring a table reserves a seat at the event, and includes preferred seating, a table for 8 to 10 with dinner, a private reception with the speaker and emcee and a listing in the banquet program.

For sponsorship pricing visit the nonprofit’s website, www.bartowfamilies.com. General seating is available but RSVP is required. Guthas said the goal is to raise $100,000 and during the event there will be an opportunity to donate.

This is the third year for the event, which has proven successful in the past Guthas said.

“We anticipate a great turnout,” Guthas said.
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