Truth in Nature is a Paulding County-based organization which helps mentor middle school and high school boys being raised by one parent. On Sept. 10 they were named one of 250 finalists in the Toyota 100 Cars For Good, which will be giving away 100 cars to nonprofits based on votes they receive at facebook.com/Toyota, according to a news release about the contest.
Truth in Nature’s voting day is Oct. 16, and they will be among five organizations voted on that day, said Jeff Davis, organization president and Georgia program director. The two groups that receive the most votes on that day receive a Toyota of their choosing, and the other three groups receive a $1,000 grant.
Davis said the car they picked to win is a Toyota Highlander.
“The reason [we chose it] is because transportation is one of our highest costs,” he said.
Truth In Nature was founded by Davis in 2009.
After two years he was told he was being laid off from his information technology job and he saw that as an opportunity to take Truth in Nature to “the next level.”
Since then he has been working as the only fulltime employee, the groups doubled in size and they gained more volunteers.
Now Truth in Nature works with an average of 50 boys a year. The organization provides outdoor ministry programs, such as camping, fishing and hunting, and the vehicle will help transport the boys, he said.
The parents are not charged to send the children through the programs.
Children are referred to them through school systems, county resources and word of mouth, he said.
The organization is funded by partnerships with businesses and churches, such as Ragsdale Heating, Air & Plumbing, Paulding County Wood Yard, Hicks Roofing, West Ridge Church and Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. Most of its funding comes from individual donations, Davis said.
The goal of the organization is to build character, develop self esteem and grow in the Christian faith, Davis said.
“If you just see us as a bunch of guys taking some kids outdoors then you miss what we are all about,” he said.
Crystal Hicks of Dallas is the mother of Carlos Hicks, who has been part of the organization for more than a year.
“It’s been a challenge at times [raising a young man], but God and Truth in Nature are helping along the way,” she said.
To vote for Truth in Nature on Oct. 16, visit facebook.com/Toyota.