With the public’s assistance, the Cartersville Service League recently was able to distribute a total of $46,000 among 21 organizations.
“All of the money is a combination of our Rummage Sale from last fall, our Poinsettia Sale from last Christmas and the Ways & Means Dance that was in January,” said Michele Ledbetter, CSL’s Project Search chairman. “Obviously, we could not have done any of those things without the community’s involvement and support. They have been wonderful in supporting all of these things over the years and in the past year especially.”
This year’s recipients included Advocates for Children, Bartow Christmas, Bartow County Special Olympics, Bartow County Library System, Bartow County Teacher Grant program, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Family Resources, Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, Cartersville Schools Foundation, Cartersville Schools Foundation — GateKey program, Etowah Scholarship Foundation, The Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Hands of Christ’s Douglas Street site, Bartow County Juvenile Court, Least of These, New Beginnings Food Outreach, Tranquility House, Steps of Faith, Bartow History Museum, Cartersville Little League and WinShape Camps for Communities.
At the Etowah Scholarship Foundation, the CSL donation will fund student scholarships. Each year, the foundation awards more than 150 scholarships, valued between $500 and $5,000 apiece.
“All $8,000 will go right back into students’ hands this spring,” said Daniel Lochridge, chairman of the board for the Etowah Scholarship Foundation. “[The scholarships will go] to various students [and] that’s going to help them have a education. [A scholarship sometimes] makes the difference on whether they get an education or not. So, obviously, it’s very important.”
Established in 1941, the CSL is comprised of about 40 Bartow County women, who serve six-year terms and perform at least 60 hours per year of community service.
Some of their outreach efforts include tutoring children weekly at the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Cartersville Unit, volunteering at the Cartersville Public Library and the Special Olympics, conducting hearing and vision screenings for kindergarten students in the Bartow County School System, and providing a weekly meal to Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter residents. They also equip area children with school supplies, gifts and necessities throughout the year.
“One thing that’s different about the Service League versus Junior Leagues in other communities is we do focus on the service as much as or more than the fundraising aspect,” Ledbetter said. “One of our new service commitments this year was we now work at the Bartow County Library. Once a week, we have two ladies that go and work at the library for a couple of hours and volunteer in the children’s department.
“We just do whatever they need for us to do — sometimes it’s cutting out items for upcoming children’s events that they have going on, sometimes it’s shelving books. … The big focus for our service is anything to help children in Bartow County. We always try to make sure that it focuses on the children and that’s why we still go to the Boys & Girls Club once a week and serve dinner once a week at Flowering Branch.”
For more information about the Service League, visit www.cartersvilleserviceleague.com.
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