About LIFT

A group of people with all sorts of experiences – with teens, with children, in the arts, in education, in the outdoors, in mentoring, in leading and inspiring – have come together to explore this vision for reaching out to and loving on kids and youth who are getting missed – the ones who are not being reached by churches and social workers – the ones falling through the cracks, who are isolated and feeling hopeless.  The idea was to become an option for those kids – an option for their down time – an option for community – a positive option to grab hold of in a sea of negatives – an option to learn and explore and even fail while being supported and encouraged.  We want to catch the kids who are at risk of being “at risk” = kids who are too smart, or too creative, natural leaders who have potential to go the wrong direction, kids raised by grandparents who need additional support, kids who walk home after school to an empty house.  There are programs and systems in place once a student has moved down the wrong path, but what if we could inspire them BEFORE they start down that road?!

We are starting with events – small investments of time, resources and gifts – art projects and day camps and fun stuff – and service projects where kids get the chance to give back and do hard, beautiful things that matter.  As we introduce LIFT to the Ringgold community, making connections and building potential, we will work in partnership with some of our county’s existing organizations.  As that happens we hope to discover, establish and fund what is next – and hopefully it leads to amazing stuff – like having a Youth Center!  A place where kids could come in after school hours for healthy fun and skill development and practical help – where they will be loved as they are and challenged to accept themselves while also becoming more – where they will be known and will know others, developing the kind of community that can fight loneliness and depression and aggression and break cycles that keep families in hopeless situations.  All of this is designed to lift them up, and they, in turn, will lift our community…

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