LIFT kicks off with Earth Day event in Ring­gold

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ta­mara Wolk

From a tragedy in a neigh­bor­ing state, a big dream was born in Ring­gold.

Tina Pinkston, Chrissie Brown and other moth­ers in the Ring­gold area started think­ing af­ter the school shoot­ing in Park­land, Fla., about how they might help avert such an in­ci­dent here.

“We want to reach young peo­ple who are at risk of be­com­ing at risk,” says Pinkston. “Kids who might feel lonely, iso­lated, like out­siders, kids who are strug­gling. We’re think­ing about kids who walk home from school by them­selves and spend the af­ter­noon alone be­cause par­ents are at work, kids who don’t have a strong net­work of sup­port.”

What came from this con­cern is an or­ga­ni­za­tion called LIFT Ring­gold, and its goals are, ap­pro­pri­ately, lofty. “For starters,” says Pinkston, “we’ll be do­ing events around the com­mu­nity and in neigh­bor-hoods for kids in the mid­dle school and high school age range, but even­tu­ally we hope to have a youth cen­ter.”

The “L” in LIFT stands for “Loved (as you are).” LIFT wants young peo­ple to know they’re loved and ac­cepted.

The “I” stands for “In­spired (to be more).” An­other goal of LIFT is to help young peo­ple see their po­ten­tial and work to­ward it.”

“F” stands for “Found (in com­mu­nity).” To be “found” and to be­come part of a com­mu­nity that cares is also a pri­mary fo­cus of LIFT for the young peo­ple it aims to help.

Fi­nally, “T” stands for “Trusted (to make a dif­fer­ence).” “We want to build con­fi­dence and

Earth Day Ring­gold

and many oth­ers.

“We want to come to­gether to make sure ev­ery­one where we live feels like a vi­tal part of our com­mu­nity,” says Pinkston.

Kick-off: April 22 Earth Day

To that end, LIFT and their part­ners in good are kick­ing off with a big Earth Day cel­e­bra­tion on Sun­day, April 22, at the Lit­tle Gen­eral Park in Ring­gold.

The event is suited for all ages, from lit­tle chil­dren to adults. Peo­ple will be able to help cre­ate a piece of art from re­cy­cled trash, plant seeds and dec­o­rate an ed­i­ble When: Sun­day, April 22, from 2-4 p.m. Who: The whole fam­ily De­tails: Com­mu­nity art projects, cookie dec­o­rat­ing, seed plant­ing, live mu­sic, “But­ter­fly Lady,” com­mu­nity work projects

skills in young peo­ple, so they’ll be able to trust them­selves to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in the world,” says Pinkston.

LIFT is only two months old as an or­ga­ni­za­tion, but the group is al­ready con­nect­ing and part­ner­ing with many oth­ers in the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the City of Ring­gold and Ca­toosa County, the Ca­toosa County Li­brary, Out­door Ring­gold, Above the Ridge, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Ca­toosa Home Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion “earth cookie.” There will be live mu­sic and the “but­ter­fly lady” will be there to teach about the habits of her pretty winged crea­tures.

Folks will also be able to sign up to help with a project to help beau­tify the city, from pick­ing up trash and help­ing at the re­cy­cling cen­ter next to the park to clean­ing up walk­ing trails or kayak­ing along wa­ter­ways to scoop de­bris. The clean-up projects will be­gin at 3 p.m. and last for an hour or so.

Any­one in­ter­ested in help­ing to spon­sor the event or be­ing in­volved in it can con­tact LIFT through its Face­book page. “We’re look­ing for peo­ple who can of­fer some­thing com­mu­ni­ty­fo­cused, things that help make our com­mu­nity a bet­ter and more lov­ing place,” says Pinkston.

Earth Day Ring­gold will take place on April 22 from 2-4 p.m. at Lit­tle Gen­eral Park, 15 Cleveland St., Ring­gold.

To learn more about Earth Day Ring­gold, visit face­book.com/ events/426396287806423.

To learn more about LIFT, visit face­book. com/LIFTRing­gold.

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