Up next in the Unsung Heroes project is Timothy DeGroot, aka, tD, who has a really neat story. He is an entrepreneur with a background in the fine arts / Music and comes from the school of hard knocks. For over eight years, each Tuesday, he has volunteered and taught an after school/ summer camp art program at Bright Futures Atlanta (BFATL), which serves at risk youth in BankHead, one of Atlanta’s worst neighborhoods on west side. Tim also produces two bi-annual art show fundraiser each year, where kids make 100% of the art and 100% of the proceeds goes back to BFATL. What is really cool about Tim’s story is the length and consistency of his volunteering and his commitment to invest in kids over a long period of time. I know of very few people who have consistently shown up week in week out for nearly a decade.
Tim works year round with the kids to help them make amazing artwork, some of which is used in BFATL art show fundraisers. It’s really amazing and brings people from all walks of life together to support the community, to meet the kids, and help grow these great kids into thriving adults. Tim, with some help from a caring friend or two curates, produces, frames and hangs all the art work for each art show, which are always only a one night event. It is a lot of work, but also rewarding.
About Bright Futures Atlanta
The kids who are accepted into the BFATL program are at risk youth from Atlanta’s west side, which means that without people investing into their lives over long-term they would likely be a statistic. I was drawn to BFATL, not just because of Tim, but also because of their success rate, and how they measured success, which is whether the kids thrive as adults. To read more, please visit their website.
Deep vs. Wide – How People Change
This definition of success is a “deep“ definition. It is counter intuitive to the “wide” definition of success. An example of the “wide” definition, is counting how much food was distributed to the needy in a day. Now, people need to be fed, but feeding the soul and changing lives is a harder road. It requires years and years of selflessness, day in day out, investing in kids. It’s more than slogans. It’s more than a handout. It’s about transforming lives that impact generations to come.
That’s why it is so important to encourage those like Tim, who answer the call of selflessness and show up, each week, on time, and teach kids who otherwise have very little continuity in their lives.
Through this, Tim is battling the soul vampire that is often inner city with beauty, art, and love and teaching these kids to look outside the box or the hood to creatively solve life lessons.
Life Principle: Real change happens when you go deep, not wide
Through this, Tim is battling the soul vampire that is often inner city with beauty, art, and love.
The people who are doing the greatest things among us, tend not to be self-promoters, so let’s do a little of that for them. Thank Tim and people like Tim in your life, and let them know that you appreciate them, because they are not paid, and they often receive little appreciation for their sacrifice. Better yet, attend one of Tim’s art fundraiser events or just check out BFATL’s volunteer opportunities and learn how to get involved.
In what ways are you going wide, when you should go deep?
Here are some pics of TIm, the kids, and supporters of Bright Futures Atlanta.