Local resident changes lives with Project Bridge summer camp
[subtitle] Provitt changing lives [/subtitle]
By Anjelica Bruton
Linda Provitt is a woman on a mission to save lives. She believes she knows how, but it will take money that she doesn’t have.
This past week, Provitt made an emotional plea to the City Commission for some cash. She wasn’t specific, but she believes any little thing would help.
So she waits.
“I’m asking the city if they don’t mind opening their hearts to see if there is any way they can assist this program,” Provitt said during her plea in front of the commission. “I am just one person over there on [the] Southside trying to make a difference and I stand before you asking you if there is anyway.
“I know we’re not a big name program, but my heart is huge. And as you can see, I have more than enough kids with no type of assistance.”
For the past 17 years, Provitt has operated a non-profit organization that she calls The Project Bridge, Inc. It operates primarily as a free summer camp for children up to teenagers. About 30 children are participating in the program this year.
Provitt has to dig deep in her pockets to keep the project going when fund-raising doesn’t generate enough cash. She supplies food and water, activities, and games. Even transportation.
Her fund-raising efforts includes knocking on doors. Churches and the city aren’t off limits either.
The passion for the program hasn’t waned for Provitt, a 55-year-old mother of grown children.
“I have a deep compassion and love for kids,” she said. “I’m always thinking I can be their hero and I can make a difference.”
The children who participate in the program are all from broken homes. Some have behavioral issues. Provitt said she gives the children — mostly from low income families — a chance when no other program would take them.
Provitt has a volunteer pool, but few are consistent. Laurel Moore is in her second week of volunteering, a choice she made because of Provitt’s passion.
“Linda is very intelligent, nice and she’s a great teacher,” Moore said. “I come back to be a faithful citizen to help out with the kids.”
Provitt doesn’t stop at the summer camp. A few days during the school year she opens the doors on the second floor of the aged white brick building that houses her camp.
“I open up the doors to Project Bridge, which I do all year round, working with these young kids trying to make a difference in their lives, working with their behavior, attitude, trying to teach them to respect authority and teaching them to have confidence within themselves,” Provitt said.
Provitt sees the changes in the children and they’re thankful for the program.
Seven-year-old Zionna Green is a return participant in the camp. She attributes going from the A-B honor roll to a straight-A student to what she has been exposed to at the camp.
So far this summer it has been adventures for her and her friends.
“I like the activities,” she said, “because I can discover new things.”