DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - An arson at one Douglas County church last year has turned into a blessing from a different Douglas County church this year and children in need are benefiting as a result.
"We live by faith here. Everything that has happened with this organization is a gift from God," said Brenda Kirk, who is the head of A Gift of Love Services, Inc.
The nonprofit organization keeps their pantry stocked with food, toiletries, school supplies, and clothing for Douglas County elementary and middle schools.
The organization provided food and supplies to more than 500 school children last year – which is why Kirk was so heartbroken when authorities determined a young arsonist set fire to a Douglas County church facility in March of 2018. The fire destroyed all their food and supplies for Spring Break events.
"They poured chemicals over nine days worth of food that we had set aside for all those children. It was horrible. I just couldn't believe something would happen like that to a group that helps children," Kirk told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
According to Douglas County Fire Department spokesman Rick Martin, evidence led investigators to a juvenile suspect.
"The case was turned over to the D.A. office and is now closed, but I can tell you we are all grateful this organization is back on its feet and can serve the community," Martin said.
While donations continued to come in, the organization bounced around to smaller facilities that couldn't hold everything the organization has to offer.
Recently, that all changed. First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs essentially gave the organization a 3,700 square foot facility to continue their mission.
"All we have to pay is the utility bills, which is great because that gives us more funds to use to serve the children and the community. To me it just feels like we won. Even though it started with disaster, a beautiful thing came from it," said Kirk as she sat in the organization's new home.
On Sept. 5, a grand opening will be held at the facility located next to the church on Veterans Memorial Highway.