“When you lose a parent in combat, you lose a source of income as well,” she said. “I know how expensive extracurricular activities can be, and I saw a need for these kids to let their minds go to a positive place. These activities give a chance to do that.”
Bryant started funding those efforts with an event at her Powder Springs home that raised $1,600. But the program got its biggest boost a few weeks ago when she won $10,000 at the Be More-a-Thon competition at Georgia Tech. Bryant was one of 10 selected to take home grants for their nonprofits.
“I had to submit a video about the nonprofit then go in person and give a ‘Shark Tank’ style, three-minute pitch to an audience of about 500 people,” she said.
The prize will extend the list of activities Bryant has already funded. Among them were six months of karate lessons, sporting equipment and golf lessons. The recipients must be younger than 18 and can live anywhere in the U.S. Bryant often finds recipients through other Gold Star organizations and groups connected to the Georgia National Guard.
“And now we’re starting to branch out to more than just Gold Star families,” she said. “This Christmas we’re buying toys for three families. It’s a way to help more people.”
Bryant plans to keep the program going even when she heads to college next year with the goal of becoming a physical therapist.
“I’m not planning on going more than three hours away,” she said. “My father and the board members are involved, so it’s sustainable. And I will definitely be going to events.”
Information about Gold Star Kids Support Services is online at goldstarkss.org.
Who’s doing good? Each week, we write about a deserving individual, charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event or person for us to cover, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.