Bronwood - - Much of the crime and gang activity we see stem from teenagers who have nothing else to do. One South Georgia town is putting its time and resources into providing young people with some positive directions to help them succeed. Community leaders say the end result benefits us all.
In the small town of Bronwood, tis the season of joy. But for some young people with nothing to do, it can be the season of destruction.
"Christmas time comes around, we put up Christmas lights. Next thing you know, we've got to put up more lights, someone has come around and cut the wires," says Councilwoman Catherine Harris.
Even youngsters here admit it's easy to get involved with the wrong things.
"They hang out with the wrong people," says 13 year old Keyamber Harris.
"It probably be mostly gangs. Gang members," says 14 year old Raymond Huckaby.
For five years now, Bronwood has steered youngsters away from that with the Positive Directions Youth Center, an aftershool site giving them an alternative to mischief.
"This is the only thing here for the children to do," says Director Dorothy Tomlin.
And that 'only thing' is keeping youngster occupied.
"They once called it a dead end, once they got off the bus everyday, they say it was a dead end."
We've all heard the saying young people are the key to the future. City leaders in Bronwood say its true. Invest in them now, it will pay off later.
Before Christmas, the center teamed with the city of Bronwood and the 4H Club to make sure children in the community got a present. It's their token of appreciation to young people who make the right choices.
"Because of love. We take money out of our budget, to show love. Maybe they will stop," Harris says.
Because their taking the time to care for children who may not get it anywhere else.
This is the second year the city has done the gift giveaway. The youth center has been open for five years now and workers say they've seen the positive results.