As 2020 comes to an end, Cingo is honored to share the story of The Table on Delk, this month's Circle & Shield award recipient. The Table on Delk offers food and information about recovery, employment and other options for getting off the street.
You may feel safe and secure in your suburban Cobb County, GA, home, but Tina Williford wants you to be aware of what is going on just a few miles away.
It's the human trafficking that is a reality on Delk Road, just north of Atlanta's skyscrapers. "People need to know this is not just an inner-city problem," says Tina, who with her husband founded The Table on Delk to help women and the children who work and live on Delk Road.
She counts herself as one of those suburban Cobb County residents who once knew nothing about Delk Road's seamy side. When she did become aware, she and her husband actually did something about it.
The Table on Delk didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen without prayer. The starting point was a mission trip in 2005 to Guatemala City, where she witnessed firsthand women "strung out on drugs going from room-to-room servicing men. It made me so angry," Tina says.
She returned to her stay-at-home-mom, suburban life and prayed about it.
Her answer came in 2011 when she saw a blurb in her church bulletin about serving women being sexually exploited in metro Atlanta. Her kids were older by then, so she signed on to volunteer with Out of Darkness, a ministry that took her to the streets and to the jails.
On a visit to the Cobb County jail, inmates told her group that this type of exploitation wasn't just an urban problem, that suburban areas needed help, too.
Her husband had always supported her outreach efforts and together they began to consider starting their own ministry. The Table on Delk became a reality in 2017, and now operates six days a week.
Volunteers walk the parking lots of the motels on Delk Road east of I-75. They introduce themselves as the "local church with a free gift," which is usually bubbles for children and hygiene products for the women. "It's just a small thing, but it's an icebreaker," says Tina.
Many women accept the invitation to come to The Table, where there is food and information about recovery, employment and other options for getting off the street. After four years, Tina counts 17 real success stories of women who've left the street.
"We try to intervene early with the women, but it's even more important with the kids. If we can stop the cycle … That's where the ROI is," says Tina, laughing at her use of the business term.
Tina says she'll continue her mission to make people aware.
"We want you to be aware that this is a problem — near your home — and something can be done about it," she says. "What can you do from the comfort of your home now that you have this information?"
The Table on Delk is supported by private donations and volunteers who do everything from on-the-street ministering to baking brownies and making sack lunches. To donate or learn more, visit thetableondelk.org.
About Circle & Shield
Cingo means to surround and secure — to protect. That's what we do. And we have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to make protection a part of what they do, too. That's why we've launched Circle & Shield, our award to a member of the community who helps make the world a better place, a safer place.
Click here to nominate someone for Cingo's Circle & Shield. We'll do the rest.
Cingo provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.