Paul Palmer and his family took a trip to Atlanta in 2002 that would change their lives (and many others) forever.
While walking the city with his wife Patty and one of their sons they encountered a homeless person on the steps of a church. Others in a similar situation may offer food or spare change, or just walk by as if they didn’t see anything. But not the Palmers.
That single encounter led to the founding of the Atlanta Dream Center Church, which is committed to three areas of service: Assisting under-privileged children, helping women escape the trap of sex trafficking, and providing resources for the homeless that goes beyond food and clothing.
Now, for nearly two decades, Atlanta Dream Center has been on the frontlines of Atlanta’s city streets passing out information to people in need and seeking to initiate real change.
“Every Friday we go out and hand out roses and cards with information on them to women we see on the streets,” Paul says. “We want to build relationships and confidence so when they are ready to get out, there is a way.”
Paul’s son Tommy followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the good fight as a pastor himself. Paul and Tommy — as they prefer to be called — have started numerous programs over the years, relying solely on volunteers and donations.
Enter Georgia’s film and television production industry, which has played an important role in funding one of the Atlanta Dream Center’s signature projects — the Educational Learning Center.
You may wonder, “What happens to all the excess materials and clothing from all the productions filmed in Georgia?” Paul and Tommy saw a perfect opportunity to connect with local productions and put items no longer needed to good use.
“If we get a call that a production needs to get rid of some stuff, we will be there ASAP,” Tommy says. “We know that those items can be sold to help purchase items for people in need in our community.”
When the Netflix series “Insatiable” wrapped up production at EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta, the wardrobe department had all kinds of clothing left over, and nearly 100 garment boxes were donated it to the Atlanta Dream Center for a sale that raised $20,000 for the Educational Learning Center.
The Center, a remote learning center housed at the Atlanta Dream Center church, focuses on helping students in the Atlanta community of Old Fourth Ward keep from falling behind due to the pandemic and school closures.
“Selling that wardrobe funded our whole program for an entire semester,” says Tommy. “We were able to purchase iPads for all of the kids, as well as provide tutoring and hot meals to children who needed it the most.”
Props and wardrobes from Netflix, CBS and more will be sold July 8, 9 and 10 at 635 Angier Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308. All proceeds will go towards the Educational Learning Center.