April 10th 2008
After 7 years in Urban Ministry, I have seen some amazing success stories but also my share of heartache. I have seen too many kid’s lives gone before it feels like they had a chance to get started. Sometimes what feels the worst is the number of kids you know you could help, if only you had more time and resources? The need for kids to be invested in is so great, especially in Camden where 50% of the population is under 21 years old. The question is, how do we get more people involved?
That question was answered in a dramatic fashion as a few ladies in Haddonfield had watched the 20/20 show and decided they wanted to do something. These enthusiastic ladies decided they were going to call themselves Suburban Promise and connect people and resources to our ministry and it turns out they really meant it.
In the past year, we have had numerous volunteers connected to Suburban Promise come in to help out with everything from the Extreme Homemaker show to tutoring programs for the kids. They have provided hundreds of Christmas presents for kids, hundreds of candy bags for the Harvest Carnival, and food for Thanksgiving Dinners that fed around 3,000 people. They also helped us fundraise for several of our children’s trips as well as having Urban Promise interns over to their houses for a nice meal.
They have done all these things and have never seen the smiles on the kids faces or heard mothers say bless you (in what feels like a thousand times) as you drop off gifts to their houses. They will probably never hear as the kids regularly talk about the fond and vivid memories they have of the trips they’ve been on with UrbanPromise. For these ladies, it has never been about what they see, or experience, it’s been about what the children see and experience. They are promise builders. For the lives they impacted and the encouragement they have been, I am deeply thankful.
UrbanPromise Children’s Ministry