Partner with UrbanPromise and the Camden community for our upcoming Martin Luther King Day of Service!
Last year over 300 children, teens, and adults from the South Jersey area participated in our 2012 MLK Day of Service. We’re hoping for an even greater turnout on Monday, January 21 and to engage in a wider variety of projects—a Camden park cleanup, an art project for the community of Newtown, CT, and several collections for local residents.
But we need your help to pull it off!
Consider joining us on January 21 and/or sponsoring our service projects by donating the following:
Art Supplies - To create “art of hope” for the community of Newtown, CT and children in local shelters and hospitals:
- 150 sheets of 11x17 copy paper
- 2 rolls of contact paper
- Candy molds
- Construction paper
- Markers, crayons, glue
- 10 boxes of colored pencils
- 25 pieces of poster board
- 5 rolls of duct tape
- (25) 18x24 stretched canvases
- 130 plain colored t-shirts
- 65 small condiment containers
- 20 loaves of bread
- 4 cases of apples
- 5 containers of hot chocolate
- 2 boxes of tea bags
"How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." (Luke 1:18)
Starting in September, Cortney made a major life change. With a Ph.D. from North Carolina A&T State University and years of experience as an engineer, she left her high-paying, secure job and began teaching at UrbanPromise. Since her first day, she’s infused her classroom with an enthusiasm for science and her vibrant faith. She also started the school’s robotics team—something our youth have never experienced before. Cortney’s passion is so infectious that students now want to spend their weekends building robots and learning mechanical functions. I see new life in their eyes.
Cortney came to UrbanPromise because God touched her heart; she felt called to educate and inspire urban youth. She said yes to God.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the Christmas story actually began with the angel Gabriel's promise to Elizabeth and Zachariah, a couple well beyond childbearing years. The two had never been able to have children—and didn’t think it possible at their elderly age.
For more information about the robotics team wish list please contact Dr. Cortney Bolden, UrbanPromise Academy comprehensive science teacher, at (856) 382-1230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big THANK YOU to Association Headquarters for hosting an awesome Christmas party at their office for UrbanPromise's Camp Freedom AfterSchool Program. We are blessed by your partnership!
UrbanPromise is excited to share that we've received a $1,000 grant from the Dermody Properties Foundation for our Emergency Family Fund! This award will help us provide financial assistance to families in need, particularly around this holiday season. Learn more about donating to our youth and families and the giving efforts of Dermody Properties.
Thank you, Dermody Properties!
Last year, 44 students—around one fourth of our student population—nearly withdrew from UrbanPromise schools because they were unable to pay tuition. Behind each of those 44 instances was a child whose family was experiencing some kind of financial crisis—due to a lost job, a father who had died, a grandmother who could no longer help with the bills, or a parent who relapsed.
On November 20, UrbanPromise staff and interns volunteered their time in Tom's River, NJ, aiding Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization, with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. A total of 28 volunteers helped a local homeowner clear insulation from a flooded crawl space. According to staff, he was brought to tears with all of UrbanPromise's help. UrbanPromise intends to continue helping with hurricane recovery in the coming months.
Just two months ago Diane Sawyer visited UrbanPromise in Camden and spoke at our 25th Anniversary Banquet. It was an inspirational, moving—and fun—night, made all the more special by her warm and welcoming presence.
According to Ms. Sawyer’s inner circle, she seldom speaks at these kinds of events. She’s busy and careful about whom she aligns herself with. I was incredibly honored that, in the midst of a very hectic television season, she kept her promise to our community.
But Ms. Sawyer did more than just speak during the evening’s program. She arrived two hours early to interact with guests and enjoy a meal with the children and families featured in her 2007 20/20 special “Waiting on the World to Change.”
While eating dinner, she asked each child very direct and personalized questions. I found this remarkable! What books had they read since their last meeting? How were their grades? What did they think about the current political situation? She approached their conversations as if they were part of a high profile interview.
But what impacted me most deeply about Diane Sawyer’s visit is that she remembered our young people. It was obvious that this was not just another news story. She cares about the kind of people our children are becoming. And her concern, interest, and commitment continue to influence their lives.
Ivan Stevens, who was homeless when featured on 20/20, is now in 5th grade at our school and watches ABC World News every weekday evening. “He won’t let anyone near the remote,” shares his mother Precious. “Everyone in our house watches the news with Ms. Sawyer. Ivan is becoming an expert of world affairs.” He calls the show’s anchor his “friend.”
Like Diane Sawyer, I hope you will remember the children of UrbanPromise.
Since your first gift to our organization, our team has faithfully protected, educated, and loved Camden’s most vulnerable children. We’ve provided creative, structured, and academically enriching programs that keep young people off the dangerous city streets.
But it costs money to remember. Fuel is needed to run the vans that transport our youth to and from home, insurance needs to be current, and salaries need to be paid. Remembering can be expensive.
In honor of Ms. Sawyer’s visit to UrbanPromise, I hope you’ll donate a year-end gift to our ministry.
Consider sponsoring a:
- Child – Just $30/month ($360/year) provides a Camden child with free after-school and summer camp programming.
- Teen – A donation of $42/month ($504/year) provides a teen with year-round hands-on job training and academic enrichment.
- Student – By partnering with a student for $208/month ($2,500/year), you’ll enable UrbanPromise to offer high-quality education in a structured and loving environment.
- Trekker – A monthly donation of $150, or an annual gift of $1,800, enables UrbanPromise to provide youth with experiential and expeditionary trips at little to no cost to them.
Thank you for remembering. Have a blessed holiday season.
UrbanPromise President & Founder
Over 110 volunteers joined UrbanPromise on Saturday, November 17 to assist with demolition and renovation projects at St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church in the city of Camden. Volunteers included adults, teens, and children from Ann's Love Builds of Media Presbyterian Church, FCA of South Jersey, Pedro Guzman of San Andres in Camden, the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, and Princeton University's lacrosse team. The group gutted the church's house, painted the church, cleaned the yard and trimmed bushes, and fixed broken windows and old pews.
The house on the St. Wilfrid's property, which has been generously donated to UrbanPromise, saw 750 hours of service--which amounts to around $10,000 in work hours saved! Ninety-percent of the work was finished by noon that Saturday! Phyllis B. Jones, chief financial officer of the Diocese of New Jersey, and Norman Valentine of St. Wilfrid's pass along a special thank-you to all those who spent the day helping the church and UrbanPromise.
But a lot of work still needs to be done. We hope you join us for upcoming UrbanPromise Work Day's on December 1, January 26, February 23, March 23, April 27, May 25 or June 22. Email Marcus Bell for more information: email@example.com.
UrbanPromise's October Big Read program was a success! Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest for supporting our reading and literacy efforts in Camden and Pennsauken and our partners: EducationWorks, Camden County Library System, Rutgers-Camden's Paul Robeson Library, Pennsauken Free Public Library, BuildaBridge International.
Watch our Big Read video with highlights from the month.
Both UrbanPromise Camden and UrbanPromise Trenton learned Friday that they've each received a $25,000 grant from the New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives! Camden's funding will allow our StreetLeader job training program to expand its college prep activities.