In the spring of 2013, Westview UMC reached out to Malpass Corner Elementary, located four miles from the church, asking what the church could do to help them. This led to the development of a partnership which provides weekend food backpacks for 67 students each week as well as family food boxes for these students during each vacation from school such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and spring breaks. The congregation has also furnished both schools with hats, coats and gloves during the winter months and 744 summer reading books! All this is accomplished by a congregation with an average weekly worship attendance of around 40. Through these missions Westview UMC has allowed God to show them what he can do with a “few” willing hearts and willing hands. Westview UMC’s is also providing some support to West Pender Middle school. They are truly a “little, big church!”
Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church is a small church with a big heart for children. This congregation with about 30-40 in worship on Sundays partnered with Douglass Academy – a school located in an impoverished neighborhood of Wilmington with students facing significant poverty and food insecurity issues. The church supplied weekend food packs for 20 students and over 100 books for students to call their own. Members sponsored and facilitated a science lab, provided students with weekly enrichment classes, taught a weekly recorder class, and offered classroom support to teachers. Fifth Avenue is making a difference in their community!
Since fall of 2012 Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church’s C4C team has partnered with Winter Park Elementary (with 100% free/reduced lunch) – a school which is almost literally in their backyard. The church and school are only about 200 yards from one another – and each is has been around 100 years. Wesley Memorial’s loving- and mission-oriented congregation supports the students and teachers through their literacy tutoring team (over 30 folks), weekend food backpack program, clothing item donations, Watch DOGS program volunteers, scouts food drives and various other types of services. There are over 80 church members at Wesley Memorial who are involved in C4C in one form or another.
Wrightsboro UMC (Wilmington) recently collected over 600 books for Wrightsboro Elementary School, for the “Give 5 – Read 5” summer program. Wrightsboro UMC is the only organization that does this for the school, so the donation of books was both much needed and greatly appreciated. Wrighsboro UMC hosted their second annual Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for the entire staff of Wrightsboro Elementary. They served about 75 educators and support staff a wonderful meal of lasagna, fruit, salad, rolls, and homemade cheesecake.
In the fall of 2016 Wrightsville UMC (WUMC) embraced C4C and launched a partnership with Snipes Academy, a K-5 grade school in Wilmington made up predominately of children from low income families. WUMC has had a strong congregational response to this effort and has been able to raise significant funds for Snipes as well as provide volunteers, supplies and teacher support on an on-going basis. Over the last year WUMC has collected hundreds of new or gently worn coats and shoes for students along with school uniforms and donated them to the school. WUMC members serve in the classrooms as well as for special school events such as book fairs, Carnival Day and the end of school Fun Day. WUMC church members have also supported teachers with an appreciation breakfast; an end of year gift card lottery and most recently a “welcome back” bag filled with a variety of classroom supplies for each teacher. WUMC’s VBS kids even participated by collecting 1500 composition books which will provide three for each student at the start of the upcoming school year. The new year for Snipes began with an Open House on Monday, July 18. WUMC was there with volunteers, as well as their new associate pastor, to help provide and serve ice cream sundaes to students and their parents. WUMC has done a whole lot to develop this C4C partnership in a relatively short period of time (less than a year).
In the summer of 2017, for the fourth year in a row, Seaside United Methodist Church hosted a six-week literacy and enrichment camp for about 25 rising 2nd and 3rd grade children from Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School. The program is called STARS (Seaside Teaching and Reaching Students) and it functions in collaboration with the Brunswick County Department of Elementary Education. It includes three areas of focus: literacy instruction, enrichment activities, and parent workshops. It is holistic outreach for relationship and empowerment. The STARS are shining brightly in their community at Seaside UMC!
If you have a C4C success story to share please submit it to your District Coordinator.