Hallsboro UMC is a beautiful church on the outskirts of Whiteville with around 55 in attendance on Sunday morning. In 2013 the church began a partnership with nearby Hallsboro-Artesia Elementary (98% free/reduced lunch). The weekend food backpack program and tutoring that they are involved with at the school has been a true blessing. The congregation routinely prepares around 35 back pack bags after worship service and this generates participation from a large part of the congregation. The pastor and some members of the church also serve as tutors at the school and will soon help the school launch a Watch DOGS program to help encourage father involvement in the school. Hallsboro UMC is serving as the hands and feet of Christ through C4C.
Since 2012, St. Paul’s has been partnering with Carolina Beach Elementary School to provide volunteers and resources, including books, clothing, and assistance for families referred by the school’s guidance counselor. In December of 2014, we provided a new book for every child in the school as part of the Book on Every Bed program. In the most recent school year, at the suggestion of the librarian, we shifted the focus to the “Give Five – Read Five” initiative. We provided either books or money to purchase 5 books for every child in the school to take home over the summer to help students retain their reading levels.
Beginning in 2013, St. Paul’s began to partner with Murray Middle School, since middle schools are often overlooked. We have provided volunteers and tutors, along with school supplies and an annual coat collection. In 2014, we launched the Watch DOGS program at the school, aiming to get more fathers and father figures involved. The principal said that he hoped for 4 or 5 volunteers. The first year, we had over 60. In its second year, Watch DOGS had over 110 men participating!
In 2016 St. Paul’s served as the host site for the Food for Kids summer meal program. The school nutrition office provided the meals each week on Monday through Thursday, and St. Paul’s hosted and provided fun and learning for the kids. We even used the church van to pick up kids and parents at a local campground and a mobile home park.
Harbor UMC in Wilmington is engaged in a C4C partnership with Mary C. Williams Elementary School in Wilmington. This school has over 69% of families for whom English is a second language and parental involvement is very low. Harbor UMC provides 30 hours of classroom tutoring each week. Many of the church’s tutors serve as field trip volunteers and do bulletin boards and other things to assist teachers, as well. Harbor volunteers have also helped staff the school’s Scholastic Book Fairs. Harbor UMC has an ongoing book drive so that at the end of the school year each child gets to select several books to take home over the summer. The church focuses their Christmas Giving Tree on students from the school. The social workers select 60-75 students who are then provided a new uniform, a toy and a new pair of shoes from Harbor’s congregation. Harbor hosts a pizza party for the families at the church when they go to pick up the gifts. The parents receive the gifts while the children are playing games and making Christmas crafts. Through some amazing retail connections, the church is also able to maintain a huge uniform closet for the school so that every child has access to pieces they need. Harbor UMC also regularly shows its appreciation for the teachers and staff. Invitations are extended to the families for any event that the church hosts involving children.