Butterfly Park

Butterfly Park

Written by Dr. Bill McElwee | Board Member


When I look out my study window at home I see green grass, trees, flowers, lovely suburban back yards, and I can hear the shouts of children at the nearby school my grandchildren attend, surrounded by pleasant back yards. We have a robin raising young in our holly tree. Lovely!

When I look out my office window on South Broadway I see what some have called “the mean streets.” There is a school nearby here too. Children shout and play at Fellowship House in our programs, but they live in unpleasant (some might say squalid) surroundings. There is not much greenery here.

We do have a large grassy lot behind our building, but it wasn’t much to look at until Alice, one of our Board Members made a holy cause out of transforming it into a park. It took her three years and a wonderful combination of groups and individuals attracted by her determination and charisma, but the result is Butterfly Park as you see it depicted here on the day of its dedication.

Donated trees were planted around the periphery and donated playground equipment was erected by volunteers. The Mayor, the Police Chief, staff, board members, supporters of all kinds, and the surrounding community mingled with happy children as the ribbon on the play set was cut. A memorial was dedicated to a young woman recently victimized by gang violence, and the peace of God which passes all understanding was for a brief moment realized in this place.

You probably don’t know Alice, or if you do you have already been invited to do your part in supporting Fellowship House. This story and these pictures are a plea to contribute in support of the work done here to give the children of South Camden a glimpse of what life can be like when people offer themselves as instruments of God’s love.

Spring is a time of hope and joy for most, but for ministries like ours, it is a time when funding pressures increase as people’s thoughts turn to trips and vacations with the closing of school. We have had 50 kids in our After-School Program all year, and now we are planning summer programs for them. Our addictions, food, clothing, worship and bible study ministries need on going support.

Please celebrate the opening of Butterfly Park with a donation to Fellowship House. We really do need your support at this time of year.