Inside This Edition
Fellowship House is Still Caring for Camden's Children
Read a letter from Program Director Lisa McKinney that explains the challenges we have face the past few months, but with your continued support we are moving forward!
Read how our after-school program made a difference in the children eyes.
A letter of appreciation from a parent in our Parent’s Program.
Dear Loyal Fellowship House Supporters,
We are so grateful for your on-going, faithful support and prayers for our staff and children.
As you may know, Fellowship House has recently experienced several unexpected changes. This summer, we were informed that the Department of Children and Families required us to apply for and obtain a state facility license in order to continue our much needed work here in South Camden. The state advised us that during the application process we could continue to serve our children, but had to temporarily limit our program from three to two hours a day, 3 to 5pm, and could only offer one type of activity during that time period. We chose to emphasize homework completion and have been continuing our Christian education and service in this format. We decided to limit our programs in accordance with state law during the application process so that we could keep our doors open and continue serving our children and families. This is a temporary limitation only and we will resume our long-time, regular daily program as soon as we obtain the facility license, which we anticipate will happen in the next several months.
As a means of supplementing our revenue, we have been renting office space to a social service agency. This agency offered to provide its program to our children from the 5pm to 6pm hour for those families that were interested in having their children stay at Fellowship House until 6pm and in September and October we gave families the option of having their children participate in this outside program. However, due to our concerns that this program does not fit the mission of Fellowship House, we determined it should no longer be offered as an option to our children and it has since been discontinued.
In mid-October, our newly-hired Executive Director notified us that she was resigning in order to pursue another opportunity. Joana McDonnell, one of the co-chairs of our Board of Trustees, volunteered to serve as our Interim Executive Director. She, along with myself, our staff and our Board of Trustees, is working hard to continue the licensing process and maintain our program and focus. Despite the many challenges we have faced these past few months, we are committed and determined to keep the doors of Fellowship House open so that we can continue to serve the children and families of South Camden.
As you might imagine, Fellowship House has incurred a number of significant, unexpected expenses as part of the facility license process and this has placed a strain on our already tight budget. The decision to postpone our annual fund-raising breakfast in October, made in light of the Executive Director's notice that she was leaving to accept another position, has further strained our budget as the funds raised through the breakfast are one of our most significant sources of annual revenue.
While this has been a challenging season for Fellowship House, there is also news to celebrate. We have been able to move forward through each step of the facility licensing process, which has not only brought us closer to completing the application process, but has also assured us that we are providing a safe place for our precious children.
We also celebrate that, despite these challenges and unexpected changes, one thing has remained constant -- we at Fellowship House know and continue to believe that God loves and cares about the children and families of South Camden and wants them to come to know Him. The staff, our committed volunteers and I are still able to be the hands and feet of Christ every single day—loving on the kids, praying with the kids, talking to them about Jesus. That has not changed, the need for our program has not changed, and God's love for our children has not changed!
Please know these children still need us and still need you. Please consider giving to Fellowship House at this time and know that your money, time and prayer is most needed right now so that we can continue to bring and share God’s Love with the children and families of South Camden.
In Their Words
By Lisa McKinney, Program Director
This After School Program Year at Fellowship House definitely ended on a high note! On the last day everyone enjoyed a delicious barbecue, Mr.Softie ice cream (what could be better), and we spent time thanking each of our amazing volunteers. It was a successful year- a year that children grew academically, grew as young leaders, and grew in God. 100% of the children said they love coming to Fellowship House and want to return. Why do they want to return? Well, in the words of the children…
“I loved coming here because people are kind to each other.”
“…people help you with any of your problems.”
“…people in charge care for you.”
“…they help us get to the next level where we need to be at.”
“No reason to be scared, they protect us here, and don’t let anyone hurt us.”
By Shannon Johnson, Parent
Dear Fellowship House,
I appreciate everything you guys have done for me and my family. I think back on all the times Mrs Doreenasked or texted me about attending a parent meet, and I thought to myself like I can't attend with my schedule. I am a single mother and I work two jobs so it's not possible. So last year I received the message like always and it was laid on my spirit to come and experience what parent meet was all about. After the first meeting I attended I never missed another one, it touched me and I made good connections and I watched Mrs Doreen eager to help these families anyway possible and not looking for nothing in return that's a gift and a purpose and she's walking in hers. It's great feeling knowing somebody cares still. This organization has help me by connecting me to someone that connected to job that I'm able to give back as well. They have poured in my family and even though my daughter has graduated out of Camp Peace I will not be going anywhere. I truly thank everyone that has played a part in this organizationbecause it has help me through a lot and I wish It was more I could do but I will pour into others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Summer should be two things for children: fun and enriching. And that’s exactly what the Fellowship House 2017 Summer Program was! Over 60 children came to enjoy sports, art, Bible, Science, trips, good meals, and so much more! Children attended because they want a safe place to have fun, but what many of them don’t realize is that they are also learning every day- learning about God, learning about the arts and sciences, learning about teamwork and character through the sports, learning how to read, and learning new skills. The children undoubtedly enjoyed their summer, but they will also are ready and confident going in to the new school year!
See more Summer Camp pictures at: www.facebook.com/fellowshiphousecamden