FLAG Camp partners with Eastern Shore’s Needs Children
The Salisbury-Cambridge Initiative
This has been part of the mission for my churches for some years now. Each church strives to be a resource to the community. In Salisbury, Beacon partnered with three other churches to build a community garden in an empty lot near the church and next to some apartments and a park.
The purpose for the garden was primarily to build relationships with the nearby residents and children the frequent the park. Of course, it also provides food to anyone that wants to pick what is grown there. We knew that there would be vandalism and damages to the garden, but even those occurrences were opportunities to build relationships.
This summer, the churches partnered to feed some of the children at the park who attend one of the poorest schools in the county. On average, we are feeding about 70 kids a week. It has worked so well that the city has asked that we help build other gardens across Salisbury. Our presence at the garden was not what I wanted this year, and I see great room for improvement, but I am determined that we go out to reach the community rather than hope they come to us.
In Cambridge, we partnered with the Care and Share Foundation, a local charity, and the Faith Adventist Church. Last year, the Care and Share Foundation asked our help to do an outing for underprivileged kids in town. They provided $1000 for tickets to a minor league baseball game and we provided transportation. We took about 20 kids and fed them as well. It was a good evening, but I felt we could do better for the money.
This year I went before the foundation’s board and asked that they give FLAG Camp $1000 and that my church would match it. They gave us the funds plus $500 to provide lunch for the kids. I asked Carl to take $2000, twice what we usually pay for FLAG Camp for our church kids, and allow however many kids showed up to participate.
Because our church building is outside the city, we asked Faith Adventist Church to host registration and daily worship. We ended up with 35 kids from the community and the most successful FLAG Camp ever. Pastor Puia was there daily to make connections with those kids and follow up with them. I look forward to his report at the end of camp on the Eastern Shore.