Congregations For Children
posted on September 20
"I don't have a mother!" exclaimed one of the girls in Linda Dill’s third grade reading group. "She moved to Raleigh and we don't think she's alive," she continued.
A second girl followed up, “I don’t have a mom, either. She moved away.”
Linda Dills is a Reading Buddy through Congregations For Children (C4C) and there were four girls in her third grade group. After reading a story about an animal that did something special for her mother, she presented an opportunity for the group to write about doing something for their mothers. What an eye-opening experience to learn that drugs and poverty had taken away the mothers of two of the four girls that now lived with their grandmothers.
Smoky Mountain District DS Rev. Linda Kelly has prayerfully invited churches (clergy and laity) to lean into the important work that C4C does - which is to impact the lives of children and families in poverty.
Linda Dills, in her advocacy, teaches that having a person (or community) who really cares and gives of themselves is the most critical aspect of changing the lives of children and families in poverty. 83% of the UMC churches in the NC Conference are involved in some way. Yet, there are churches that want to make a more tangible and measurable impact on their community, but lack direction and connection or don’t have a focused plan.
Here are the four focus areas with examples of ways you can serve:
Poverty Advocacy: workshops are available. Contact Susan Pennock at firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic Needs: food boxes for holiday school breaks, "adopting" a child to provide shoes, clothing, school supplies, etc.
K-3 Literacy: reading buddies in classrooms, providing books for children to take home.
Family Engagement: after school activities in churches - tutoring, devotional, music, special interest activities.
How can your church get involved?
Contact the person in your area that works for C4C. Your area coordinator will help you develop a structured plan that’s unique to your context. The area contacts are listed below.
Cherokee County: Marji Hill, email@example.com
Graham County: Beverly Parker-Reece, firstname.lastname@example.org
Haywood County: Nicole Jones, email@example.com
Southern Jackson County: Laura Plush, firstname.lastname@example.org
Swain County: Linda Dills, email@example.com
Let’s get involved!