Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mission: Your Wardrobe and Allendale, SC

Confused by the title? Let me explain.

I will be donating 50% of my earnings in May to The Espinosa Family who are a huge part in this ministry through my awesome church, Grace Church. Also, Allison of Allie B Originals will be donating 50% of her sales May 1-7. Don't miss out on this opportunity to update your wardrobe and get yourself some new baubles all while helping out the folks who are serving in Allendale, SC! Also, this would be the prime time to get a Kelley Smith Style or Allie B Originals gift certificate for your mom or wife for Mother's Day!

Here's a little more about the ministry and you can also keep up with the day-to-day happenings here:

Seeking to extend its influence regionally, Grace began examining Allendale County, a small rural county in South Carolina close to the Upstate where significant needs exist. We challenge members of Grace to engage in their communities, the city and the world with both words and actions. For 16 years in the Greenville area and since 2002 in Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Bahamas, Grace Members have been impacting lives connecting good deeds with the good news of Jesus Christ. Allendale County is in the midlands of South Carolina where:

  • 40% of the population lives below the poverty line;
  • 70% of households do not include a married couple;
  • 90% of children are eligible for free lunch;
  • Zero students qualified for LIFE Scholarships to four year institutions;
  • 32% of children are born to mothers with less than a high school education; and
  • 22% of workers are unemployed.

During 2009, we began talking with local pastors, business leaders, school representatives, and long time residents to get an understanding of the difficulties and challenges of living in Allendale County. Generational poverty is evident based on the educational system, job opportunities, housing conditions, and lack of hope heard in resident’s voices.

We slowly began to make connections in anticipation of creating long term serving opportunities in Allendale. Beginning in 2009, we provided school supplies to all first graders at Allendale Elementary School and Fairfax Elementary School. As an extension of our Adopt-A-Child program, we have sent more than 100 students and chaperones to Charleston and Columbia during the Christmas season visiting aquariums, museums, college campuses, have dinner at local restaurants, and attend Christmas plays. Few of these children had ever been to Charleston or Columbia. These day long cultural trips allowed these children an opportunity to see first hand life outside their community, create hope for a different future, and help break a cycle of generational poverty.

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