Chapel Hill UMC in Farmers Branch www.chapelhillumc.org
A very special thank you to all the volunteers from CUMC that helped serve others by reading with the children at the Project Transformation summer camp at Chapel Hill UMC. The church, the children, and the interns are thankful for your time and dedication to this meaningful educational program.
Project Transformation (PT) is a nonprofit, Christian organization that provides ministry exploration and leadership development opportunities to college-aged young adults and community-oriented programs for children and youth living in low-income neighborhoods of North Texas.
CUMC is involved in the summer program. The summer program is an outreach program that provides inner-city youth with a fun, learning camp experience in a safe, inner-city church environment for a $5.00 enrollment fee. It pairs these kids with over one hundred energetic college-aged interns from all over the US who lead the summer programs. The camps are held at the partner churches where visibility is increased and church membership may increase. Each church has about 90 kids attend every day.
The goals of the summer program at Project Transformation are to:
- Provide leadership training and career exploration internships for young adults
- Help urban churches by creating partnerships and increasing visibility
- Give low-income children and youth an academic, yet fun, camp experience
Interesting fact: CUMC has partnered with Project Transformation for several years.
Time Frame: Summer – the congregation and summer interns get involved
Location: Partner churches in and around our community in urban locations
CUMC Partner church: Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch
Volunteer Criteria: Open to Youth 7th grade and higher and all adults
Approximately 1500 volunteers served a total of over 10K hours this summer and 97% of the children in our reading program either improved or sustained their reading skills over their summer break.
For more information or if you are interested in the history of Project Transformation, please visit www.projecttransformation.org.
Opportunities in the summer:
- Read with camp kids – summertime, from 9:30-12:00, you will read one-on-one to help these kids to improve their reading skills. Carpool with a friend.
- Have a fun lunch or dinner with the interns that are staying at SMU while in service throughout DFW – just bring a meal to them and hang out for a while too. Dates are available throughout the summer.
- Coordinate a Family Night at our site church (Chapel Hill UMC) that celebrates with the camp kids and their families. This mainly entails bringing the dinner for the camp kids and their families.
- Help communicate this program to our congregation. Write articles, take pictures, spread the word, etc.
For more information on this program or to help “Serve Others” in other ways, please contact Missy Wilkinson, Director of Missions and Outreach.
You can read some of the stories from Project Transformation interns and volunteers below.
My name is Blake Danner and I’ve been going to CUMC most of my life, going through UMYF and on my way to getting heavily involved at the Wesley Foundation at SMU. After the summer, I will be one of the interns at the Louisiana Tech Wesley Foundation for the 2011-12 year and I am actively pursuing going to seminary afterward. I’ve been involved with Project Transformation for 3 years.
My name is Jillian Magbee. I am at the University of Oklahoma (OU) and a Business major. I have grown up in the CUMC church for as long as I can remember. I got involved in youth group and choir in the 6th grade and have formed some of the best friendships I have. I graduated from Plano East Senior High School in 2010. I was so excited to begin my summer internship with Project Transformation. I have known a few other students to go through the program and they have told me such great things about it. I feel so blessed to be able to spend my summer affecting children’s lives by spreading God’s love.
Making a difference in a child’s life in many ways!Project Transformation is a life changing event for those who are involved. Firstly, the greatest impact is on the elementary children from the underserved inner-city areas in North Texas. This year, there were ninety children participating in the program. Secondly, there are the college interns from all over the US who work with these children in the areas of reading, bible study, crafts, visual arts and physical activity. Also, there are the volunteers who spend two hours one-on-one helping the kids with their reading. The connection you make with the child as a volunteer is incredible and gives you more satisfaction than the help that you give the child.Wednesday night of the week of orientation for the interns, various Crew Chiefs from HOTC served a barbeque dinner for the 115 interns at the intern’s residence on the SMU campus. Needless to say, they were very appreciative of the good dinner and sweet iced tea. This dinner was supported in part by contributions from several adult Sunday School classes.
Lastly, the PACE class sponsored Family Fun Night at Oak Cliff UMC for about 120 participants and their families. Each child in the program is encouraged to bring their parents and siblings to the Family Fun Night. Each night had its own theme and last year the theme was Carnival. There were three clowns, a game room with prizes, a craft room with various craft options and face painting. Several of the interns did the face painting and they were kept busy. To carry out the Carnival theme, CUMC served popcorn and cotton candy which went far to ruin the kids’ appetites for dinner. After an hour of fun and games, a hot dog, potato salad, cole slaw, chips and drink were served by the PACE class to the joy of everyone.
This is a great mission supported by CUMC and the North Texas Conference and one that really delivers value to those it serves and those who serve. Next year, you are encouraged to take a couple of hours out of your day to make a difference in the lives of these children and help break their cycle of poverty. When you make a difference in a child’s life…you make a difference in your own.
This article was submitted by Donna and Tom Pritchard, long-term active members, volunteers, and leaders of CUMC and PACE Sunday school class.