Summer sports camp in Weinland Park draws 131 kids

Worthington Christian Church and Tree of Life Christian Schools. In addition, nearly 25 percent of our volunteer coaches for the week were neighborhood residents we’ve built What do you get when you put 131 kids, relationships with through our association 43 adult volunteers, basketballs, soccer balls, with and leadership in the Weinland Park pom poms, a hip-hop soundtrack and 90- youth football program. What this meant, of course, was that not degree July weather together? Lots of fun. Urban Impact hosted its first-ever Mega only did our campers get to hear about the Sports Camp this summer in Weinland Park, greatest comeback ever—Jesus’ death and from Tuesday, July 12, through Friday, July resurrection—but many of our volunteer coaches got to hear the 15, with a wrap-up party good news as well. and event for parents See Mega Sports Camp in action Of the 131 campers who and families on Enjoy video highlights of this year’s camp participated in Mega Saturday the 16th. at youtube.com/urbanimpactcolumbus. Sports Camp, 64 opted to The event was Click the video, “Mega Sports Camp 2011.” play basketball, 40 underwritten by a participated in $5,000 donation from cheerleading and 24 one of our supporters, whose generosity not only covered the cost of played soccer. Among the week’s highlights for camp necessities—an outdoor sound system, many of the kids: a hip-hop performance by sports equipment and more—but also allowed neighborhood football coach JuanRhymz that us to treat every camper to a daily free lunch, got all the kids dancing and a Q & A session and dunking demonstration with scholarship a camp T-shirt and pom-poms or a ball. The camp’s theme was “The Great basketball player Bryan Redic of Cedarville Comeback” and in addition to its focus on University, who is double-majoring in teaching kids the fundamentals of soccer, computer science and engineering and talked basketball and cheerleading, we also were to the kids not only about the values of blessed with the opportunity to share the good working hard and doing your best, but also the importance of putting education first. news of God’s love with “our kids.” Two months later, Mega Sports Camp As a 501(c)3 whose DNA includes its Christian distinctive, Urban Impact partnered still has the neighborhood buzzing, with many closely with its founding church, The Garden saying it’s one of the best things to happen for Church, as well as other partner churches and kids in Weinland Park in years. Meanwhile, we’re already planning our organizations, including Choice Baptist of Fredericksburg, Va., Veritas Columbus, own Great Comeback for next year.

Campers get five days of instruction, camp T-shirt, ball and daily lunch——free

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Vol. 1, Issue 1 • Sept. 2011

Top: Bryan Redic, a redshirt freshman at Cedarville University, dunks during a demo for campers. Redic talked to campers about good grades and staying in school, too. Bottom: Holly Lawrence and Jasmine Handy, camp co-directors, discuss strategy during a brief break at camp.

”Change begins with U and I”

Urban Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, located in Columbus’ Weinland Park neighborhood and focused on community development. Our work is focused primarily on three fronts: the acquisition and management of affordable housing; the promotion of a safer neighborhood through relationship- and community-building activities; and the development of programs designed to promote educational opportunities and workforce development for Weinland Park residents. As a member of the Christian Community Development Association, Urban Impact subscribes to the eight principles of the CCDA and partners closely with The Garden Church and Better Way Ministries to to meet the needs of the marginalized and neglected in our society. Scripture calls them “the least of these.” We call them friends.
Urban Impact • PO BOX 30747, Columbus, OH 43230 • www.urbanimpactcolumbus.org • 614.344.1222 Editor: Brett Lawrence • Design: Brett Lawrence • Photography: Brett Lawrence, Cameron Lawrence

By the numbers

131
Participants in Mega Sports Camp, held from July 12 to 16 in Weinland Park. The camp was directed, hosted and paid for by Urban Impact.
Clockwise, from left: a) Students at Weinland Park Elementary perform in “The Lion King.” Urban Impact partnered with The Better Way at the end of the school year to sponsor, prepare and serve the school’s annual “Dinner Theatre”; b) Si Si, 18 months, has, “Who? Me?” written all over that face; c) Bryce Lawrence, 10 years old, carries TreShon around the neighborhood on piggyback during our “Christmas in August” school-supply giveaway.

43
Volunteers who helped at sports camp, including 10 neighborhood residents from the Weinland Park football and cheerleading program.

Impact Briefs
School year ends, kicks off with Urban Impact’s help
einland Park Elementary School wrapped up last school year and kicked off the 2011-2012 edition in style, thanks to Urban Impact, its donors and volunteers. Weinland Park students presented “The Lion King” in late May, in a series of performances by the K-5th-graders. But as a result of budget cuts, the annual “Dinner Theatre” was in jeopardy this year. Urban Impact, in partnership with our sister nonprofit The Better Way, stepped up and not only provided the meals, but hosted and served the dinner to the parents, staff and faculty in attendance. Then, on Aug. 25, Urban Impact and The Better Way collaborated again for “Christmas in August,” a backpack and school-supply giveaway for neighborhood school students, from kindergarten through high school. Collectively, we distributed more than 320 backpacks, filled with pencils, pens, glue sticks, steno notebooks, loose-leaf paper, 3-ring binders and more. The materials were personally delivered in the neighborhood by an Urban Impact volunteer team and in conjunction with a “Family Night” at Weinland Park Elementary School.

Thank you for continuing to give—your time and money—to support our dear friends in Columbus’ Weinland Park.

W

Team provides love, support to kids who witness shooting
An Urban Impact team, led by Brett and Holly Lawrence, was invited to Weinland Park Elementary School Tuesday, Aug. 2, to provide counseling and encouragement to a group of more than 15 students who witnessed a shootout between police and an armed suspect that resulted in the suspect’s death. The shooting took place around 7 p.m., across the street from the neighborhood park and elementary school, while the football and cheerleading teams were practicing. In addition to the elementary students who saw the shooting, a number of teens and adults that we work with were witness to the violence as well. Many of those with whom we work ran for cover, hit the ground or simply froze in fear as roughly 20 bullets were unloaded less than 50 feet away from the basketball courts, where our cheerleaders were working on their routines. We’re incredibly grateful for our friends’ protection and that we could offer help when so many of those we care about needed it most.

700
Hot dogs served at the Weinland Park Elementary School Back-to-School bash on July 27. Urban Impact partnered with Christian Community Church North to host an after-school carnival that featured a free meal and lots of games for neighborhood families and kids.

320
Backpacks—filled with school supplies—that Urban Impact distributed to Weinland Park children and teens on Aug. 25. All of the backpacks and supplies were provided by donors and supporters.

A few words from the Lawrence’s
It’s been a whirlwind tour for us since taking over the reins of Urban Impact early this year. So much good work has been done already, yet we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Thank you so much for the support you’ve provided thus far—your prayers and your financial support have been incredibly encouraging. Less than six weeks after our first support letter was distributed, we’ve already raised 10 percent of the monthly support we need to meet our family’s needs. And we’ve received so many one-time gifts from friends all around the country. If you’d like to support us financially— your gifts are tax-deductible, of course— we’ve included a response card and return envelope for your convenience. Send your gifts, payable to Urban Impact, to PO BOX 30747, Columbus, OH 43230. Thanks in advance for partnering with us.

Making an Impact: How to pray
For the success of “Fall Back for Fun,” a Halloween alternative event scheduled for Oct. 27 at Weinland Park Elementary.

F o r t h e We i n l a n d P a r k Yo u t h Association. Initially, WPYA, which Brett will be running, will focus on youth sports, including the start-up of a youth basketball league this winter. Please pray for volunteers, coaches and funding. For an even better year for Weinland Park Elementary School, its students, faculty and staff in 2011-2012. That God would make himself real to the people we meet, touch and “love on” every day in Weinland Park. Ultimately, this is why we do what we do.

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