Our Stories

Looking for a Ray of Hope in This Seemingly Senseless World?

By Bill Nace, WPC Member

My father used to tell me about “how things were going to pot” and the young people were “useless in doing anything about it.” On some occasions these days, I must admit that I find myself sounding more and more like my father! However, this changed for me two years ago when I met Vanessa Church (director of Camp Promise), Jonathan (an UrbanPromise intern from Florida), and Steven (a 16-year-old UrbanPromise Street Leader from Wilmington) at Westminster during UrbanPromise’s Camp Promise in our Community Hall and Classroom 6. By becoming an academic mentor at Camp Promise, I also met Carlos, a fourth grader who, along with other siblings, lives with his grandmother. We worked on his reading skills, and he greatly improved in math. Recently he was selected to go on an UrbanPromise five-day trip to Boston and was promoted to fifth grade with improving marks. This is all good but only part of the story!

Observing Vanessa and her crew go through their daily routine of quiet and steady discipline, reading Bible stories about Jesus, assuring the kids that God loves all His children, and providing a SAFE, quiet, and supportive place to do homework became MY much-needed weekly fix of hope and encouragement. These young people are helping me avoid becoming a skeptical old guy...who sees the glass half-empty most of the time. For me, these folks are gifts from God and echoes of His love and hope for a better world.

To learn more about what UrbanPromise does for children and teenagers from the lower rungs of Wilmington’s socioeconomic ladder, visit www.urbanpromise.org.

Then, call the UrbanPromise office (302-425-5502) to volunteer to tutor a child (any age you wish) for two hours a week and show up with a smile on your face, ready to go, when school starts in the fall. You’ll be so very glad you did!

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