A long standing tradition at FCC is our annual Summer Fun Camp, serving local children aged 6-12, whose families recently experienced or are currently experiencing houselessness and/or domestic violence. This is one of the most transformational ministries that we offer, and so we have been grieving the loss of Summer Fun Camp this summer due to public health conditions and the closure of Camp Adams.
But wait…in steps our Justice & Witness Committee! J & W was able to quickly pivot and send vital resources and funding over to our partners at St. Vincent de Paul’s First Place Family Center. Thanks to your generosity as a congregation, and the fantastic staff at First Place, we were able to provide an alternative this summer to give families with children a very important respite. We collaborated with Michael Yoshioka, Justin Baker, Ilana Jakubowski, Hope Birrell, and all of the staff at First Place to put together several fun daytime events for these families.
Our youth and young adults also stepped up to the plate, and helped us envision what could be accomplished. Many thanks go out to the entire Justice & Witness Committee! We also want to give a special shout out to those who were closely involved in the discernment process, as well as implementation: Chris Cunningham, Babs Sullivan, Val Close, Molly Maguire, Annika Lindberg, Jessie Tarter, Pete Peterson, Layne Brown, Jim Brown…and many more individuals…it takes a village! Thanks to all of you, and the amazing crew at First Place, Family Fun Days have been a huge success.
Here is what Ilana Jakubowski, Program Director, had to say:
“I just wanted to follow up with you to let you know that the first Family Fun Day was a resounding success! Despite the 100 degree weather, families showed up and had a very good time! It was a delight to bring a moment of levity and joy to families who are experiencing homelessness during these challenging times; deep gratitude to you and your congregation!”
We have now held 2 fun days, one at First Place and one at the Annex on Amazon. Both were well received and very professionally run, safe events. I was able to attend both events and was very pleased to see the families we normally serve at Summer Fun Camp all having a fun time together here in Eugene! This was especially meaningful as pandemic times are considerably challenging for the families served at First Place. Thank you to all for your care and generosity. You are making a difference and having a positive impact on our community. What a blessing that we are still finding ways to continue such meaningful ministries. Praise be to God!