Please read our story and donate as you are lead. Thank for your support in bring hope to our children.
The UMC Youth and Children's Center serves youth throughout Franklin County, Florida, especially those of Eastpoint and Carrabelle.
The mission of the UMC Youth and Children's Center is: Empowering children to experience transforming love through teaching and relationships in a community of persons committed by faith to minister to the holistic growth of every child and their family.
Our goal is to provide the youth of Franklin County first those of Eastpoint and Carrabelle then youth throughout the county. In the aftermath of the Eastpoint, Limerock Fire, and the hurricane, we received an outpouring of generosity in the way of food and clothing. The community need for emergency supplies was satisfied 10 fold, now our children need long term care and nurturing. We want to nurture their minds and soul so that they can become resilient in the future and know the feeling of long term peace and security.
We are located in an area of the Panhandle of Florida, know as the "Forgotten Coast". It is called that for many reasons, our laid back environment with none of the distractions of the developed beaches of Panama City and Destin, and the lack of touristy attractions found in more populated areas to name a couple. This peaceful beauty comes at a price, we are 60 miles from the nearest Walmart. Our children have no movie theatre, no bowling alley or skating rink. Because of this we want to be able to provide healthy and safe activities for our young people.
While we are open to all children in the area, many of our children have loved ones that have fallen victims of drug use, poverty, a wildfire that destroyed over 30 homes, effecting approximately 100 children, in our community, and hurricane devastation throughout the county. So many of our children function in survival mode 24/7. Many of our parents work extended hours or two jobs in order to make ends meet, making most of children latchkey kids. We want to reach these children through ministering and mentoring by providing them with a safe and healthy place to come to learn, play, and fellowship.
Ten years of research provides evidence of the positive impact of afterschool, and out of school programs on students’ development and academic performance, as well reducing risky behavior.
Studies show that the hours between 3:00 and 6:00pm students are more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol use and, juvenile crime. In addition to a positive impact on risky behaviors, research provides data that shows improvement in academic achievement, social and emotional development as will health and wellness addressing childhood obesity.
We currently have a 21st CCLC grant to only fund our afterschool program. This program is a reimbursement grant, which mean that we need to spend money before we can get funds. As part of the financial risk assessment, DOE looks at our ability to not only run the program but sustain the program after the 5-year grant period. This GoFundMe campaign is to raise not only funds for the grant program but to extend the Youth and Children’s Center’s out reach to other hours and to include Christian and Biblical out reach. The grant serves Pk-8 grade, for academic and some enrichment activities such as Health and Fitness, Art, and Technology. It does not however cover non-academic fieldtrips such as entertainment, plays, bowling, and skating, that we would like to do with the children. These are activities that most children take for granted, but due to our location activities that our children rarely, if at, all get to experience. Long term we hope to take our children to out of state museums, places of interest, such Providence Canyon, Westville.
After school programing is only a small portion of out-reach goals. We want to use our programs and a ministry to show the youth of our community the love, caring, security, and hope that can be found in following the Lord and Biblical teaching. We would, also, like to offer programs and services to our parents in the way of education, and financial planning.
Your support will mean that we can supply students with opportunities and ministering by expanding the program to include nightly youth services, other missions, Scouts, field trips, outings, Good News Clubs, weekend and evening programs from the youth. It will also assist in sustaining our afterschool program grant.