That's a great question, but first...what is a charity? The word charity originated in the earliest historical form to mean "Christian love of one's fellows". In the older versions of the Bible, you'll see charity used for the word love. More specifically, the God kind of love. The God kind of love is unconditional, unending, unfailing, and always full of grace and mercy. As a faith based organization, it's our highest aim to extend and express the God kind of love to the precious people we serve. When people get a glimpse of how much God loves them - not based on their behavior, mistakes and failures - they have a renewed sense of value and worth in His eyes. That changes everything. So, are we a charity that extends "Christian love to one's fellows"? Yes.
Over time, the meaning of charity has shifted to "providing for those in need; generosity and giving." At the Dream Center, providing the basic necessities for families struggling to make ends meet is where we begin. When people don't have the means to provide for themselves or their families, there is a loss of purpose and dignity. This creates a vicious cycle of poverty—economically, spiritually, and emotionally. We believe this cycle of poverty can be broken over people’s lives. Where families are restored and children grow up with hope and a future. Where communities and entire cities are renewed because purpose and dignity have been restored. So, are we a charity that "provides for those in need"? Yes again! Are we a charity? Big YES!
Pajamas, Cereal, Hats, Gloves, Fruit Snacks!
What are our kids learning in school? To love their neighbor! We are overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion poured out from several of our local schools. The "Bucket Fillers Club" from the Grace Downing Elementary School and the Bingham Elementary School in Runnemede collected eight very large bags of winter accessories [top left]. "A bucket filler is someone who says or does nice things for other people. By doing this, they are filling other people's buckets and filling their own bucket at the same time" says campaign coordinator, Ms. Madison Pinto. The West Deptford Middle School hosted a "Pajamas for Hunger" event and collected a whopping 556 boxes of cereal [middle left]! What an amazing show of support from parents and students. And finally, who doesn't like Welch's Fruit Snacks? Principal Carla Bitner of the National Park Elementary School was overjoyed to receive nearly 1000 snacks donated to us by a Welch's manufacturer in Somerset, NJ [bottom left].