For many Epworth Children’s Home residents, life is an uphill battle. Due to harmful or dangerous home conditions, most children at Epworth were removed from their homes, leaving them with feelings of worthlessness and abandonment.
Salkehatchie Summer Service, a summer camp and call to service, is a life-changing experience for the youth who attend, the leaders who shepherd them, and the families they serve. In its 40thyear this summer, the Salkehatchie mission is 46 camps across South Carolina and 2000+ campers, including Epworth residents, doing good work for people who have fallen through the cracks – just as Epworth residents often feel they have fallen.
People who don’t make enough money to repair devastating damage, but don’t qualify for government assistance, that’s whom Salkehatchie serves, Meg Cook with Epworth Children’s Home told us. “Many of our Epworth kids think they have been thrown away, that they have nothing to offer and that no one cares about them. Working at Salkehatchie empowers them because in the face of poverty and need the kids see that they have something to offer.”
Having served with Salkehatchie through twelve camps over seven summers, Meg says the experience is transformative every time. Because of the youth who participate, the projects they choose, and the results they achieve, Salkehatchie is as impactful now as when she first participated.
The Trenholm Road United Methodist Church Foundation sponsors Salkehatchie Summer Service for Epworth Children’s Home by providing funds to enable students and their leaders to participate. In 2018, TRUMC Foundation helped send seven students 14 years of age and older. Salkehatchie, a South Carolina ministry rooted in the United Methodist Church, celebrates 40 years of service this year. TRUMC Foundation has supported the Epworth experience for several years making everything from staff attendance to transportation possible.
During their Salkehatchie Summer Service, a one-week experience, youth will clean, paint, build, whatever necessary to meet the needs of the project. They have the opportunity to work alongside adult and other youth volunteers they may never have met otherwise. The impact of these new friendships can change lives also.
“One of our students last year decided after working with Timmy Turbeville, a veteran adult volunteer and extremely gifted woodworker, that he wanted to be a carpenter when he finished school,” Meg told us. “The kids learn how to use power tools, fix and repair a house…these are life skills that will help them in life.”
For Epworth kids, recognizing their personal value, that they have something to offer and are not throw-aways, can be a transformative experience.
“They have something to give,” Meg says, “And what they give is really powerful.”
Are you ready to support TRUMC Foundation with your gifts? Call (803) 254-6695 to get started.