Your donations support and equip foster families in your community who are opening their loving, Christian homes right now to children in need. Other Christian families assist them in this mission work by occasionally providing respite. Please watch & listen as the Williams family shares why they became Respite Providers.
Summer has come to an end and we enter autumn with open arms and lower humidity! This is also the time of year that begins our Annual Change for Life Campaign. While considering your support for the coming year, read and enjoy our current Newsletter here.
#10 = MUSIC - There are seven groups performing this year! The Alison Brown Quartet; Bobby Hicks, Mark Kuykendall and Asheville Bluegrass; Tim White & Troublesome Hollow; Fireside Collective; The Snyder Family Band; The Trailblazers with Ivy Phillips; and Dwight Hawkins with Brody Hunt. The $15.00 advance ticket price is a great value, and kids under 12 are admitted free. Gates open at 10:00 AM. Opening ceremonies begin at 10:45 AM with the A Cafellas singing the Star Spangled Banner. The music ends at 6:30 PM.
#9 = FOR KIDS - There is an abundance of free activities for kids at the Kids’ Activities tent sponsored by AGAPE of North Carolina! The festival volunteers, called Servants, supervise children’s creative play with a variety of arts and crafts and recycled materials. A unique coloring page to save the date for next year, old-fashioned sidewalk games like marbles and jacks and free face painting are also included.
#8 = FOOD - The festival features many delicious food options. Choices include Southern comfort foods made from scratch at the Dining Hall just behind the Front Porch Stage featuring BBQ, ribs and chicken with all the fixin's; the award-winning Gunny Smitty’s Hot Dog food truck; Carolina Shaved Ice; Baked With Love home-baked desserts; the CBC Coffee Café for hot and cold coffee beverages, and the popular CBC Canteen for the genuine camp snack experience.
#7 = AUCTION - One-of-a-kind items are available through the exciting and easy online auction, or simply show up at the CBC Hexagazebo in person to bid on your items. The Swicegood Group, a leader in real estate and auctions, manages this activity so all goes smoothly. You can bid on a beach trip, an autographed ukulele, lunch with a patriot, an album collection, a banjo, and much much more.
#6 = SHOPPING - You can shop but don’t drop; just stop where you are! The festival’s vendors include a unique assortment of 20 vendors selling apparel, jewelry, home goods, doggie treats, soaps, artwork, and so much more. Don’t try to buy it all at once; take a break and return to your lawn chair for a musical interlude.
#5 = WEATHER - Don’t sweat the weather. The large professional grade tents will keep you shaded and covered. Historically, the weather on this date has been made to order. And, there are plenty of beverages both iced and hot to keep your body temperature feeling “just right.”
#4 = FAMILY FRIENDLY - This festival is the best family-friendly event in North Carolina. With no alcohol and no smoking, tobacco, or vaping permitted, you can feel good about bringing guests of all ages. Registered nurses staff a First Aid tent; handicapped parking and assistance is available, and volunteers called “Servants” work hard to make your festival experience an unforgettable one. Registered guide dogs are allowed.
#3 = PICKER'S PLACE - If you like to pick, then you will feel right at home here with a special pavilion for those folks who want to do more than just watch. Pull up a chair next to some of the best musicians in the world; you never know who you'll meet.
#2 = ANTIQUE CAR SHOW - That's right. We have cars too! These beauties are located next to the canteen behind the main tent. They are so close to the music that you won't miss a note when you decide to go browse.
#1 = OPEN SEATING - CBC has always used first-come, first-serve, festival style seating. Since there are no assigned seats, you are free to come right down front and set up your chair. (No high-backs please!) Fortunately, there are no bad seats at CBC. All of the grounds provide good views of the stage, and the professional sound team makes sure that every note is crystal clear.
For more details and to purchase tickets, click here: www.cbcbluegrass.com.
“Our involvement with Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival began because we wanted to increase our own organization's profile,” said AGAPE of NC ExecutiveDirector, Kimberly Scott. “The festival gave us a very appropriate venue in which to do that. What makes this a great place for AGAPE to be is the audience. Guests who attend this event believe in family values. And if they have not experienced strong families before, we can demonstrate what they look like here.” Check out this link for more information on those participating in the festival this year and we look forward to seeing you there! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TgVduS20bKii8xc23ursHvauArm4IrC1/view
By Kimberly Scott
Director of AGAPE of NC
In 2017, experts warned that North Carolina’s foster care system is in a predicament. The state’s Division of Social Services began noticing in late 2012 that the number of children coming into foster care was exceeding the number exiting the system. With over 11,000 children in NC already in foster homes, our foster care rate is reportedly the highest it has been in the last 10 years and is steadily rising. Many causes factor into the situation:
physical and mental trauma, abuse or neglect;
parental substance abuse, including the opioid crisis
we hear so much about;
a reduction in federal funds for mental health services.
The bottom line is that the number of children currently in our North Carolina foster care system is rising faster than the number of foster families available to support them. It is AGAPE’s Christ-focused mission to fill as much of that gap as possible with Christian counseling and foster homes where these children will be loved and come to know Jesus.
At present, AGAPE of NC has over 30 kids in care with our 25 foster families. Thankfully, we are blessed with another 25 new families pursuing licensure right now. We also have at least a dozen families providing respite foster care. But AGAPE needs more of YOU because the children need more from us.
So, when AGAPE of NC asks YOU to
consider becoming a foster parent or a respite care provider;
donate items or funds needed to supply SALEM HOUSE;
start saving your spare change now because AGAPE’s 3rd Annual CHANGE FOR LIFE! fundraising campaign will kick off in September 2018;
volunteer your time & talents; and
pray for AGAPE and those who need us...
know it is ALL for the children and families God wants us to serve. “And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
by Lisa Brewer
Lisa Brewer serves as Executive Director of Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival.
For the past two years, AGAPE of NC has sponsored the Kids’ Activities tent at Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival. The event is the nation’s only bluegrass festival held at a Bible camp promoting Bible study and wholesome recreation. In fact, it might just be the most family-friendly festival around. And that works out well for a partnership between CBC and AGAPE.
More than two thousand guests have visited the festival on the second Saturday of September since AGAPE began sponsoring a children’s area. Multi-generational families with members of all ages have enjoyed the best in bluegrass artists, tasty meals, a classic car show, and a variety of free crafts activities. The AGAPE of NC’s Kids’ Activities tent has featured Bible crafts, recyclables for art projects, a Bible coloring page and free face painting. Each year, a “Save the Date” coloring page has been designed by artist and CBC camper, Melea Womack, of the Charlotte area (she doubles as a face painter).
“Our involvement with Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival began because we wanted to increase our own organization's profile,” said AGAPE of NC ExecutiveDirector, Kimberly Scott. “The festival gave us a very appropriate venue in which to do that. What makes this a great place for AGAPE to be is the audience. Guests who attend this event believe in family values. And if they have not experienced strong families before, we can demonstrate what they look like here.”
The annual bluegrass festival is a fundraiser for the Bible camp’s capital development and scholarship funds. No child has ever been turned away from Carolina Bible Camp due to an inability to pay. In fact, every camper’s fee is kept low and supplemented by the fundraiser.
Performing artists are chosen carefully by the festival committee to ensure family-friendly listening. Alcohol and tobacco products are not permitted at the Camp at any time, including during the festival.
Carolina Bible Camp is situated on sixty-eight wooded acres in Mocksville, NC. Cabins are rustic in design with modern accommodations including heat, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms. A dining hall with commercial grade kitchen comfortably seats 250 at one time. Outdoor activities include walking trails, in-ground pool (open during summer camp weeks only), beach volleyball, jungle gym, disc golf and more. The largest outdoor shelter is a popular gathering spot for a cappella singing during camping weeks. During the bluegrass festival, it becomes a Pickers’ Place for instrumentalists who want to “jam.” More than 100 volunteers work together to create a memorable family festival experience for guests.
In addition to sponsoring the Kids’ Activities tent, Scott and other AGAPE representatives promoted AGAPE at a separate booth at the bluegrass festival.
“This has given us a means to engage with festival guests directly,” Scott explained. “We have had many special conversations about exploring foster family service and supporting AGAPE’s mission in various ways."
“We believe in the healing qualities of music, fun, and fellowship,” Scott said. “Those activities are so important to families, and they are highlighted at Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival. With Christ as the foundation of the Camp and the foundation of AGAPE, we know we are at the right place to share Christ as the foundation of the family.”
The seventh annual Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 2018. Performing artists include Grammy winner Alison Brown; acclaimed Bobby Hicks, Mark Kuykendal & Asheville Bluegrass; returning favorite Tim White & Troublesome Hollow; 2017 MerleFest band competition winners The Trailblazers; 2016 MerleFest band competition winners Fireside Collective; the popular Snyder Family Band; and famed pre-war stringband musician Dwight “Sawman” Hawkins. For more information, please contact Lisa Brewer at spchwoman@ aol.com or visit www.cbcbluegrass.com.
By Jordan Upton
AGAPE of N.C. is incredibly blessed to have such helpful, thoughtful, and compassionate donors and volunteers. This help comes in various ways, whether it be by donating monetarily, donating their time, or even sharing AGAPE’s social media posts to raise the public’s awareness of the organization. While any and all support for AGAPE is greatly appreciated, one of the most special stories of our volunteers is that of 11-year-old Meredith Finch.
In June of 2017 the Finch family, Craig, Cara, and their daughter Meredith had three foster children placed with them from AGAPE. After the arrival of the three children, the then 10-year-old Meredith saw that children in foster care have very few personal effects to call their own and was determined to help in any way she could. This led her to build and paint, with the help of her grandfather and mother, a lemonade stand. Meredith sets up either at home or outside of a family friend’s store in town. The money made over the course of a few months from September of 2017 to the end of the year was over $300. With the profits, Meredith bought toothbrushes, pajamas, blankets, toys, and anything else she felt foster children would need. The remaining funds Meredith had were donated directly to AGAPE.
So far this year, after only being open twice, Meredith’s lemonade stand has raised close to $300 and shows no sign of slowing down. Meredith’s mother, Cara, explained that the kindness of strangers has led to the accumulation of the money donated to AGAPE. After learning the money is going to the organization some people do not even purchase the ice cold lemonade or delicious cookies. Meredith advertises AGAPE’s website and those who simply want to give are directed to the donate page of the website.
AGAPE is honored to have people like Meredith and her family associated with the organization. If you or anyone you know would like to help donate time, supplies, or money to AGAPE please visit https://www.agapeofnc.org/donate/.
By Kim Scott
With many thanks to YOU for responding to our appeals, we can declare AGAPE's Second Annual CHANGE for LIFE campaign a resounding success! Together, you exceeded our financial campaign goal of $70,000 - raising a total of $82,000! That's an almost 31% increase over the previous year's campaign!
The Second Annual CHANGE for LIFE campaign again challenged donors to save their spare change until churches across North Carolina could collect it on the AGAPE Sundays they designated in December 2017 and January 2018. We also requested continuous prayer over all the other donations given monthly, quarterly and annually each year in support of AGAPE's mission.
Our social media outreach focused on raising awareness about all the opportunities to make a CHANGE for LIFE! Some of those efforts included:
- Allowing everyone to "meet" some of our foster families by sharing videos
- Launching our first GIVING TUESDAY appeal last November
- Working with WQDR on commercials that aired throughout November and December to communicate the need for more foster parents.
The positive impact of your faithful support is already evident in 2018 with:
- New foster families becoming licensed
- Additional foster children being placed into these homes
- New adoptions
- Additional opportunities to provide Christian counseling to members of our community.
Our gratitude goes out to you all for believing and participating in AGAPE's calling to place foster and adoptive children in safe, loving, Christian homes.
by Kia Carter
Meet Meredith. She is an amazing 10-year-old girl who loves to sing, dance and help her community. She is also not letting her age dictate what she can do. The Lord has given her the heart to help foster kids and she is not letting her age detour her from doing the work that God has called her to do. Meredith is currently a foster sister to 3 children — ages 4 years, 2 years, and 4 months old. She has seen firsthand that most foster children come into care with very little, usually, a trash bag filled with clothes that are the wrong size, or dirty clothes in bad condition, or at times nothing at all.
So, Meredith decided that she wanted to do something to help foster kids in her community by starting M’s Stand, a lemonade and cookie stand, purchasing items from the proceeds and donating them to AGAPE of NC.
She gets up every Saturday morning to set up and work M’s stand for 4 hours. Her goal is to raise enough money to buy kids in foster care some of the basic items that they need when they come into care — items such as socks, underwear, clothes, and toiletries.
1st Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” At 10 years old, Meredith is an example of what it means to take seriously Jesus’ call to all Christians to care for the “least of these.”
To be sure, God has not called each of us to do the same things when it comes to taking care of orphans in their distress, but I do believe that God has called each of us to do something. Meredith is doing her something. What something has God called you to do?
by Kevin Kolbe
How does the Bice Family feel about fostering? "You are going to get more out of this by giving a part of your life to this kid than you can ever imagine", that's how! While we’re not all called to adopt or foster, we can certainly be thankful for those families that follow the Lord’s lead to open their homes to kids and we can support them with a donation to Change for Life!
by Kim Scott
God is good. AGAPE of NC is excited to announce how God is using our ministry to minister to the families of North Carolina. We currently have 20 children in our foster homes that are being
afforded the opportunity to know and see God working in their lives. We have opened the Salem House in Winston-Salem this month. The Salem House will cater to the 18 to 21-year-old young adult males as they develop independent living skills.
We have 16 foster homes across the state and we have 5 families currently in training. While we are able to help many children/families in crisis the need continues to be great, and unfortunately there continue to be a shortage of foster families. Please pray for more families with a desire to serve in this capacity.
Finally, we will be offering respite training classes for those who are not ready to foster full time but want to provide babysitting and weekend relief to full-time foster parents. Please look for more information on the website or let us know you're interested in our *contact us* page.
Our Change for Life campaign has begun and ends December. This year’s goal is $100,000. Please be praying and making plans for this important campaign. Thank you, for your continued prayers and support over the rebuilding years.
video by Kevin Kolbe
The Spencer's found being foster care parents to be a simple choice saying "we saw the need" and they said yes! They describe the experience as "the greatest thing we've ever done and the hardest thing we've ever done at the same time". Meet this wonderful family and consider if saying yes to foster care is for you.
"Change for Life" changes a child's life with every donation. Our annual giving funds support the placement of foster and adoptive children across the state, the ongoing care and training of our foster and adoptive families, and our efforts to raise awareness of the services AGAPE of NC provides to children and families in North Carolina.
AGAPE of NC is a 501-c3 organization. Your gift is tax deductible. You can find more information about giving to AGAPE of NC on our website at agapeofnc.org/donate.
video by Kevin Kolbe
Meet the Condon's in this month's video and see what we mean when we say "Love Makes a Family"!
"Change for Life" changes a child's life with every donation. Our annual giving funds support the placement of foster and adoptive children across the state, the ongoing care and training of our foster and adoptive families, and our efforts to raise awareness of the services AGAPE of NC provides to children and families in North Carolina. Love Makes a Family!
AGAPE of NC is a 501-c3 organization. Your gift is tax deductible. You can find more information about giving to AGAPE of NC on our website at agapeofnc.org/donate. If you have questions about your gift, please call 919.673.7816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thank you goes out to Coach Chris and the Slim Down Challenge group for their donation to AGAPE of NC! Every donation helps to strengthen the lives of children in our state of North Carolina. Check out the video at https://www.facebook.com/leslye.mondragon.5/videos/10210676666467259/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE