This past summer we received an encouraging note from a young woman who attended camp as part of our outreach ministry to the NC Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The note said:
I attended your camp a long time ago, and it absolutely changed my life. I was a young teenager incarcerated at a juvenile detention center and was given the opportunity to go to Camp Willow Run for good behavior. I still to this day have some of the most vivid, beautiful, and inspiring memories of my time there. It truly changed my life. The music, the fellowship, the pure joy of life I felt in that one week shaped who I am today. I now tell my children about the time I spent there. I teach Sunday school at our church, and I’m now a social worker at a hospice facility here in Charlotte, NC. My passion is my family and our faith. Thank you.
We have had the wonderful opportunity through our sponsorship program to set aside one week of camp each summer for the past 42 years to serve young people with the DJJ. Praise God for the impact that one week of camp made in her life for Jesus!
As we operate both Camp Willow Run (CWR) and Camp Willow Springs (CWS), we have seen wonderful growth in the number of campers we can serve. CWS grew from five summer camp sessions in 2014 to eight summer camp sessions this year. We were able to serve an additional 200 campers in grades 3-6 and were at 95% capacity in our second summer. An additional summer session will be added at CWS in 2016. The opening of CWS allows us to serve more middle school and high school campers at CWR. We are excited to be adding a third high school week at CWR in 2016.
It is a true privilege to serve others. As we reflect on the impact of this ministry, we are thankful to God for His great provision, direction, and watchcare. We are also thankful for those who have partnered with us over 48 years of ministry at CWR and now 2 years of ministry at CWS. Each prayer partner and financial supporter has been a part of allowing us to make a difference in the lives of others.
As you prayerfully consider your end of year giving, we would love to have you consider a financial gift to this ministry. Areas of need include our sponsorship DJJ outreach program, an additional dormitory at CWS to house more campers, and the CWS dining hall. All donations are tax deductible and will be used to support and expand this ministry as we serve more children, youth, and adults through our summer and retreat ministries.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2016!
Linda Harris Robbie Harris
Executive Director Director of Operations & Development