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Shafer Huguley, working on behalf of the United Methodist Church, released information about child poverty in Greenville County. The press release was distributed through Shafer Huguley’s Palmetto Media Distribution Service and informed traditional and digital media outlets of the growing problem of child poverty.
According to Kids Count, a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States, over twenty-five thousand children, 12 years of age or younger, live in poverty in Greenville County. The Greenville District of the United Methodist Church plans to change that.
The Methodist Family Partnership will presented “Partnering With Families,” a conference and workshop initiative created to respond to this staggering statistic. The event, which was open to the public, was hosted by Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, located in downtown Greenville, on Saturday October 26, 2013.
“One in four children in South Carolina live in poverty,” stated Mary Teasley, District Superintendent of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. “Many of those who help children in poverty never actually lay eyes on the children they help. They put food items in a bin or buy presents for a collection box, however no other interaction occurs.”
“People can spend their lives giving and giving without ever becoming friends with, let alone meeting those in need,” explained Rev. Jerry Hill, pastor of Dunean United Methodist Church, Greenville, and Minister of Social Ministries and Mission Outreach at Buncombe Street UMC. “Partnering With Families, aims to encourage the forming of relationships with families in poverty.”
According to the organizers, it is in relationships that real, productive good can be done. On the surface,these families represent alarming statistics. But up close and personal, they are real people who need more than money and clothing. They need mentoring,alliance, friendship and mutual goal setting.
The conference and workshop featured keynote speaker Bishop Ken Carder, of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Carder, a native of Georgia, received a Bachelor of Science from Columbus College, a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School, a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia, and a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Seminary.