Shandon United Methodist Church continues Recharge Epworth Project
The Recharge Epworth Project came about when the Recharge Sunday School class at Shandon United Methodist Church thought about doing their Christmas project for Epworth Children's Home in the fall of 2007.
They formed a committee to discuss the possibilities, and it was decided that Christmas presents were just not enough. Since Epworth is a United Methodist Church sponsored children's home and Shandon UMC is a neighbor, they felt that their job was two- fold.
One part was to do a makeover on a cottage living area. This would be a special touch, more appreciated by the kids and lasting longer than any other kind of present. The second part was to increase the exposure of Epworth within their church.
The class started with the teenage boys, since the younger children often get more attention. They pitched the idea to a couple of other Sunday School classes and an article was run in the church bulletin and more support was found.
The first cottage was done on January 13, 2008. The project was such a success they decided not to stop until all nine of the cottages currently being used were done. It was projected that all the cottages would be completed by spring of 2010.
The New Beginnings Sunday School class chose to do the other teenage girls' cottage on their own. Plans were made to include Shandon's children's Sunday School classes for the next cottage.
Word spread. A Sunday School class at Shandon Baptist Church donated money to help cover some of the cost and plans were made to contact other local Methodist churches over the summer of 2008 to solicit their support.
Before this was done, Epworth informed SUMC that a Sunday School class at Trenholm Road UMC had picked up one cottage, Golden State Foods had a foundation taking on one cottage, and Union UMC asked to do the last four.
The last cottage Shandon did was completed on October 5 and a hot dog- hamburger cookout was held for all the kids to celebrate the completion.
The New Beginnings Sunday School class has continued their connection with Epworth by doing a monthly birthday party for the Dantzler Cottage, where they had done the makeover. This is a yearly commitment for the class.
Each month when there is a birthday for someone in the cottage, they hold a small celebration with homemade cake and ice cream for the group. Each birthday girl receives a bed- in- a- bag and a picture frame with their name on it. There are six to eight different coordinators each month and they each take their families for the party.
It is the hope of those involved in this project that the outpouring of love and support of Epworth Children's Home will continue to grow and that all the other Methodist churches in S.C. will find ways to be involved in the lives of the children at Epworth.