" Bridging the Gap "
( Connecting the people in the suburbs with the people of Bel-Aire )
This ministry represents about 90% of our activities and extensive information is being prepared to be posted on this website. Until that information is available, this summary is provided:
Ministry Defined: We hesitate to use the term “inner-city ministry” because it does not adequately convey our goals and philosophies in re-developing the Bel-Aire community. If even on a subconscious level, this term (usually) describes an outreach consisting of a group of middle/upper class, educated, white folks living in the suburbs... going across town ... to (usually) a poor, uneducated, black neighborhood. That is about as far from what we are doing as you can get.
While it is hard to admit, that is how we started out…with great intentions and a caring heart…but ignorant about how wrong, and even unbiblical, our approach was. Thankfully, over the past 24 years, our philosophies of ministry and strategic plans have evolved into a ministry that has proven results and contains the following characteristics:
1. We are “Relationship”… rather than “Program” oriented.
2. We desire to re-develop the community from the “inside out” (i.e. by encouraging and mobilizing the people living in the community) rather than from the “outside in” (i.e. by people from the suburbs coming into the community for short-term projects), however...
3. We are also firmly convinced that no one organization or church can have a major impact on any of Greenville’s inner-city neighborhoods because the challenges that plague these communities are too numerous and are growing at an alarming rate. Therefore, we are striving to be a community-wide effort that "bridges the gap" between the resources of the suburban community (individuals, businesses, and churches) with the Bel-Aire families, businesses, and churches who are striving to rebuild their community.
4. We have a much longer-term approach where our programs center around Bel-Aire families involved in our re-development activities and represent a very small part of our efforts. Thus the typical short-term suburban projects (normally at Christmas or Thanksgiving) are not the end result… but rather just another opportunity to help us establish more meaningful relationships with families that we are strategically trying to use to stabilized the community.
Bel-Aire Location/Demographics: The Bel-Aire community is shaped ironically, and almost exactly, like the state of South Carolina. The lower east coast would start at the Greenville Hospital at 185 and Mills Avenue and travel north on Mills Ave/Church Street to County Square, its upper boundary. Turning left and snaking behind Greenville Senior High School, the Northern boundary would travel West out Pendleton Street through West Greenville all the way to Whitehorse Rd. (At Graceland Cemetery) . The Western boundary travels South on Whitehorse/Washington Ave until it comes back to the hospital at the Kmart shopping centre.
Bel-Aire encompasses about 6 square miles and strategically wraps around the Mills Mill, Dunean, Judson and Brandon Mill communities. This area was named Bel-Aire (Meaning: Having an air of pleasantness) back in 2002 to give our re-development activities more recognition within the greater Greenville community.
There are 5,286 pieces of property in Bel-Aire of which 3,266 are designated as residential dwelling, primarily mill houses with an average tax value of $39,900. The home ownership percentage is only 35%. The residences of Bel-Aire are about 48% black, 47% white and 5% other ethnic groups including a small but growing Hispanic population.
We have divided Bel-Aire into 10 sectors and also sub-divided it into 70 targeted block areas for which we have long-term strategic objectives including increasing home ownership percentage, net-working investors and existing home owners to enhance property improvements, city/county re-development needs, crime prevention, etc. We are also currently investigating property for a community park site.
We also have an extensive database containing all 5,286 properties in which we are performing a detailed analysis of Bel-Aire. We are identifying vacant lots, abandoned houses, churches, warehouses and individual information about the families we are working with, including the youth in the community.
To Be Completed....
Opportunities to Serve in 2013:
“A challenge to everybody is a challenge to nobody”… this note is for you.
When an organization functions 100% by volunteers… that means that nothing will get done unless people like you respond. It also means that whatever gets done happens only because somebody decided to get involved and made it happen by contributing time, materials or funding. This summer, we need you to respond (in whatever way you can) because there are more needs than our present volunteer base can handle. Here are opportunities and needs that you can help with…. or just as importantly… you may know someone/organizations/businesses that can help with;
1. Inner-City Youth Group:
· Games of all kinds for the mission house.
· **Tickets to movies, drive games, zoo, six flags, bowling, paintball, etc**
· Drinks and snacks
· Hamburger meat, hot dogs, buns and other cook out supplies.
· Passes/coupons to restaurants, ice cream shops, pizza, etc
· Volunteers to help supervise trips/events
· First Aid supplies
· Funding: Interns (3) support
· Funding: Summer activities
2. Summer Workdays: (We have about 1,000 donated labor hours this summer)
· **Yard Tools: rakes, shovels, wheel barrows and misc other equipment**
· Lumber (contact us for list)
· Materials, paint, landscaping supplies etc.
· Top soil, fill dirt, gravel and mulch.
· Plants of all kinds
· **Donated items from local suppliers whom you have contacts**
· Funding: Workdays will cost us about $5,000 this summer.
· Heavy equipment/operators on various jobs
3. Annual Yard Sale: (Everything sells for a quarter)
· Donated items of all kinds
· Helpers to set up/clean up, cook, etc
· Cookout supplies
· Trucker who can deliver/pickup
· **People to get their church to donate items**
· Prayer, prayer and more prayer
· Volunteers of various kinds
We need you to prayerfully seek out how God can use you, your contacts, or your organization to help make His work in Bel-Aire possible this summer. Please contact us and let us know how you can fit in.
Would you also forward this email to anyone you think might have an interest?
This is the Body of Christ working His will… for His kingdom… and His glory.
Thanking you in advance,
( For a specific list of needs... see "Things Needed" tab.)
KB Charitable Trust
Po Box 25301
Greenville, SC 29616