Johnny Rice

We have a New Playground

More than 200 volunteers from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Peacemakers of Rocky Mount, 13443320_705873159552234_5020419340806087623_oorganizers from KaBOOM! and the community joined forces Saturday to give area kids the childhood they deserve by building a new playground at Peacemakers of Rocky Mount.

The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in April.

A playground serves as more than a playground — it is also a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active.

Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play so they can thrive. With its partners, KaBOOM! has built, improved and opened nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids.

The new playground at Peacemakers will bring more than 730 kids in Rocky Mount one step closer to having the play-filled childhood they deserve.There had been no playground at Peacemakers of Rocky Mount. In building this play space together, these organizations are making it easier for all kids to get balanced and active play.

The playground is the third of four being built in the Twin Counties and the twelfth overall by KaBOOM! and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust as part of Healthy Places NC, a long-term Trust initiative to improve the health of 10 to 12 rural North Carolina counties over the next decade. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting children’s rights to active play at home, at school and in the community.

Peacemakers slideis a Christian community development 501(c)3 organization serving the under-resourced area of South Rocky Mount by empowering residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina.


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Playground Coming!!!!

12670641_666557933483757_2133117928104657341_nGREAT NEWS! Peacemakers has been awarded a grant for a new playground for South Rocky Mount from Kaboom and the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation. This is an incredibly generous grant, but Peacemakers must raise $8,500 to contribute to the project. This project will provide children and families who live in the South Rocky Mount community with a safe place to play. It will also include 5 adult workout stations, so adults can exercise while their children play. This is another important step in our overall effort to see the transformation of this under-resourced community. Please join with us! To give, go here: http://rockymountpeacemakers.org/online-giving/ . You will have the option to direct your gift to the playground project.

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Intentional Relationships

o-RACISM-HANDS-facebookEvery day there is a new racially-charged incident making news. And for every incident, there are very predictable outcries of injustice, and equally predictable counter outcries in denunciation of what is seen as liberal propaganda. And the only thing that seems to be changing is the level of vitriol.

But racism is sin. Injustice is sin. And as Christians, we have to lead the way in dealing with it head-on. To do that, we have to be willing to hear a different perspective.

Consider the possibility that a lot of what we would typically label racism, on all sides, may come from a lack of understanding. We don’t comprehend or understand another person’s perspective, so we tend to misinterpret it. I firmly believe that most of our local racial tension would dissipate if we made an intentional effort to form real relationships across racial lines. I know that my own perspective on a lot of things related to race and poverty has changed dramatically over the last seven years, and it is because of the ongoing relationships that I have with people that have walked in a different place than I have.

I will readily admit that it is much easier to stand at a distance and make sweeping judgments about people than it is to invest the time in building deep relationships. But if we are going to accurately represent Christ, we don’t have an option.
The racial divide that we have in our community is a huge problem that holds us back in so many ways. But it is also a huge opportunity for the church to demonstrate that life in Christ can look so much different and be so much richer.

If we are going to do so, it has to mean more than having a joint worship service – although those are good. It has to mean that our relationships, our deepest friendships, have to look different and be different – we have to be willing to take the risk of crossing racial and economic lines. The kinds of things we work for and advocate for have to be different. The way we talk about people of other ethnicities has to be different. The jokes that we laugh at or tolerate have to be different.
That’s what being salt and light looks like. That’s what being the body of Christ looks like.

Change can come to this city. But I don’t believe it is going to come with some big racial reconciliation event that is on the front page of the paper. It’s going to come by sitting down over a cup of coffee and really listening to a perspective that is different than mine, and grilling out in the backyard with someone my neighbors might not like, and being intentional about the way we live our lives, one relationship at a time.

Jesse Lewis
Executive Director

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