United Methodist Neighborhood Centers launches fundraising campaign as part of its ‘New Vision’

“New Vision for New Days” is a new theme for United Methodist Neighborhood Centers (UMNC) of Memphis as it launches a fundraising campaign this month that will continue through Dec. 1.

Founded in 1907, UMNC is an agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church with services that include an early childhood ministry and programs to alleviate hunger and poverty.

The fundraising campaign seeks support toward a goal of $50 thousand, according to Dr. Mark Matheny, special missioner with UMNC, who is working on the campaign with Mark Miesse, chair of UMNC’s Board of Directors; Sharon Lockhart, chair of United Methodist Key Women; and Dr. Sonny Davis, interim executive director as of Sept. 2.

“It’s just great being on the team with these servant leaders of Christ,” said Davis.

The UMNC fundraising campaign includes emails and letters to clergy and lay leadership throughout the Memphis Conference, as well as past contributors. Speakers also are available to groups and churches who want to learn more about the mission and ministry of UMNC.

Individuals and churches are being asked to support the agency with special gifts, Communion offerings, memorials, United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men gifts and Sunday School donations. These may be in the form of one-time or monthly gifts and pledges.

“UMNC has recently been struggling with some very difficult challenges,” explained Matheny.

The “New Vision for New Days” theme and fundraising campaign are designed to let clients and supporters know there is great hope that UMNC “will turn a corner and move forward toward a faithful, exciting and effective future,” said Matheny.

Campaign materials say, “Greater giving, coupled with responsible stewardship of resources and new creativity in partnerships, will do far more than sustain an agency. It will make a powerful difference in the lives of real people in need. A new, streamlined and dynamic UMNC will emerge!”

Also to guarantee UMNC’s future as part of its “New Vision for New Days” theme, the UMNC Board is taking key steps to reduce the agency’s operating costs, lower its building and maintenance expenses and partner with churches and other Memphis area agencies to share ministry costs, said Matheny.

Current UMNC programs Matheny mentioned that demonstrate the agency’s ongoing vitality include its three-star rated (by the Tennessee Department of Human Services) Miriam Child Development Center, a Shelby County Schools Pre-K classroom, and The Friendship Center for ex-homeless adults, a new partnership with Resources for Human Development (RHD), a diversified human services nonprofit organization.

For more information about UMNC and the fundraising campaign or to schedule a speaker, contact Davis at Edavis@umnc.org or Matheny at memtheny@gmail.com. Visit the UMNC website at www.umnc.org.

UMNC is headquartered at 3000 Walnut Grove Road in Memphis.

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