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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Urban Promise on 20/20 Friday Night

Tune in:

A year and a half ago I received a phone call from ABC-TV’s 20/20 - the award winning news journal.

Diane Sawyer, wanted to do a feature on good children who, each day navigated difficult life circumstances. She wanted to highlight the reality that one does not have to travel to the Gulf Coast to experience post-Katrina poverty. Children in the Northeast, those who live adjacent to middle-class American cities and suburbs, as well must deal with the impact of everyday poverty. Camden, New Jersey sounded like that place.

“Do you have any children in UrbanPromise who fit that profile?” asked the ABC producer.

“How ‘bout six or seven hundred?” I responded.

She paused on the other end of the line. “Well, just three or four children would work just fine?” she replied in an all-business tone.

So be sure to watch 20/20 on Friday, January 26. Moochie, Josh, Elyse and Karim will be telling those listening what it’s like living in Camden. Here’s a preview of those young heroes—our UrbanPromise kids.

“ won’t ask for food,” twelve year old Josh will say to a riveted Sawyer, “but you can see in their eyes that they’re really hungry.”

“...I’m afraid at night,” shares six year old Karim with Ms. Sawyer, “’cause of the gun shots out my bedroom window . . . I go and sleep in my parents room to feel safe.”

ABC’s team followed five year-old Moochie over a period of months. She and her family would be evicted from their home; she’d have to walk past drug dealers on her way to school, live in a motel while trying to make sense of her chaotic life.

Watch the 20/20 program; you will catch a glimpse of what it’s really like for a young person to grow up in Camden and cities like it.

As you watch, you will be reminded of the critical role UrbanPromise plays in these young lives. You’ll see why it’s important to create Places of Peace for our children and teens—our After School Programs gave Moochie and hundreds of other children a safe place even though her life was chaotic at times. UrbanPromise is a place that keeps youth off dangerous streets, gives them positive role models and provides them with opportunities to grow in their young faith.

Thank you!
Dr. Bruce Main


Anonymous said...

This was a heartfelt and moving expose. Thank you to Diane Sawyer and staff of 20/20 for featuring this TRUE REALITY show. It appears this Administration's, 'No Child Left Behind' has never heard of Camden, NJ.

Cheryl said...

I want to know how I can help. My son and I watched last night and it was painful to watch moochie's life unravel. And what about Ivan? How is he doing? How can we help? I have a business trip to Parsippany in March and would like to visit if possible. How can I help long term though? What a sobering and eye opening show that was. Shame on America. It is hard to understand how we have homeless families. i would like to find out the church that tried to help Ivan's mom find housing and send a donation. Please advise.

Ryan Kellermeyer said...

Click here to donate to Urban Promise.

Click here to volunteer at Urban Promise

Anonymous said...

My brother and I watched the 20/20 episode-unreal and totally heart wrenching. I wanted to help right then and there. How can it be that in the US things like this are allowed to go on?
I will send support in hopes that the youth that were featured continue forward and know they should persue their hopes.