Anonymous donor aids program

SUN PHOTO BY TOM CHANG Jonny Niel, Caleb Lavine, Mauricio Sheckler, Kiera Lambden and Hunter Lachance play with LEGOs at summer care program at Englewood Church of the Nazarene at 404 W. Green St. An anonymous donor contributed $6,000 to the program, but more funding is needed

ENGLEWOOD — As a working grandmother, Jerrie Scott of Englewood considers herself lucky to have access to the Englewood Church of the Nazarene summer care program.

“The girls love it,” Scott said Tuesday. “This is their third week at the camp and they keep them busy with activities.”

The program, for children of families who may not be able to afford the expense of day care, was started thanks to a $6,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor. Prior to the donation, the church was going to rely on fellowships, grants and state scholarship money to operate the summer care program.

“She read about our program in the Sun and gave me a call,” said Michael Lindsey, pastor of the church. He said the donor did not want to be identified.

His son, Michael Lindsey II, acts as program coordinator.

The program is filled with numerous activities for children, including an assortment of games and field trips. The program has 60 enrolled children with a daily average of 40.

“We charge an activity fee depending on family situations,” the elder Lindsey said. “We currently charge a $35 activity fee at our current capacity, which includes breakfast, afternoon snack and field trip.”

The program is run by a nine-person staff.

“Most of them just watch the kids and we all pitch in,” the younger Lindsey said. “One of the most interactive things we do is play with them. We have all sorts of theme days like super messy day, crazy wacky day and water day.”

The church still needs to raise about $8,000 to sustain the program throughout the summer and come up with funding to buy a bus.

“The bus we use now is on loan from Englewood United Methodist Church,” the elder Lindsey said. “We can only use it on Mondays since they use it the other days. It’s difficult to plan for field trips just for one day out of the week.”

Diana Celani, a volunteer at the church, has had prior experience working in a similar setting with Pastor Lindsey.

“Michael (Sr.) understands kids,” Celani said. “Kids love him and he has experience working with them. Summer day care’s been great. It’s a community program and the church cares for the community.”

Englewood Church of the Nazarene is located at 404 W. Green St. in Englewood.

For more information, call 941-475-1034.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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