Faith extends far beyond the typical church services — it is something to be lived in daily life by giving back. It’s why many congregations establish fundraising arms, solely devoted to generating funds for worthy causes. At St. Marys United Methodist Church, they have a foundation that does just that.

Jeff Barker, the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation president, said the 501c3 was established to help groups in Camden, Glynn, Charlton and Brantley counties, as well as international charities.

“We also have an international focus working with Partner’s Worldwide in Ghana, West Africa,” he noted.

The organization opens the floor to proposals from nonprofits hoping to be awarded grants. One of those that has made the appeal was Glynn County’s Coastal Coalition for Children. Having received grants from the church in the past, the coalition has again reached out for assistance.

Unlike previous collaborations, however, this will be a challenge grant. That is, coalition must raise the first $15,000, then the foundation will match that for a total of $30,000.

The funds will be directed toward the coalition’s Grandparent Connection, an initiative that supports families where grandparents are the primary caregivers. The program offers parenting classes, support groups, family therapy, tutoring and mentoring.

“St. Mary’s United Methodist Church Foundation Inc. has provided numerous grants to Coastal Coalition’s two pillar programs, Healthy Families and Grandparent Connection over the years, but this is the first time we applied for a challenge grant,” Terri Evans, executive director for the Coastal Coalition for Children, said.

The challenge period began on January 1, 2019, and will run until Dec., 31, 2019. But Evans is highly optimistic that, with the support of the community, the goal can be reached far sooner — by June.

“We have already made great strides with some loyal and new donors but we hope additional donors will see the value in knowing that their donation will be doubled if they give to Grandparent Connection at this time,” she said.

Evans is hoping the community will stand up to support the cause. Donations may be made at or by mailing a check to: Coastal Coalition for Children, 1612 Newcastle Street, No. 104, Brunswick, GA 31520. For more information, contact Terri Evans at

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