Haddonfield resident expresses gratitude to borough’s religious community for assisting with non-profit
In these divisive times, I am grateful for the churches and families of Haddonfield who embrace Kids Alley (a non-profit serving Camden families for 20 years). Kids Alley has a Saturday morning program, an after-school program, and a summer camp. Our mission is to play a part in restoring hope to Camden with a focus on children.
Education is critical to their future, and KA’s children desperately need after-school support. When asked to tutor KA’s children, Haddonfield steps up! When families need meals, clothing, or furniture, you step up! Whether a softball glove so a girl can join the team, a bicycle so we can teach children how to ride, a swimsuit so a child can go swimming, or some time each week to tutor/mentor, Haddonfield ALWAYS steps up!
In 2010, KA needed a new home. Monsignor Brennan of Christ the King Church gave us that home. Rather than simply decline, he said, “The RIGHT answer is to say yes.” He taught me that real love is messy, filled with struggles. He was willing to take on the messiness…like getting around religious education classes on Monday afternoons.
That’s when Pastor Wayne, from the Lutheran Church, stepped up and hosted KA every Monday. When our furnace broke this past winter, Father Pat at Grace Episcopal said to bring our 37 children to their church every afternoon. We were there for EIGHT weeks! Talk about messiness. Grace (with our special friend Jean) loved us very well! We flexed and twisted together around every obstacle and the love was palpable.
Kids Alley needed another new home in 2018. George, one of our Haddonfield volunteers, stepped up by introducing our group to Reverend Bill Getman at First Presbyterian Church. KA was lovingly welcomed! Together we are bridging worlds and restoring hope to Camden’s children.
Will we have awkward times managing schedules, personalities, and cultural differences? You bet. But our Haddonfield churches have always known what Msgr. Brennan articulated a decade ago.
Loving well is messy — and that’s OK! As people struggle through that mess, casual relationships become enduring friendships. KA thanks the families and churches of Haddonfield for loving us so well!
Perhaps the love flowing between the people of Camden and Haddonfield is the prescription needed to bridge the divisiveness in today’s society. We don’t get it right all the time; but with the help of our courageous churches and families, we are working through the mess and loving well.
Annie (Powles) Iram