NEW CASTLE, Del – United Way of Delaware (UWD) and its partners from the faith and social services communities kicked off the Delaware “Faith In Action” Weekend of Service with an Interfaith Opening Ceremony/Rally this morning at Wilmington University.
Working with faith and nonprofit leaders from throughout Delaware, UWD has initiated the Delaware “Faith In Action” Weekend of Service to inspire more frequent, more meaningful collaborations between faith groups and nonprofits throughout the state.
Special guests and elected officials who spoke about the importance of bringing the faith and social services communities together to help Delawareans in need included: U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Governor Jack Markell, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, Mayor James Baker, Rabbi Michael Beals (Congregation Beth Shalom), Rev. Sylvester Beaman (Bethel AME Church), and Rev. Bob Hall (Del. Ecumenical Council on Children & Families/Salem U.M. Church). The rally also included performances by Canaan Baptist Church Choir, Delaware poet laureate JoAnn Balingit, and praise dance troupe Expressions of Praise.
“If there’s one thing we know about making Delaware a better place, it is that no one can do it alone,” said UWD President and Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Taylor. “By encouraging faith communities and nonprofits across the state to collaborate to address local issues of mutual concern and interest, we can add significant momentum and resources to the ongoing efforts to address some of Delaware’s most pressing social issues.”
Over the course of the weekend, from Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25, faith groups and social service agencies will co-manage service projects in all three Delaware counties, and, it is hoped, create foundations for long lasting relationships. Projects for the
“Weekend of Service” are listed at www.uwde.org.
Faith In Action emerged from a series of UWD discussion groups formed earlier this year to share the results of a two-year study of the faith and social service communities in Wilmington and parts of New Castle County. The study, underwritten by the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, revealed that while many Wilmington faith groups have a relationship with nonprofits in the area, only a handful of faith and nonprofit groups share a purposeful agenda to address social problems in their immediate neighborhoods.