22 years ago, Redeemer Presbyterian Church founded a small mercy ministry called Community New Start. Its mission was to serve East Austin’s St. John’s community. A few years passed and this ministry became an official nonprofit that sought to care for kids in that same community. Instead of Community New Start, it would now be known as Side by Side Kids.
As we look ahead to new beginnings, we can’t help but look back and see how far we’ve come since our founding in 1996. Things are coming full circle during this expansion process, and we will be reconnecting with our founding church, while also building connections with a new church in order to bring Side by Side Kids to another new campus.
God has recently opened doors at the Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute, and we are excited to announce that our program will be expanding to this campus in the fall! Redeemer Presbyterian Church and The Well Community Church will be our biggest supporters throughout this process.
We were introduced to Campbell Elementary through The Well Community Church, who already had a strong presence at Campbell. They made their mark on this campus through numerous giving and service opportunities, including providing school uniforms for every student, giving gifts during Christmas-time, and launching a lunchtime mentoring program with the help of Austin Partners in Education. It’s clear that the members of The Well have a heart for serving Campbell. As we began connecting with Pastor Tory Mayo at The Well, we became excited about future opportunities to serve alongside them.
From there, we sought out ways to build our relationship with Campbell, and have been involved in furnishing a mentoring room at the school and reconstructing their school garden with the help of one of our volunteer groups from Lake Travis Middle School.
Mr. Moore, Campbell’s principal, has been a key figure in all of this and has helped us navigate this new relationship. As we prayerfully considered our expansion efforts, we continued to fall in love with this campus. As God would have it, we just recently found out from Mr. Moore that the door to having Side by Side Kids at Campbell Elementary has been opened. One open door led to another, and now our new and old friends, The Well Community Church and Redeemer Presbyterian, are coming together to support us as we move to this new campus!
We are excited to have the opportunity to serve at such a unique and special school. Campbell’s small size and focus on media and performing arts makes it unlike any school we’ve ever been at, yet the need for academic and spiritual encouragement is just as great.
Thank you to each and every one of you who helped make this happen - every prayer, donation and volunteer hour that was put in before has laid a strong foundation for our ministry to expand. Will you join us in both celebration and prayer for Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute? We will be sure to keep you updated this fall when we kick-off!