When someone tells you that the ministry he serves – by leading it – isn’t the story, watch out!! That’s probably precisely the story.
And that’s one of the first things you’ll hear from Matt Stevens, president of Somebody Cares Baltimore.
Matt shares the story told by Doug Stringer, the Houstonian whose heart God moved to found Somebody Cares International in 1981.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, local Somebody Cares chapters dotted the Gulf Coast. Looking at the map of the Somebody Cares cities, Doug invited people to look at it as if it were a string of pearls. To Doug, the value is in the pearls and it’s not the string that matters. But that string does matter. The connection matters.
And that’s where Somebody Cares Baltimore comes in.
In 2009, Matt and Katy Stevens launched the Somebody Cares Baltimore pearl – itself a faith-based organization – to help identify, bring to the forefront, and build and sustain coalitions of interfaith ministries, governmental agencies, business leaders, and private citizens to display to Baltimore that Somebody Cares.
What does Somebody Cares do? Somebody Cares Baltimore is on the ground – they reach out to help connect, mobilize, and unify somewhere between 250 – 300 organizations that actively serve in and around Baltimore.
"Somebody Cares collected truckloads of water and food supplies"
They serve via well-organized, pre-planned activities. For example,
Serve The City Day mobilized hundreds of volunteers to embody kindness, mercy, and grace to those in need through dozens of projects across the city.
The National Day Of Prayer mobilized hundreds to gather and pray in Baltimore City and the surrounding counties in strategic governmental and community locations. In 2015, they helped gather more than 700 people at Beachmont Camp to pray for our region.
Bless Baltimore Motorcade brought together more than 500 people who traveled to each police district in the City to pray and cover the communities in prayer.
Prayer Walks – From March – November weekly there are various prayer walks in communities on the East and West sides of our city in the “hotspots” (violent streets). Because presence brings reduction, ongoing violence breaks up and communities start coming together.
I Can Do It – Music & Arts camp in East Baltimore offering 200 children the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive in a positive and creative environment.
Days Of Hope – Somebody Cares Baltimore has sponsored 18 Days of Hope, the most recent at Bocek Park.
Somebody Cares also responds immediately to crisis – For example, when unrest erupted in West Baltimore in April, Somebody Cares collected truckloads of water and food supplies for the first responders, continued to collect and distribute supplies, food and hygiene items for the children and senior citizens who were directly affected by the destruction of the unrest.
Unrest Prayer Response – mobilize prayer walks, 24/7 prayer, and a social media online time of concerted prayer for restoration of Baltimore after the unrest that included more than 4,200 individuals.
One challenge for the ministry’s leaders lies in how to live the Christian example without repelling non-Christians. SCB displays Christ’s love to all – Christians, Muslims, Jews – to our citizens of every faith, and to those with no faith at all. And they do it with grace, meeting Baltimore’s citizens at their point of greatest need often at times of greatest vulnerability.
The need for the work that Somebody Cares does is great and growing by the minute.
The need for resources – time, talent, and treasure – is also great.
Please visit SomebodyCaresBaltimore.org and see where you think you can best help.
Let’s keep showing Baltimore that Somebody Cares.
For the most up-to-date information on somebody Cares Baltimore, please visit their Facebook page.