Neighborhood Center Bus Destroyed by Fire!

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in EventAnnouncement, Mission: NJandCountry, Neighborhood Center | 0 comments

As reported in the June/July edition of the Methodist Relay, the bus used by the Neighborhood center in Camden caught fire and was destroyed.  They are in the process of raising $100,000 to purchase a new bus.


Neighborhood Center's bus on fire (from

Neighborhood Center’s bus on fire (from

PUMC supports the Neighborhood Center with our Missions fund. The Neighborhood Center offers after school programs, child care, and summer camp programs for children living in the city of Camden NJ.  Camden is one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the country, and through our support of the Neighborhood Center, we are providing an oasis where children can be nurtured with love and support.



The bus is an important tool to them.  They use it throughout the year to transport kids to the Neighborhood center’s after school programs.  In the summer it is essential to providing transportation to the summer camps.  Without this bus, the Neighborhood’s ministry is severely limited.



Here’s the article from the June/July 2014 Methodist Relay (page 3)…

Click here to learn more

For more than 100 years, The Camden Neighborhood Center has offered comprehensive childcare, after school, and summer camp programs for children in the city of Camden, NJ, one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the United States. One of the benefit of their programs is that they are able to pick students up from school or their homes with their bus, ensuring that they arrive safely at the campus without being exposed to the negative influences found on the streets of the city. But they have suffered a tragedy and are in need of everyone’s help in order to continue serving the children of Camden.

Just a few weeks ago [ed:May 2014?] the Center’s bus was destroyed in a fire, and they need to raise $100,000 to purchase a new bus as quickly as possible – school is about to let out and summer camp is just around the corner!

What They Need & What You Get

To continue to provide programs that meet the needs of children in the community, they need to purchase a new 54-passenger bus; without a bus they are unable to provide a safe haven for children after school and during the summer months.  All funds raised by this campaign will be used for the purchase of a new bus, guaranteeing that students who attend The Neighborhood Center will have safe, supervised access to their programs. Any funds raised in excess of what is needed will be placed in a “bus trust”, ensuring that they are able to maintain the new vehicle throughout its lifetime. In addition to making a powerful investment in the children of Camden, supporters will receive a personalized “thank you” from The Neighborhood Center based on their level of support. Most importantly, their students will be one step closer to having a safe way to get to the campus! 

The Impact

Since 1913, The Neighborhood Center has served our community by working to meet the basic needs of families and individuals living in the city of Camden. The mission of The Neighborhood Center is to “love our neighbors as ourselves with abundant hope and service today and every day;” specifically, they pursue this mission by:

  • Making it easy to be a parent in the neighborhood by offering comprehensive childcare programs for children of all ages.
  • Making it difficult to go hungry in the neighborhood by providing children and adults consistent access to fresh, healthy food.
  • Building a network of good neighbors through intentional community outreach and year-round volunteer service opportunities.

Since their founding, services for infants, children, and teens have been the primary focus of The Neighborhood Center, and continue to be a vital part of the support network of families in the community. By helping them to purchase a new bus, you are ensuring that the next generation of students in the city of Camden have access to a safe and welcoming place to grow, learn, and thrive.

Other Ways You Can Help

The Neighborhood Center has always depended on the support of its friends and community partners to create change in our neighborhood – please help to share the story (and the need) with your friends and family.

Reminder from Urban Promise Trekkers Bus…

Urban Promise' bus.

Urban Promise’ bus.

Our church offers parking space for the bus used by a different Camden organization, Urban Promise. Their bus is parked in the overflow area of our lot.

The next time you see the Urban Promise bus, think of the Neighborhood Center kids who are missing out on the ministry they would be receiving from the Neighborhood Center if the center could provide transportation.


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 For more information about The Neighborhood Center and for ways of donating to their bus fund, please visit their website at




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