It is with great honor that we present our 2016 Holiday Grants, a total of $300,000 to three organizations that further expand our mission and commitment to serving military and first responder marriages and families. Last week, we announced $200,000 in Holiday Grants to the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University and The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work to help launch our new Mastering Your Marriage program.
Today, my heart is full as I share with you the story of the third $100,000 recipient of our 2016 Holiday Grants – Camp Southern Ground.
Camp Southern Ground is a state of the art campground built on a beautiful piece of property in Georgia where the grass is green, the trees are tall, and you can feel positive energy. Our friends Zac and Shelly Brown created Camp Southern Ground with heart and vision we trust. You can feel their passion for blessing others through this camp. Their patriotism is a big part of it. They have employed veterans and allowed us to name an obstacle course after Chris in honor of those who serve in addition to committing use of the camp for our marriage retreats and military children.
Every detail has been designed for the health and therapeutic benefit for campers. Physical opportunities incorporate team building and exploration of new abilities. There is an organic garden for campers to learn about health and food. They tend to the garden and enjoy the food they pick prepared by top-notch chefs. Foods aren’t just gluten and dairy-free; they are delicious! I had the opportunity to meet Chef Nicole Crane (pictured with me above) and try some of the food. It looks and tastes AMAZING! The kitchen has floor-to-ceiling windows where you feel a part of the land. It’s all by design for a feeling of peace and serenity in nature.
We spend a lot of time and energy trying to be selective and focused on where our grants will be best spent to support those who serve. We look for unique and meaningful programs with lasting impact. We believe Camp Southern Ground meets these criteria. We are so excited to see the doors God is opening for our service members and their families in this space designed for healing and growth. We will make sure to keep you updated as we go forward! Thank you for sharing the journey with us.