Columbia District Ministry with Refugee Children

HanyMano_LogoIn 2015 a group of faithful disciples in the Columbia District started Hand y Mano, a ministry outreach to the least of these in our community. For the last several years Hand y Mano has been a successful two-week camp for lower income children at Virginia Wingard which has included games, crafts, stories, and educational opportunities like presentations by Carolina Wild Life Center and Midlands Dental Hygienists. Hand y Mano has been a work in progress, changing and growing over the years so that through this ministry lives are being touched and changed as God’s glory and love are given flesh.

This year will be no different; Hand y Mano will continue to serve the most vulnerable children in our community, but there have been a few changes. This year there will be a one-week camp, August 6-10, hosted at Grace UMC for refugee children who live in the K-Street area. Union UMC has agreed to provide transportation for the 30 children who will attend Hand y Mano, driving them to and from home the entire week.  And many individuals have already come alongside to serve as volunteers and make much-needed financial and supply contributions to ensure 2018 is another successful year for Hand y Mano.

We need your help to continue to host this Columbia District ministry. It is truly “hand-in-hand” we are able to serve God’s most vulnerable children through this ministry. It takes all of us working together to serve and love our neighbors. We need you, and we need all Columbia UMCs to participate in small and big ways in giving new life to Hand y Mano. There are many ways to serve. We need volunteers. We need financial contributions. We need school supplies. We need your talents—are you gifted with a music talent, or art talent that you could come and share with the children? Are you a dentist, or dental hygienist, or a nurse or doctor who can give your time to share with the kids and their families? Does your VBS take up school supply donations? Will you consider taking up a supply donation or offering for Hand y Mano? Together we can do more for these 30+ children! And through YOU, God’s love is known. Help us make God’s love known through Hand y Mano.

To donate or to serve, or for more information about the Hand y Mano camp hosted at Grace UMC on August 6-10, contact Martha Thompson: Thank you!



“Hand y Mano” Volunteer Sign-up

Once again this Summer the Columbia District is partnering with Lutheran Family Services to offer Day Camp for the children of resettled refugees in the Columbia area. Virginia Wingard UMC (1500 Broad River Road, Columbia) is graciously hosting the program during the weeks of July 31 through August 4, and August 7 through August 11, each day from 8:45am to 12:45pm. Please be in prayer for this ministry and the families who will be touched by it. Financial support is also welcome and may be sent to Virginia Wingard designated for “Hand y Mano.”

One of the biggest outstanding needs is for volunteer help. Come and lend a hand in any way, by helping to entertain the kids or assisting in other ways. Simply sign-up using the online form below. If you only have one hour to give, that’s great. If you can do more, that’s a big help, too.

With other questions or interest, contact Martha Thompson (