Church-goers urged to raise $250,000 for jobs

June 12, 1994|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,Sun Staff Writer

Seven Baltimore ministers began asking city church-goers yesterday to raise $250,000 for Dollars for Jobs/Save Our Cities, a national nonprofit program that promises to create about 3,000 public service jobs locally.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said he will add another $250,000 if the churches do their share.

When the $500,000 goal is reached, attempts to win public service jobs for many of the city's unemployed will begin.

"I won't lie to you, we are living in disastrous times, when a 3-year-old gets gunned down standing on his doorstep and when young men are dropping out of the schoolhouse and entering the jail house, these are disastrous times," said the Rev. Carl W. Simmons Jr., associate minister of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church on Reisterstown Road. "But hold on, hold on, because help is on the way."

Although the baskets at Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church took in about $150 from less than a dozen people yesterday, the ministers hope to reach their goal by the end of July by passing out fliers to their congregations and in their communities, soliciting donations.

Each of those congregations is supposed to recruit seven more to spread the money-raising program.

"We may have only a handful of people here, but that's enough to shake the world, and they can certainly shake this city," said former Rep. Parren J. Mitchell.

Save Our Cities was designed in 1990 by Sister Katherine Coor, S.N.D., to create job banks, put residents in job-training programs and determine how the new workers can best be used in their neighborhoods.

In addition to soliciting money from individual church members, Dollars for Jobs will seek $300 from each community association, social club, fraternal organization and other groups in Baltimore. About $27,000 has been raised. If the effort to reach $250,000 fails by next month, the campaign will be extended through the end of the year.

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