NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Keeping children out of trouble during the summer can be difficult but is a challenge pastor Marcus Campbell of North Nashville tackles well.
Campbell started a summer program out of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church seven years ago to feed, tutor and provide field trips for children.
"It went from 75 kids to 230 kids," Campbell said.
As the program continues to grow, Campbell is asking the community for help to provide food or monetary donations for the summer program.
"We need as many snacks as we can get, as much water. It's been 90 something degrees. We're trying to make sure these kids stay hydrated so they won't pass out. Some of them don't have that much at home. You never know what a child is already going through," Campbell said.
Campbell knows all too well the challenges these kids face growing up in their communities.
Crime surrounds them and they said they appreciate what the pastor provides for them.
"Some of the kids, they really need this because some of them really don't have father figures or mother figures in their life and I think that bishop really helps them out," said 12-year-old Jayce Southall.
"He don't want us getting hurt or like he don't want us getting killed or anything like that," Savanna McCullough, age 12, said.
"I always tell people from 8 to 4:30 they're going to be safe with the bishop," Campbell said.
Campbell wants their worries to go away when they attend his program. It's another challenge he hopes to tackle all summer long.
The program costs $75 for the whole summer which goes towards camp t-shirts, paper towels, food utensils, trash bags and cleaning supplies.
Donations can be delivered to the church located at 1032 Monroe St. or contact the pastor via e-mail at Mt.Carmelmbcnashville@gmail.com.