NCBAM reaches across state
    November 15 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    North Carolina Baptist’s ministry to an aging population was just introduced at last year’s annual meeting but has already begun making a difference in a number of communities and in individual’s lives.

    “We do not build retirement homes but we sure do help people in need,” said Michael Blackwell, North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry’s president. In the report for NCBAM, given Nov. 9 at the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Blackwell called himself a doting grandfather and updated messengers about the safe arrival of his “children” early that morning.

    The “children” are from Baptist Children’s Home (BCH) who had come to Koury Convention Center the first night of the meeting for its presentation. Blackwell also runs BCH.

    For many aging men and women, they are “sometimes just a little too proud to ask for help,” Blackwell said.

    Through NCBAM, someone had help getting a glass eye, houses were cleaned, dishes were washed, etc.

    Blackwell said NCBAM was in 63 associations and 60 churches across North Carolina. Around 600 helpers have been sent out through NCBAM to serve the elderly; 21 grants have been given to churches or associations to help with NCBAM ministries; and 16 training sessions were held.

    A World War II veteran has been alone for 32 years since his wife died from cancer in Alamance County. Because of NCBAM, he now has access to Meals on Wheels.

    Blackwell said this man has no church affiliation. “You and I as North Carolina Baptists could provide God’s face,” he said.

    The pamphlet provides “help for the journey to show how you can get involved” with seniors in the local community.

    “Too many aging adults today are falling through the cracks,” Blackwell said.

    In his closing comments, Blackwell offered some advice:
    • Be well
    • Stay strong
    • Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol)
    • Wear sunscreen
    • Take vitamins
    Blackwell encouraged people to be aware of the needs around them. “Friends that is NCBAM in the flesh,” he said.

    Volunteers and staff members distributed “Passport: Help for the journey,” a handout to give ideas to help senior citizens for each month of the year.
    11/15/2010 9:03:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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