The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Spirit Center Capital Campaign, Phase II Youth Facility

Grant Information
Categories Education , Peace , Environment , Community
Location South Texas
Cycle Year 2014
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Fannie Bluntzer Nason Renewal Center, Inc. dba Spirit Center
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Deborah L. vickery, executive director
Phone 361-888-7537
2930 South Alameda
Corpus Christi
Additional Information
Used for The Spirit Center respectfully requests a grant of $10,000 from the Dudley Dougherty Foundation to assist in the construction of an urgently needed youth facility (Phase II). The Capital Campaign Phase II is estimated to cost $3,791,853 to which we have raised $2,005,300 in cash and pledges, or 53% of the total. To complete the project, we need $1,786,553 to begin construction.
Benefits The Spirit Center is an investment in the health and well-being of our entire community. When people take time out for personal, spiritual, educational and social renewal, the community reaps the benefits.
Proposal Description Upon completion, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 adults and children will use the Center each year. The individuals and groups that participate will have opportunities which include a place for nature studies, care of the environment, camping opportunities, and youth retreats. The Spirit Center will also be available to corporations for their leadership retreats, corporate events, and the like. There are several community organizations that have a need for a facility for weekend leadership retreats, where participants can use outdoor activities to build teamwork. Other users who have a need for The Spirit Center include various churches, schools, and other organizations.

Although there are five existing retreat centers within a 75-mile radius of Corpus Christi, they are reserved for the majority of the year. The Spirit Center will provide additional facilities needed to meet the demand and a way to address scheduling conflicts. Focused on the youth of our community, Phase II of the Spirit Center’s capital campaign will include building dining/activity center and two dormitories. The dining hall/activity center will provide a place for meals and activities. The multi-purpose space will have a professionally designed and well equipped kitchen with a walk-in cooler and freezer. The two dormitories will provide accommodations for 96 youth or adults in a safe, easy to monitor facility.

Youth retreats have become a central feature of most youth ministry and campus ministry programs. The reason is simple: they are effective! There is perhaps no other single youth ministry program that yields more profound and long-lasting results. Consider these findings in the National Study of Youth and Religion: Analysis of the Population of Catholic Teenagers and their Parents (2004) “Young people who have participated in at least one retreat, rally, conference, mission trip, or extended service project report significant increases in: the closeness they feel to God, the degree of importance faith has in their daily lives, and how often they read the Bible alone.” And since they are so effective, more adult youth workers are planning and implementing youth retreats than ever before. Youth ministers regularly plan multiple retreats during a given year, addressing the unique needs of younger and older adolescents, leadership groups, youth with special needs, etc. Confirmation programs often feature retreats. Many parochial high schools have moved from one overnight retreat during a student's four-year career to at least one retreat per year for all students. Many schools now include retreats or multi-day camp experiences for their students.

In short, retreat ministry has grown dramatically. More young people than ever now have the opportunity to experience a variety of retreats through their parishes, elementary and high schools and youth related organizations. At the present time, some youth groups travel more than two hours to and from youth camps in South and Central Texas. The Spirit Center will offer a fresh and exciting retreat experience much closer to home. In a beautiful, natural environment, our youth can deepen their faith with a retreat, experience camp, enjoy a school related function, or other activities in a quiet, focused environment away from the distractions of everyday life. Serving our youth is essential to the well-being of our community. The Spirit Center will provide a wide array of opportunities for our youth to grow physically and spiritually most often through church and school youth retreats.