By Briana Boykin
Steps towards a brighter future are taking place. A section of San Bernardino County's second highest crime area is becoming a safe haven for members of its community and Ecclesia Economic Community Development Collaboration (EECDC) is the culprit.
Wonderful things are happening for the San Bernardino Del Rosa Community. A wall notorious for being tatted with graffiti and various gang literatures has remained a pure white wall ever since 2004 when the non-profit EECDC came into Del Rosa with a mission to "develop and implement programs and projects that will raise the level of living for those communities it serves." Crime rates are going down; young people now have a safe place to practice boxing, martial arts, basketball, and other recreational activities.
Even those troubled youths and gang members who have not yet decided to participate in EECDC's activities have expressed in many ways that they are proud of what is being done in their community and are showing great respect for Ecclesia's senior pastor Joshua Beckley and his crew, who has just received a check from Arrowhead Credit Union to support the program's growing efforts.
Larry Sharp, President and C.E.O. of Arrowhead and the recently retired Vice President of the credit union, Maurice Calderon, presented the $2,000 check to Pastor Beckley in July.
One developer of EECDC, Paul Williams, says that Arrowhead was excited about the economic development proposal for EECDC and wanted to be one of the first to contribute to its expansion. "This is a great step for Arrowhead," Williams pronounces. "It is a big step for any financial institution to fund economic development within the community that they serve. It is essential that more financial institutions become involved if we expect to see the community grow in that direction."
Williams also spoke highly of those who donated funds for the program at a breakfast Ecclesia held earlier this year.
These funds will help Ecclesia complete the expansion of the youth community center in San Bernardino, a center that is already providing a place for EECDC to mentor fifty-four young adults through a boxing program called Faith in God Heals Troubled Souls (FIGHTS) and training young men to compete in boxing nationally and globally. The EECDC is also manifesting God's vision for the program to create jobs, housing, and business for people in the communities it serves and its participating individuals.
With support from the community the EECDC is sure to be a success. It is without a doubt that we will continue to see lives of the Del Rosa and larger San Bernardino community be transformed by the efforts of this program.
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