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Peacemakers to move into new site

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Freedom School student Lyric Bibbs, 5, raises her arms and sings the ‘Hallelujah' chorus during the Harambee morning motivation on Wednesday at Peacemakers of Rocky Mount.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, July 8, 2019

This is the last summer Peacemakers of Rocky Mount will be operating from its Davis Street location as it plans a major move in September.

Peacemakers will be moving to the former home of South Village Health and Rehabilitation at 2221 West Raleigh Road as of Sept. 3 courtesy of an anonymous donation.

"The Raleigh Road facility was donated to Peacemakers, in full, by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous," said Jesse Lewis, executive director of Peacemakers. "We are amazed at the Lord's provision, which will allow us to expand our offerings with 22,000 square feet more space as South Village Health & Rehabilitation moves to a new location in Rocky Mount."

Peacemakers was started by Church on the Rise as a ministry to serve neighbors in South Rocky Mount and has grown to operate as a separate nonprofit organization, according to a press release from the organization.

"We are thankful to be able to continue our partnership with Church on the Rise as we grow," Lewis said. "Through the church's support, we began in 2012 and have continued to expand since then."

The Christian nonprofit organization will continue its commitment to serving the South Rocky Mount community with a mission to empower members of the community with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives, the press release said.

The organization offers a wide range of programs including offering Bible studies, parenting classes, vocational and job readiness training for adults and an annual Christmas store that allows families to purchase presents at affordable prices. For children in the community, Peacemakers offers an after-school program and Freedom School during the summer months.

One of the biggest benefits of the move to a new facility will be the opportunity to expand this program, Lewis said.

"Freedom School is our largest program, serving 240 children. As the number of applications for the summer reading program increases, each year we turn away children due to space limitations at our current facility. This interest is a huge blessing and we are hopeful to address it by accommodating even more children in the future," Lewis said.

The organization's staff and volunteer Board of Directors are seeking to raise roughly $95,000 to prepare the facility and to grow programs and services.

“We need to do a lot of work to the facility to prepare it for the move,” Lewis said. “We need to create large meeting spaces and convert some of the smaller rooms in the facility to larger classrooms. We also need to install a new security system and work on repair and upgrades to the HVAC.”

Lewis hopes that the $95,000 funding goal will meet those needs. But it will only be possible with the support of the community, he said.

“We are very blessed to have people willing to donate their time and talents to help do the work if we can raise the funds,” Lewis said.

Donations to Peacemakers can be made online at https://rockymountpeacemakers.org/online-giving/ or by mail or in person at the current Peacemakers location at 1725 Davis St.