Morristown youth group gets artistic sendoff to Appalachian project

Variety Show, Morristown United Methodist Church, June 14, 2019. Photo by Dave Sullivan
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By Vince Cattano

About 80 people attended our Variety Show/Coffee House at the Morristown United Methodist Church last month, raising about $500 towards this weekend’s mission trip to Appalachia.

Variety Show, Morristown United Methodist Church, June 14, 2019. Photo by Dave Sullivan

We feel this was our best show ever, with a lot of our acts coming from outside of our church. We had a good mix of “variety” and lots of really good talent this year, with a wide range of age in participants. We have been doing the variety show for about 10 years now.

Our 2019 mission trip with the Appalachia Service Project will take us to the town of Logan, W. Va., in Logan County, from July 6-14.

We will have 42 participants (high school, college, adult), with six teams working on six different projects.

Our goal, as well as the mission of A.S.P., is to help make homes “warmer, safer, and drier” for a family. This is our congregation’s 33rd year of participation with A.S.P.!

Slideshow photos by Dave Sullivan and Kevin Coughlin. Click/hover on images for captions:

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Some info on poverty in the Appalachia region of the United States: This area has historically been one of the poorest areas of the United States for many decades.

Factors that contribute to the region’s poverty are its remoteness, lack of education, lack of highway access and transportation, and a national decline in mining and logging.

Variety Show, Morristown United Methodist Church, June 14, 2019. Photo by Dave Sullivan

The U.S. national poverty rate for a family of four for 2019 is approximately $25,750, with about 16 percent of the population living below the poverty rate.

The median household income in Morris County is approximately $100,000 with just 5 percent living below the national poverty rate.

Logan County, W. Va., on the other hand, has a median household income of only $34,000, and more than 28 percent live below the poverty line. Many of those families have household incomes BELOW $20,000.

Our one-week trip will cost approximately $30,000. We aim to raise about $19,000 of our trip; the rest is paid for by our participants. The programming fee for A.S.P. is $325 per person (lodging, meals, supplies, logistics) and the rest of our costs are six rental vans and fuel.

Our last fundraising goal has been to raise approximately $3000, to cover the cost of gas for the vans and a couple of group meals on the road down and back. Donations may be sent to:

Morristown United Methodist Church,
50 South Park Place,
Morristown, NJ 07960.

Please write “A.S.P.” on the memo line.

Vince Cattano is a member of the congregation, and leads the annual mission trip to Appalachia.

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