Summer 2020 would have been the largest number of youth participating in Blueprint Ministries youth camps. Every year, the nonprofit normally brings hundreds of church youth to San Antonio to repair homes in some of this city’s most impoverished communities. Last year’s camps were canceled because of the pandemic.
The organization lost a large chunk of its annual revenue as a result, but that’s not what concerns the leader of Blueprint Ministries.
“It’s so important to us because we have witnessed over the years how the restoration of a home brings a restoration of hope to a family,” said DeeDee Sedgwick, Blueprint Ministries’ executive director. “I don’t say that lightly. It’s really important to us to develop long lasting relationships with these homeowners when we go in.”
So Blueprint Ministries pivoted, from repairing homes to caring for the homeowners they’d gotten to know over the years. Many of their clients are elderly or disabled and don’t have access to the internet. For their former clients, Blueprint Ministries staff and volunteers shopped for groceries, connected them to resources, and gave them someone to talk to during the solitary time.
“We did some porch visits,” Sedgwick said. “We would take food and essentials out to them. We had a local pharmacy, Carvajal Pharmacy, here in town, donate baskets full of essentials that you usually don’t get when you don’t have a great amount of income coming in.”
This summer, the camps are returning, but with some adjustments.