The mission of the Rye Foundation is to make a life-changing impact on North Carolina children
by providing grants in the areas of Religion, Youth, and Education.
News from the Rye
TABOR CITY - Friends and supporters from southeastern North Carolina participated in a festive dedication ceremony for the Matthew 25 Center, a 5,160 square foot structure built to provide overnight accommodations for family members of inmates at the nearby Tabor Correctional Institution.
The Rye Foundation made a $10,000 charitable gift for the project, and the children’s activity room has been named the Rye Children’s Room.
Retired banker Burnett Coleman led the region-wide campaign to raise funds from businesses, churches, and individuals. He explained the purpose of the new ministry center in three words - “maintaining family relationships.” He said that the prison has a population of 1,750 inmates, and that children staying at the new center will receive love, support, and Christian hospitality.
Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation, attended the ribbon-cutting event and spoke about the importance of the center. “Every child who comes here will meet positive role models who can share a message of encouragement,” he said. “It is vitally important for these children to learn that there is a much better life than a life of crime.”
Research studies have shown that children of prisoners face many obstacles, and need adult role models who will provide guidance and stability. Helping children of prisoners is a top priority for the Rye Foundation, and substantial gifts have been made for similar projects in Taylorsville, Burgaw, and Winston-Salem.
Titled “Rye Foundation Funds Special Camps for Special Children,” the widely-read magazine focused its reporting on four camps which have received Rye funding:
— In Mount Airy, the Hospice-sponsored Brighter Days Children’s Grief Camp helps boys and girls who have experienced the loss of a sibling or parent.
— In Asheboro, Camp Caraway provides a safe setting for children who have a parent in prison.
— In Clemmons, Merriwood Christian Camp offers scholarship aid for children of missionaries.
— In King, the YMCA Camp Hanes offers two sessions of “Camp Corral”, aimed at children who have lost a parent on the battlefield.
The article explains that one of Rye’s top priorities is to enhance and expand the impact of camps. Over the years, the foundation has helped to build chapels, construct cabins, provide curriculum materials, and fund scholarships.
In addition to the magazine coverage, three newspapers have recently reported on Rye charitable gifts. These include the Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, the Perquimans Weekly in Hertford and the Biblical Recorder in Cary.
Reprints from the publications are available at the foundation office.
The Rye Foundation has announced the winner of its annual Ray Bryan Award, and the recipient is Camp Cale in Hertford.
Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation, said the award recognizes a faith-based organization which is making a positive and lasting impact on children and youth. He reported that the award is given each December, and the winner receives $25,000 to enhance and expand its programming.
“We are surprised, excited, and humbled by this wonderful news,” said Matt Thomas, the director of the 90-acre camp.
According to Thomas, the camp will use the funds to launch a leadership initiative to identify “leaders of tomorrow” in area high schools. Participants are expected to come from a 5-county region that includes Nags Head, Manteo, and Hertford. They will receive extensive training to recognize and utilize their God-given talents, and many are expected to return to the camp as counselors.
Based in Winston-Salem, the Rye Foundation makes charitable investments in the areas of religion, youth, and education. The foundation has earmarked a total of $100,000 to honor the life and legacy of Mr. Bryan, a Goldsboro businessman and philanthropist who died in 2016 at the age of 84.
“Ray Bryan really cared about children,” said Steen, “and he believed that God has a special plan for every child. The award that bears his name will ultimately help thousands of boys and girls across our state.”
Philanthropic support from the Rye Foundation includes major gifts to the following Eastern North Carolina organizations: Boys and Girls Homes in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell, Matthew 25 Center in Tabor City, Camp Vandemere near New Bern, and Young Life on the Crystal Coast in Morehead City.
Children walked from the morning chapel service toward a calm lake, where canoes and kayaks awaited. In the distance, others moved quickly to arts and crafts activities.
However, the day was anything but routine for the 238 boys and girls who attended Camp Corral, held at the historic YMCA Camp Hanes in King, North Carolina.
One important factor set this summer camp apart: every participant came from a family that had a parent wounded or killed in battle.
Several of the attendees were able to participate due to generous scholarship funding from the Rye Foundation. Two of Rye’s priorities are offering support to children of prisoners and children from military homes.
“This is a very special week,” said camp director Val Elliott, “and we are thankful for the Rye Foundation and its financial commitment to these children.”
During a recent site tour, leaders of the Foundation visited with children and staff members, attended the chapel service, and enjoyed lunch in the dining hall.
A daily highlight is seeing the boys and girls gather at the flagpole and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The informative site tour was part of an ongoing strategic plan to observe quality programming that is “making a difference” in the lives of North Carolina children. Other tours have been to Camp Vandemere near New Bern, Kamp Kiwanis in Lexington, Cale Camp in Hertford, the Mount Sinai – McCreary Community Center in Catawba, and the beloved Presbyterian Orphanage in Black Mountain.