Over 700 students reside at UMES to do mission work in the community
School may be out but hundreds of students from all over the country are at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore this week.
They're hosting a national Christian mission program. It's the program's first ever visit to Delmarva.
750 students from all over the nation are putting their summer months to good use through the Lott Carey program.
On June 28, 2017, 47 ABC found them packing food destined for third world countries.
The purpose of this program? Getting young adults involved in missionary work to inspire them to help others.
Each year they choose a university to house the program and this year UMES is providing their facilities and housing for the week.
Lott Carey is an African American Christian-based group and the students that participate range in age from 14 to 24 years-old.
And the food prep is just one of 35 missions completed this week.
"We are packing 75,000 meals to send to Uganda, Nigeria, and even we're leaving some here in the community. So we're packing it's made of soy beans, rice all nutritional products," Robert James, the Youth Department leaders tells us.
Lott Carey has been around for more than a century. And since it's creation, the program has held tightly to 4 principles: Compassion, evangelism, empowerment and advocacy.
Organizers say having different universities host the program each year is important because it allows young adults to more opportunities to experience more campuses.
47 ABC spoke to several students ranging from a first-year-attendee to a 14-year-returning veteran.
14-year-old Alexis White says this experience has been life changing.
And the 14-year-attendee Darius Singleton says, "I've been coming ever since, it's kind of one of things where I fell in love with helping and I know that there is a need for that so I just want to be the help."
The next short term mission trip will take place in July.
They will be going to Trinidad for a mission conference and service opportunity.
Lott Carey's History:
The group is named after a former slave.
Lott Carey was a slave in Virginia, where he purchased his freedom in 1813.
He then led the first Baptist missionaries to Africa from the U.S. in 1821.
The organization was officially founded by African-American Baptists 76 years later in 1897.
And for 50 years it operated out of North Carolina at Shaw University. The civil rights movement started out at Shaw and they decided to start their youth organization there.