We Care turns 40

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forty years of work came to a head on Saturday as the We Care Program celebrated its anniversary with several events throughout the day.

We Care, which was founded in 1970 as the New Life Foundation by Martin Weber, is an organization that is built around ministering the word of God to prison inmates.

The event was capped off in the evening with the unveiling of a monument at the We Care headquarters to recognize the 40 years of work the program has done.

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David Landis, president of the We Care Program, said the idea for the monument came to him from a similar one he saw on a trip.

“It was kind of a brainstorm that I came up with,” Landis said. “It was an idea that I got from visiting Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Col. They have a similar monument showing off their history. When I got the idea, me along with our graphics person Sheila Copenhaver and my brother who owns a graphics business in Pennsylvania worked on it.”

The monument, which stretches one wall of a room in the headquarters, displays pictures of several monumental moments in We Care’s 40 years of history.

Prior to the open house and unveiling of the monument, We Care hosted a 40th anniversary celebration at Grace Fellowship on Hwy. 31.

The event featured speeches by Landis, Don Metzler and Arlin Schrock with music from Gary Mast and also the testimonies of six former inmates whose lives have been changed by We Care.

Landis said the idea behind the former inmates speaking was to let people see that the work We Care puts in does work.

“When you look at 40 years of prison ministry, and all the sacrifices that have gone into this, it’s for those guys,” Landis said. “We wanted to let people see that their are lives that have been made better by this program, and possibly been saved by further destruction.”

The entire day of events was great for new staff members of We Care to see where the program has come from as well as see former workers for We Care.

Several former workers and volunteers were on hand for the event to celebrate the work that has been put in and that will continue.

Landis said it was good for the new staff to get a feel for the history behind We Care.

“A lot of our staff is newer,” Landis said. “It was good for them to see how rich the history is for the organization, and to get to be able to for a moment to celebrate 40 years.”

Visitors to the 40th anniversary celebration of We Care look at the new historical display that was unveiled Saturday night at We Care headquarters on Hwy. 21.|Photo by Chandler Myers