516 Project Ministry started with passion–a passion to help those in need, to put boots on the ground, skilled hands on projects in homes for families that need help. Most importantly, to share the love and hope of Jesus. 516 Project is passion evolved into action.
In 2011, a small group of Spotsylvania dog lovers banded together with the goal of building a public dog park for Spotsylvania County. The group realized that with approximately 28,600 dogs in Spotsylvania County the need for a dog park is great. Fundraising began with the hope to obtain land in a suitable location. The dog park volunteer group approached Spotsylvania county government, proposing building a dog park in Patriot Park. However, when cost estimates exceeded $200,000, the county government’s decision was to use the money for other recreational purposes.
John Henry Myer came to America to escape the turmoil of mid nineteenth century Germany. He would settle in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1846. He began his professional life as a saddler. Interestingly, in 1852, he changed vocations, becoming a baker and confectioner, a switch that proved highly successful. He operated his business at 212 William Street which backed onto Market Square. The operation had an expanded kitchen attached to the rear of the building, and the Myer family residence were on the upper two floors. By the time of the Civil War he had three young children. Mary Elizabeth, John Jr., and Annie.
Long after the holiday season is over, the gifts and givers are forgotten, the tree stored for another year; long after the last shred of tinsel is brushed away and the candles are relieved from their window sill vigils and the goodwill bell ringers have counted their stash, there remains on our sidewalks those whose needs remain. They still have their little cups and card board signs in hope that shards of goodwill remain even if accompanied by catty remarks and woeful glances. The homeless and disenfranchised of our community exist on the fringe of our society and every day, we have a choice to either turn our heads with closed hearts or extend a hand of compassion, realizing that life could have dealt us a similar fate if circumstances were different.
When I moved to Fredericksburg 15 years ago, I knew Fredericksburg was a beautiful, historical town. but, I never had the pleasure of experiencing Fredericksburg because I was a prisoner of I95 and my daily commute. I found my weekends consumed with errands, laundry, and kids activities making it even more difficult to experience the city. I always assumed I needed to go Washington DC or Richmond for fun activities. What I found is that I was living under a rock and had no idea what I was missing.