Vacation for Unemployed

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For many who are struggling to survive the worst economic times in the U.S. in decades, a vacation is out of the question. But now is when they could use a break the most. Kim Riemland reports on a way for low-income families to spend quality time together, without spending a dime. [ESPAÑOL]

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(Locator: Rockaway Beach, Oregon)

Twelve-year-old Maria Aguilar is going on a trail ride.

Volunteer: “There you go.”

Maria, her mom and little sister are spending three days on the Oregon coast—on a rare and much-needed vacation.

Alejandra Aguilar, Creation Vacation Camper: “I spend so much time working and working and it’s difficult to dedicate time to being with them. So this is an opportunity to be here with them and to be in nature.”

A family vacation wasn’t in the budget of this hard-working single mom—but it didn’t need to be. This entire getaway is free.

Kids play: “Yeah. Wow.”

It’s called Creation Vacation. For 12 years, this ministry of The United Methodist Church has offered low-income families in Idaho and Oregon a respite from daily life.

Family outside: “Bunny!”

Alejandra appreciates the opportunity to give her girls something she simply couldn’t afford now. The economy has hit her family hard.

Alejandra Aguilar, Creation Vacation Camper: “Before this past year, I could count on having three jobs and there was enough that I could take my girls out to eat two or three times a month. And we could go out to Chuck E. Cheese’s or places like that that they like to go. But now I can only count on having one job and so it’s definitely more difficult.”

Creation Vacations give struggling families a chance to see new things, and see each other in a new way.

The Rev. Kevin Witt, Former Camp & Retreat Ministries Director: “To be able to come and enjoy themselves and get away from their responsibilities—and many of them have huge responsibilities—for their families, it’s a time of peace. It’s a time of joy. And the children get to see their parents in a different light because they’re having fun together and they’re really enjoying each other’s company. And there’s a connection there that occurs.”

That connection can make a difference, this summer and for years to come.


Each summer, Creation Vacation gives almost 500 men, women, and children an opportunity to come to participate in four-day family retreats. The program has recently received an award from the Salem Oregon Housing Authority.

If you’d like more information about this ministry, call 1-800-593-7539, ext 43.

Also, see: ‘Creation Vacations’ offer respite in tough times

Posted: August 5, 2009