In the last week of July, we handed out 125 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in our community. The children were so happy having new backpacks and school supplies before school started! A 3rd grade girl said, “I don’t have to use my older sister’s used backpacks anymore! I am very excited and I cannot wait to go back to school carrying my new backpack.” Many parents expressed their gratitude for the backpacks and school supplies their children received at Bethel Neighborhood Center.
The ten educational and fun-filled field trips we took during our summer program were possible because of the Matthew 25 Grant. Ms. Rakmi Shaiza, our Program Director says, “Field trips were one of the most fun activities our students and staff members enjoyed. The students were more relaxed visiting new places and staying outdoors. Our students listened better when we went on field trips and we had fewer discipline issues.”
We also used the grant fund to buy game materials like soccer balls, kick balls, volley balls, basket balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, and other game materials. Some of the money was used to buy healthy snacks for our after school program. We have had guest speakers to teach our children about fire safety, online safety, inappropriate touches, conflict resolution, and Zumba dance. We have also invited guest speakers to train our staff members and volunteers in recognizing child abuse and other important topics. Using the grant fund, we also bought oriental food items that are commonly used by our new neighbors.
We are thankful for God’s divine arithmetic, which allows gifts such as this to touch many lives.
Rev. Mang Sonna
Bethel Neighborhood Center
The Matthew 25 Grant, sponsored by ABCUSA, is funded by a generous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” Awards for the Matthew 25 grant are made twice a year, in April and October, with application deadlines of March 1 and September 1. To view the guidelines and download the application form, click here.