As we enter September, for many children and youth this means the beginning of a new school year. Along with the start of classes, the new school year can also call for new school supplies, clothing and backpacks. For the past three years, the First Baptist Church of Butte, Montana, has been involved in a program to help provide new clothing and school supplies for local children and youth in their community as they prepare to begin the new school year.
On August 20, 2015, the church joined with local partner organizations to help provide 150 children with clothing (a $100 value of clothing each). The program has grown since 2014, when 130 children received new clothing from this effort.
In addition to clothing, 182 backpacks with school supplies were provided for students going back to school, ranging in age from elementary school all the way up through high school.
“The need in Butte is great,” said Pastor Doug Rykiel. “People were also witnessed to in a humble and kind manner about Jesus during the application and pick up process. We did this in a manner to build lasting relationships. In my three years of helping with this event I know of one entire family coming to Christ.”
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.” Ministries must be in relationship with American Baptist Churches to be eligible to apply. 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.