A $2,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) enabled services to hundreds of underserved individuals and families late in 2015 on the East Side of New York City’s Lower Manhattan.
Mariners’ Temple Baptist Church in that locale sponsors a comprehensive clothing, food and training initiative for the population, explains the Rev. Pamela Chisholm, Mariners’ minister of Evangelism and Outreach. A significant part of the initiative is providing social service referrals to people in need who approach the congregation. The Rev. Henrietta Carter is the congregation’s senior pastor.
“We were able to obtain (public transit) metro cards during the holiday period to assist with our referral process and enable those we served to get to the places where they needed to go,” Chisholm says. The grant also made it possible to purchase turkeys and hams for “love bags” and “boxes giveaways,” she says. “We also were able to feed about 175 people at our annual Thanksgiving Community Feast and Fellowship Service and purchased 35 coats for toddlers given away during the feast.”
Chisholm explained the congregation’s gratitude for the grant, which “helped us continue to answer the call to be the hands and feet of Christ in the Lower East Side community. Thank you so much for helping us to help others!”
The Matthew 25 Grant initiative, sponsored by ABCUSA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous, anonymous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” In Fall 2015, a total of 69 applicants received funding ranging from $500 to $5,000 with a total awarded of $169,140. Grant applications are welcomed once annually by September 1 with the only requirement being an ABCUSA connection.
The Matthew 25 grant process is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. For more information on the grant and application process visit: https://www.abc-usa.org/matthew25/.