SUMMER OUTREACH INITIATIVE 2021
For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’
A recent estimate says 11.9 million children (18% of all children) in the US live in a family with income below the federally-defined poverty line (US Census data). Another 1.3 million kids (16%) in Canada live in poverty. In 2020, a year as we all know impacted by COVID-19, some 29 million children relied on the US National School Lunch Program.
Until September 30th, we invite North American ecclesias, CYCs, families and friendship groups to register with the Kits4Kids initiative to receive 24 FREE backpacks to support children affected by poverty. Fill the backpacks with school supplies, donate them to local elementary schools and make a difference in a child’s life.
If your group is unable to purchase supplies due to financial constraints, The Garden will provide a one-time grant of $100USD to be put towards buying school supplies.
Why are we doing this initiative?
Once upon a time (like when our older ecclesial members went to school), the school itself provided the daily essentials – pens, paper, notebooks, and many other school supplies. For varying reasons, this is no no longer the case. Imagine an elementary school student unable to complete her work simply because mom or dad had to choose between school supplies, medical care, clothing or food for your family. Perhaps you were once in that situation yourself, or know of someone who was…
These stresses affect confidence and self esteem and can lead to life-long struggles. Providing school supplies a child needs is not just about the ‘stuff’, but also about offering the child some much needed measure of control and ownership over their schooling along with a vital sense of belonging.
Then there are the teachers. Imagine how hard it is for a dedicated teacher to teach their children if a large number of them have no school supplies to work with. Compounding the problem is that many schools can’t afford to provide these supplies themselves. In the U.S., for example, 29 states spent less on public education in 2015 than they did in 2009. Dedicated teachers may spend upwards of $1000 of their own money on such supplies for their classroom. One estimate indicates 94% of U.S. teachers have personally purchased supplies for their classrooms (source).
The needs are simple: pencils, paper, notebooks, crayons, markers, glue. Now is an opportunity to help students and teachers alike.
Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
Psalm 41:1, NRSV
We’re blessed to be able to provide the resources for this initiative at no cost to you or your ecclesia. If you’re interested in making a financial donation to help offset some of the expenses, we would be incredibly thankful. Through your generosity, The Garden will continue to share exciting new opportunities to inspire our community reach out to those most in need. Donations can be made on our donation page or the WCF website.