Catalyzing Hope - Letter From Kyle
Earlier this week I discussed this coming Sunday’s celebration of how God brought hope to hard situations through our partner organizations Hopeprint, David's Refuge, and Pass 'Da R.O.C.K. Today, Id like to sketch out an opportunity we have as a church to bring hope to Clary Middle School.
Did you know that over 41,000 residents of Syracuse live below the federal poverty guidelines? That’s 32% of the Syracuse population. Many children don’t eat over the weekend when they leave school. Their home situations are fragile and hard.
I met recently with the principal of Clary Middle School in Syracuse and she spoke candidly about the difficult the task of educating students who are in the midst of such hard situations. We now have an opportunity to bring hope by feeding students in need, mentoring, and supporting their music arts program.
Helping to Feed Students
Through one of our Eastern Hills families we have been introduced to a program called Blessings in a Backpack which provides food on the weekends for school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.
This family has experienced tremendous joy as they have taken on the task of feeding all of Delaware Elementary School through the local Syracuse chapter. They're story encouraged me as they are constantly finding ways to save within their own budget to give more while also growing and leveraging their business to bring more resources to kids who need hope. I know they would delight in seeing many of us join their effort by bringing resources to Clary Middle School.
If you are interested in finding out more about this part of the initiative, click here.
The second opportunity we have is to join with Pass 'Da R.O.C.K. in offering ourselves as mentors. Life skill mentorship is a key difference maker in helping youth break the cycle of poverty. They can’t just be told they can make it, because usually on their own they will discover they can’t. What they need is a person who is willing to be in relationship with them offering guidance, support, and access to a different network.
Pass 'Da R.O.C.K. takes a twofold approach when engaging youth – first by offering basketball programs and later providing an opportunity for relationships to be built with mentors that can offer guidance through the hard situations they find themselves attempting to overcome.
If you think you might be willing to be a mentor, click here so we can follow up with you.
Music Arts Program Support
Finally, over the past several years a group of people from Eastern Hills have been helping Becca Peña with her annual school musical performance. From a church-wide perspective, there are two ways we can increase our support.
First, we believe there is an opportunity to do a physical improvement project in Clary’s auditorium to enhance this production. This could be a project that involves rehabbing the lighting and sound systems.
Secondly, Eastern Hills can come alongside Becca in running and attending the performances. Both of these will declare the value God sees in these students.
If either of these seem like something you might want to participate with Click here.
Let’s see what God might do!
We've experienced God in big ways over the history of Eastern Hills. We've seen some incredible things happen through Hopeprint, David's Refuge, and Pass 'Da R.O.C.K.. I can't wait to see what will unfold as we begin our partnership with Clary Middle School - how we might see God provide hope and experience his goodness ourselves!
See you Sunday,