Letter to the Editor

Local leader again asks for help for the children

Sunday, March 13, 2016

To the editor:

To the generous hearts,

Thank you. Because of you, children have been given shoes, socks, shirts, pants, underclothes, and school supplies. Over the past two years we have responded as a community in providing these needs to children as they return to school. When the children came to the YMCA last year to receive their school needs, other services were provided. Children received vaccinations along with free dental and vision screenings. The number of children responding from our first year to second year doubled. We are starting earlier this year to be better prepared for a greater turn out.

In years past, many of our supporters and benefactors requested us to come earlier in the year to present our needs. Many of the grants, funds, and donations are established in the beginning of the year to be disbursed throughout the year. We are once again coming to our community leaders and businesses to ask if you would remember the children as they begin their 2016-2017 school year. The need is great and no child is turned away empty handed. Because of you, over 300 children were served last year. With your help, we will be able to help even more.

We live in this community. We see the need every day. We could convince ourselves it is not as bad as we think. The facts present the need very quickly. One elementary school in our city has an 80% rate of free, or reduced lunches. The needs are overwhelming. Many need help and one person can't make a difference. One organization can't make a difference. Together, we can. Last year, several churches and ministries came together and using the YMCA as the center of distribution many needs were met. The purchased and collected items will be dispersed on July 23, 2016.

Would you join us again this year as we gear up and prepare to send children to school with the bare minimum and then some of what they need? A strong education is the greatest way to battle poverty. Some of us have learned this from personal experience.

Thank you for your consideration,

Rev. Mark Thompson, First Baptist Church, Brazil