Local Mission Committee grants awarded
Local Mission Committee grants awarded from the Virginia Cook Trust Fund at our April 28 meeting:
1. CAPE COD CHILDREN’S PLACE: We granted $5000 to support continuation of the Lower Cape Emergency Child Care Fund. This fund was started in 1999 with a grant from the Federated Church and we continue to be the major source of funds for it. he Emergency Child Care Fund is unbudgeted. “Only families for whom no other childcare tuition assistance is available are encouraged to apply to this Fund.” Parents who work seasonal jobs are hard pressed to find child care during the busy summer months when they do most of their earning. This Fund is a life-safer for them.
2. FOOD FOR KIDS: We granted $1500 to help with the cost of feeding more than 500 children and teens breakfasts, lunches, and snacks at camps, libraries, and recreation programs throughout the Lower and Outer Cape during the summer months. Kids who qualify for free or subsidized lunches during the school year are often undernourished during the long vacation. The program is run by and from the Church of the Holy Spirit and includes several volunteers from our church. Food for Kids also gives 4-7 children at each site a book of their choice each day and sends some lucky winners to a play at the Harwich Junior Theater—feeding minds as well as bellies.
3. EMERGENCY FUND FOR VETS ON THE LOWER AND OUTER CAPE. We agreed to set up a $2000 Emergency Fund. Gina Giambusso, the Executive Director of the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center in Hyannis, was enthusiastic about creating a fund similar to the one we have at Elder Services that she could draw on for one-time, emergency needs of low-income veterans and their families on the Lower and Outer Cape; this would be for expenses that are not included within the parameters of established programs and not covered by Lower Cape Outreach Council and the Homeless Prevention Council.
4. MEETING HOUSE PRESCHOOL. We granted $7000 to use for scholarships next year. More and more of the kids at this school housed in the basement of our church seem to need financial help. So far, 13 children are set to attend the Preschool (up from 7 or 8 this time last year), and many of them will need at least partial scholarships. Bottom Line: Our church is doing a great service to the community by making it possible for low-income children to get a good start in their educational life and for their parents to know what a loving Christian community can do.
5. HOMELESS PREVENTION COUNCIL. We granted $7000 to support two new “start up” programs. Executive Director Hadley Luddy told us that for Outreach to Homeless Youth, our funding would support case management for identified at-risk youth, marketing materials to display where teens will see them, and social media advertising. [Nauset School District has been dealing with eight students who are either homeless or considered at risk; Monomoy has 17 similar cases.] For Contracted Tenant Services, she said the goal is to make sure that Lower Cape residents living in affordable housing maintain their housing once they move in.
6. NAUSET TOGETHER WE CAN/YOUTH AFTER SCHOOL. We granted $7000 to expand programs and serve more youth. New Co-Director Kyle Wibby gave us a rundown on Youth After School, which continues to provide free after-school activities for Middle Schoolers five days a week from 2:30-5:30 pm at the Old Firehouse on Main Street. They have had as many as 20 kids attend these programs and are expanding by offering paint nights and movie nights, which have been popular with some High School kids as well. The program hosts “arts” nights when kids work together on projects; Kyle hopes to involve more High School students to serve as mentors and give Middle Schoolers a taste of what High School is like. NTWC is also working to keep the Finch Skate Park going for high school kids and continues to look for a venue for after-school gatherings.
7. MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION. We granted $1000 for its Beehive School Tools spring initiative, which provides school supplies packages to about 165 needy kids in the Nauset region towns of Orleans, Brewster, and Eastham. School officials determine which kids need this help and take care of the actual distribution of packages to preserve the kids’ anonymity. Our partnership with the Masons on their school programs and winter-coat giveaways to needy kids has been very productive.
Please tell one of us if you know of a worthwhile local charity that needs help; our next meeting will be on September 15.
Dallas Jones (Chair), Jean Colby, Bea Auty, Suzanne Calsson, Ann Phillips, Jan Laster, Carol Richardson.