The Faith Alliance, a network of churches and volunteers in Lakota, served in 3 outreach ministries this summer helping low-income, at-risk local children to be nourished, mentored, and properly ready for school.
The 4th Annual Faith Alliance Help a Child in Need Succeed Backpack Ministry supporting Reach out Lakota’s Back to School Program was another wonderful success! Nine Faith Alliance churches partnered to collect backpacks and school supplies for low-income children registered at Reach Out Lakota. Churches sponsored more than 450 Lakota children with backpacks and school supplies, including more than $24,000 worth of donations.
Andrea Subler, ROL Back to School Coordinator commented:
“Your (Faith Alliance) collaboration played a vital role in helping us to meet our goal to ensure that all children in the Lakota School District begin the school year with the tools needed to succeed. The majority of our distributed items (well over 90%) came from members of the Faith Alliance! We certainly couldn’t succeed without the many hands and hearts like yours that are dedicated to helping our community.”
The Summer Lunch Ministry, led by Faith Alliance churches and Butler County Success for about 10 years, has blossomed into a partnership with Lakota Child Nutrition and their new Food Bus the past two years. Through this partnership, more low-income children than ever were served lunch this year at six local residential sites plus Liberty Junior School. 13,533 meals were served to almost 300 children each day, Monday through Friday all summer.
Hundreds of volunteers from 22 churches, 26 schools, 3 companies and 3 non-profits, showed up to help with lunch, read, mentor and do fun activities with these children through-out the summer. Many churches organized field trips for example, to the zoo, library, fire and police stations, and some provided adult lunches and groceries to take home. Faith Alliance volunteers organized Book Fairs and the MidPointe Outreach Librarian also led reading activities at various sites.
29 students registered for the free Faith Alliance Summer Lunch Literacy 6 week Program at Union and Woodland Elementary Schools. Led by two veteran Lakota teachers, the program targeted 1st and 2nd grade struggling readers from low-income homes. Four college interns and one high school volunteer assisted with the program. Faith Alliance, in cooperation with Butler County Success and Lakota Schools, has administered the Summer Lunch Literacy Program for the past 3 years under the leadership of Denise Chambers, Volunteer Literacy Advocate.
The students and staff celebrated the end of their program by visiting Fiona, the newest addition at the Cincinnati Zoo! One little girl was reported as telling her teacher, “This is the best day of my life!”
Faith Alliance is grateful for their many partners in service including: the churches, Lakota Schools & Child Nutrition, Butler County Success, the Lunch of Love, Mission Possible, Reach Out Lakota, Hillandale Family of Communities and all the community volunteers who collectively made a difference in the lives of these children and families. Funding for all or part of this outreach has been generously provided by The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, the Caring Community Collaborative (C3), The Cincinnati Presbytery, The Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty, Walmart, our churches and private donors.