As kids all across the nation prepare to start another school year, a Southern Baptist-affiliated charity is providing needy children with a few crucial supplies to help kick-start their new semester.
“Send Relief,” which is effectively the humanitarian aid arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, held a “Back to School Party” earlier this month, during which it provided some 2,100 backpacks and over 35,000 school supplies to children in need – many of whom were refugees.
The event, which was held just two days prior to the public-school system welcoming kids back into class, was only possible through the generous donations of over 200 churches and several ministry organizations.
Alongside school supplies, the charity also gave out 540 pairs of shoes and a staggering 1,500 bibles. Medical check-ups and prescription reading glasses were also provided.
“We always want to be careful. We don’t want to foster unhealthy dependency and we don’t want to be known for just giving out free stuff all the time,” the manager of Send Relief’s Clarkston Ministry Center, Trent DeLoach, told the Christian Post.
“But due to the cost of school supplies and knowing that the majority of our neighbors have large families — six to 10 kids is quite normal — that is a significant expense. You go to the county public school’s website and click on school supplies; you could easily spend up to $90 per child if you purchase everything they say is needed.”
After engaging in this incredible ministry to needy children, Send Relief has been working on yet another humanitarian project – helping the people of Puerto Rico cope with the impact of Hurricane Dorrian. Thankfully, the Cat 4 hurricane did not strike the Carribean island directly, largely diminishing the threat posed to the population. Still, residents continue to reel from the effects of 2017’s Hurricane Maria, with many requiring additional aid following downpours caused by the most recent storm.
“Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria,” said Jonathan Santiago, director of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send ministry center in Puerto Rico. “As a result, it doesn’t take a lot of wind and rain to damage homes covered with blue tarps and already needing repair.”
In preparation for the storm, Send Relief stored 150,000 meals in a warehouse on the island for those in need.
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