Mayflower sets aside a significant percentage of our annual budget for Outreach. 

As we live into Jesus’ Great Commandment, these funds impact our community, our country, and our world. 

– – – – 2021 UPDATE – – – –

With GRPS being completely virtual, many students have struggled with their learning. Absenteeism is a huge problem (for example, Mulick Elementary School has an attendance rate of around 59%). Baxter has developed a learning program for 10 children and has plans to expand this to 30 students over the summer. Mayflower’s $17,500 gift will complete the funding for this program.

“… we are currently planning for an expanded summer program offering for around 30 students…there have been high rates of absenteeism in GRPS this year, and virtual learning/hybrid have left many students behind. Even in years past, studies have shown that students from low-income households tend to have a “summer slide” – a decline in reading ability and other skills that occur when school is not in session.

To combat this, after such an unusual year, we are planning a summer program that will incorporate “disguised learning” – fun activities that will improve reading, math, science, and writing skills for participants. We have a Public Health intern from Central Michigan University who will be working with us through the end of the summer and creating curriculum for our programs that teach healthy eating habits and gardening skills. This program will take place outside the walls of Baxter as much as possible, with participants interacting with nature and learning about where their food comes from as well as how to grow vegetables themselves, starting from seeds. This program will require additional staff to supervise participants, funding for breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all participants, and supplies. Right now, funding this program to ensure that we can serve as many students as possible is our highest need. The whole program will likely cost around $35,000. We have secured nearly $10,000 from the City of Grand Rapids and are currently applying for another grant for $7,500 to support the program.”

 

The Village: Eden Ministries serves orphans and vulnerable people in Doma, Zimbabwe. They have a “village” of cottages that have 10 children (orphans) living with two adults in a family setting. Due to a recent emergency at a government orphanage in a neighboring town, Eden’s has increased its orphan care and desperately needs to build more cottages. Our Mayflower gift of $20,000 is almost half the amount needed for the construction of an entire cottage.

Youth mental health services: 

The mental health of youth has become even more precarious during the pandemic. Mayflower has stepped in to help two local organizations that serve vulnerable young people.

This organization serves youth 14-24 who are experiencing homelessness. Mayflower’s donation of $5,000 helps support a partnership between AYA and The Wisdom Center.

St. John’s Home is a residential program for youth who have experienced trauma or neglect. The Mayflower gift of $10,000 helps these teens have access to much needed mental health resources.

Habitat for Humanity ($5,000): Access to affordable housing is a growing concern and one that Habitat is addressing. We continue to support their efforts to build and renovate homes for families. Due to the pandemic, they have not been able to host volunteers which has had a huge impact on their budget.

A Thank You Message
from Eden!!

Eden Ministries serves orphans and vulnerable people in Doma, Zimbabwe. They have a “village” of cottages that have 10 children (orphans) living with two adults in a family setting.

Due to a recent emergency at a government orphanage in a neighboring town, Eden’s has increased its orphan care and desperately needs to build more cottages.

Our Mayflower gift of $20,000 is almost half the amount needed for the construction of an entire cottage.

Thank you for giving!!

Donations helped make a new home handicap accessible for a special family.

WITH GRATITUDE FOR YOUR GENEROSITY…

“We can’t thank you and all at Mayflower enough again.”

“As you know, Bethany exists to support vulnerable families in the U.S. and around the world. Arthur and his family arrived in Grand Rapids to be resettled through Bethany Christian Services’ Refugee Resettlement Program in the Winter of 2020.

Difficulty finding affordable housing in the city for a large family was compounded by the need for increased accessibility. Arthur previously suffered an incident which left him wheelchair bound, with reduced mobility in both his arms and legs. When a home of a suitable size and price was secured, it was discovered to have serious accessibility issues. Slopes on the property and steep stairways left estimates for a new accessibility ramp at nearly $6,500.

Fortunately, at the request of Bethany Christian Services, several West Michigan communities came together to address the family’s need for an accessible home. Solid Rock Ministries volunteered their knowledge and expertise, by designing a 40-foot wooden accessibility ramp and obtaining a permit from the city. Meanwhile, Bethany received permission to construct the proposed ramp from Urban Pharm, the property management company in charge of the home. 

Mayflower Congregational came together and generously donated the funds necessary to cover the cost of lumber and hardware for the build. Finally, after a month of planning, coordination, and preparation, at 7:30am on a Thursday December Morning, groups of volunteers from DISHER Engineering and Nelson’s Builders, along with a build supervisor from Solid Rock, arrived at the site to break ground. The whole thing only took half a day thanks to the expertise of the volunteer builders involved. 

After the ramp was complete and the volunteers were admiring the completed project, Arthur and two of his children came out to try out the new ramp, with smiles on their faces. Their enthusiasm was clear as Arthur’s daughter helped her father navigate the ramp down to the driveway with ease. Without the help of our partners, Solid Rock Ministries, Mayflower Congregational, Urban Pharm, Nelson’s Builders, DISHER, and the Grand Rapids Building and Safety department this project would not have been possible. It is an excellent example of a project coming together to meet Bethany’s mission of supporting vulnerable families in Grand Rapids. “

JAN/FEB PARTNER

DAILY LUNCH MEALS NEEDED!

Making cold meal bags for overflow shelter and outreach
– Needed immediately –
 
  • Must have sealed packaging
  • Cold sandwiches can be handmade and wrapped in plastic and placed in a ziplock bag/box
  • Meals should be balanced with Proteins, Fruit, Veg, Dairy, Grains, Beverage (water, juice, milk).
Daily meals need estimated to be 50.

Mel Trotter Ministries’ NEW Mobile Shower Unit will allow those experiencing homelessness to receive a hot shower with dignity and compassion as they move to seek sustainable housing and employment opportunities.

The mobile shower unit will be placed at strategic locations throughout the city where hygiene services are most needed. Mel Trotter Ministries, along with community partners including The Other Way Ministries and The Homeless Outreach Team are building relationships in the West Michigan community to help unsheltered individuals with tangible needs such as hygiene.

MARCH PARTNER

Outreach in March will be “Filling the Pantry”
for Safe Haven Ministries.

Safe Haven is a ministry focused on following Christ’s example, and motivated by our community needs, to prevent and end relationship abuse.

Safe Haven operates an emergency safe shelter which is available for individuals and families fleeing domestic abuse. During their stay residents receive ongoing case management and support. 

The shelter operates a pantry for residents and at Mayflower we are committed to filling that pantry with the most needed items in the month of March.

Our website will have a link to the list posted in February.

A Note of Thanks from our friends
at IHN/Family Promise:

Dear Mayflower Congregants,

We are blown away at the incredible amount of food you were all able to put together and provide to the families at Family Promise. Thank you so much for continuing to provide support to those in need during these exceptionally worrisome times. We are so grateful to have you all as partners in this important work.

Thank you for making this opportunity a blessing to so many!

Stay tuned for an upcoming 2021 date to participate.
Please email Ruth with your interest.

Our committee continues to be grateful for the generous support of the congregation. 

We seek to be a blessing to those around us and a force for good in the world.