ALCOA, Tenn. (Sept. 6, 2018) -- Eight congregations are the most recent recipients of Change for Children grants totaling $22,600, the Holston Conference Children’s Ministry Team recently announced.
In addition, the team has set aside funds to provide scholarships for church volunteers or staff members wishing to attend children’s ministry training events, according to the Rev. Susan Groseclose, associate director of connectional ministries. (More information provided below.)
Change for Children donations are collected by Holston churches throughout the year with the goal of providing funds for children's ministries internationally and in Holston Conference.
“These grants not only provide the basic necessities of life but are providing the love of Jesus Christ through vital, faith-forming ministries to children whose families are oftentimes struggling financially or living with opioid addiction,” Groseclose said. “Also, these grants financially support and strengthen key partnerships with community schools and social organizations.”
In August, 2018 Change for Children grants were awarded to:
> Bearden UMC, Tennessee Valley District, for their partnership with Pond Gap School and the Knoxville Marriage Initiative. Grant funds will provide a hot meal, Bible study, recreation, and crafts for children while their parents are on date nights to enrich their marriages.
> Cedar Lane UMC, Tennessee Valley District, for Roxie Davis Price Tuition Scholarships enabling low-income children to attend a quality children’s daycare program (Partners for Children).
> First Dayton UMC, Hiwassee District, to provide free Wednesday Night Live meals for children whose families experience food shortages.
> Kingston UMC, Tennessee Valley District, for their partnership with Opioid Addiction Child Case Relief and Roane County social agencies to offer scholarships so that preschoolers being raised by seniors (grandparents and great-grandparents) can attend Kingston’s Early Start Preschool Program.
> Logan’s Chapel UMC, Smoky Mountain District, to expand their Vacation Bible School ministry with children in the community by offering “Youth Alive!” on Sunday mornings.
> New Century UMC, Tennessee Valley District, to incorporate children from families struggling with unemployment or underemployment into the life of the church. The grant will provide Saturday Nite Live, an annual Christmas play, and Christmas fruit and candy gift bags.
> First Pigeon Forge UMC, Smoky Mountain District, to provide transportation, meal, and incentive prizes for Illuminate Kids Program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, Inc., and the Pigeon Forge school system.
> Telford UMC, Three Rivers District, to provide Bikes for Kids at Christmas, in partnership with area Washington County schools.
The next application deadline for Change for Children grants is Feb. 15. See application.
The Holston Conference Children’s Ministry team invites children’s ministry volunteers or staff to apply for training scholarships in amounts up to $500. A maximum of $1,000 will be awarded per church.
“We know that these training events provide leaders a chance to learn new skills and expand their skills in working with children and families; provide excellent opportunities to network with other children’s leaders; and to offer a time of renewal and personal growth as a leader,” Groseclose said.
In 2018, persons can apply for a Change for Children Training Scholarship by Oct. 15, 2018. After 2018, persons may apply for a scholarship by Feb. 15 or Aug. 15 each year.