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Rachel, Sarah, Ivory, Alexander, and I are so grateful for the opportunities we have had to meet, work, minister and just get to know you. We want to tell you that we love you, and we love that we will be able to continue to work together to help the people in Hollygrove.
Jesus Project Ministries was birthed out of the devastation of hurricane Katrina, a time of such great uncertainty and turmoil. The current emergency caused by the virus can’t help but bring up some of the same emotions we had during that season.
We hope that we can encourage you and emphasize some lessons learned from experiences we had during that disaster and the recovery. Although we realize this is a completely different situation, some things will be the same. The number one thing is that we are all in this together and that will strengthen us all. Some days we may be angry or fearful, we might have to separate from family or friends, and changes will be continuous. These all are such stressful and difficult realities. After Katrina, it seemed that nothing would ever be okay again. But we saw so many amazing miracles and we met so many lovely people. Those days give us hope, courage, and peace for today.
Perhaps you think it is too early to think and write in a hopeful manner. During the early stages of the disaster recovery, it was difficult to see people laughing and smiling, but it soon became evident that the journey was going to be long. Living in the peace and the joy of the Lord was essential then and it is essential today. God wants to help us, to comfort and protect each one of us. We are praying for the peace and joy of the Lord to surround you.
Today the mayor of New Orleans announced that we currently have 418 cases of the COVID19 in New Orleans. She said, “At this time it is absolutely critical that we avoid close contact with others.” For this reason, we feel it is best to temporarily suspend our programs in Hollygrove for the next 12 to 14 days. Our community is in such great need right now, and we want to be there for them, but waiting is THE best help for now.
During this time we are available to you to talk or pray with you. Please feel free to email, text or call. If you need our help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We love you and appreciate you. If you are able to continue financially supporting our work to the community, we would be so grateful.
Simply put, we are going to need your help today. Beginning Monday all New Orleans area public schools will be closed which will greatly limit our kids’ access to food. According to NOLA.com, “Citywide, 84% of public school students are considered economically disadvantaged, meaning they qualify for free and reduced-priced lunches, and many rely on school to get enough to eat.”
In addition to the snacks and take-home lunches we provide to the more than 100 children who come to tutoring, Jesus Project also assists Senior Citizens and the working poor in our community. The Seniors, who are mostly shut-in, and the working poor whose paychecks are being cut are in urgent need of help.
We will start to distribute food and disinfectant supplies to our community on Monday, at the latest.
You are the backbone of our work in Hollygrove and your financial support allows us to be the “boots on the ground.” If you can help, click the link below to give online.
I wanted to quickly update you on some of the happenings at Apple Street Learning Center and Jesus Project Ministries. The fall season is flying by, and we are seeing amazing transformations.
A quick story – One of our young men “TR” is having a break-out year. Last year when he would come to tutoring as a third grader he would say, “I can’t read!” Many days he would just shut down and sit with his arms folded in defeat. Every time he would say he couldn’t read our tutors would encourage him and say, “We are going to teach you to read.” It has been a hard fought battle, but this year he has been overcoming and succeeding in school. Recently, he has been named Student of the Week twice! What a miracle to watch him work on reading, to finish his math homework and be named Student of the Week. This is only possible because of amazing partners who stand with our ministry.
This is the a brief list of what we are accomplishing this fall:
Feeding hungry kids – We all hate to think about children going hungry or eating junk food. Thanks to your generous help we are able to keep children from going to bed hungry. Every day we provide healthy after-school snacks and a take home bag to 40 plus children.
Tutoring tender minds – This is a record breaking year for tutoring. We have the highest number of children ever coming to the tutoring center. So far this year we have had 76 children. We are running out of room, but we are not running out of enthusiasm. I sharpen dozens of pencils each day. Every single pencil has been provided by our generous donors….. thank you so much! I like to say, at Apple Street Learning Center we sharpen pencils so we can sharpen minds.
Upcoming events: The Cajun Thanksgiving Outreach is on November 23rd at 1:00 pm on the corner of Apple and Cambronne Street, New Orleans. If you would like to help provide a family with a turkey and a thanksgiving food box please click the blue button below to donate. We will provide a dinner for a family in your name. $45.00 feeds a family of four a feast.
Christmas Party and Toy Give-Away is on December 14th at 1:00 pm.
Thank you again for all of your help over the years. We have an amazing surprise to tell you about soon. Stay tuned, it is exciting!
PS: Did you know that Apple Street Learning Center is recognized by the Louisiana State Board of Education as an approved Tutoring Center?
Thank you for all of your help this year. Look what we have been able to do in December alone:
Over 340 children came to the Christmas Party and received gifts
30 children were warmed up with much needed coats
45 kids were tutored just this week alone
Hundreds of healthy snacks and hundreds of take home sandwiches have been served
We are just a few days away from Christmas. The last thing on our holiday to-do list is food boxes for struggling families. Knowing people have food brings me such comfort and joy when I am celebrating with my family and friends. This year we have 30 families on our at-risk list. If you want to help feed a family it costs $45.00, but any amount is appreciated. The box will include a card with your name, wishing the family a Happy Holiday.
All of us here at JPM are so grateful to you. You have helped us change the lives of so many people. We pray that you have a delightful holiday season with your family and friends.
Many blessings and Merry Christmas from Jesus Project Ministries,
Thanks so much to all who partnered with us on Giving Tuesday. You made such a difference! We raised $12,080 which is 67% of our goal. We are hopeful that Facebook will match some of the donations, which will bring us closer to our target of $18,000.
In a few hours, our team will be headed out to buy Christmas presents for over 350 children. The budget for each child is $20. It is only because of you that we can put smiles like these on children’s faces. Along with the gifts, everyone who comes to the Christmas Party and Toy Give-Away enjoys food, crafts, and some good ole fashioned Christmas cheer. If you are nearby on December 14th, please come join the fun!
In addition to the Christmas party and gifts, a portion of the money raised on Tuesday will provide for a subscriptions to the Lexia Core 5 reading program. Each students subscription costs $25 annually. This is a nationally recognized reading enhancement program. We see tremendous improvement in children’s reading skills when they use this program. Thank you so much for helping improve children s reading skills.
We will let you know if we received any matching dollars. According to Facebook, we will be notified in January.
Even though Giving Tuesday is officially finished, your contribution to the lives of the children in Hollygrove will continue.
Rachel, Sarah, Alexander, Ivory and the rest of our team are so grateful for all that you do throughout the year, we just want to say thanks again.
Yesterday, while delivering food baskets financed by our generous sponsors, we stopped at the house where “Al” lives. Al comes to tutoring during the school year as well as summer camp. He is one of the sweetest, best-mannered, lovable nine-year-olds you will ever meet. Al lives with his “godmother” Ruth because his mom is incapable of caring for him.
As we delivered their food basket, Ruth overflowed with thanks and praise for all Jesus Project and Apple Street Learning Center have meant to her and Al. She thanked us for the tutoring, the snacks, the nightly take-home sandwiches and the help with school projects. She recalled how much Al enjoyed summer camp and all he learned there.
I wish you could have heard Ruth’s words firsthand. Her gratitude was over-the-top. It is truly your generous support that makes this possible. Al and Ms. Ruth are just an example of the children and families you have helped this year through your generosity:
83 students have been tutored in the past three months
105 children came to the free summer camp
350 children received the backpacks and school supplies they needed
43 families – which is well over 200 people received all of the fixins they need for a Thanksgiving dinner
200 people had a beautiful time at the Cajun Thanksgiving last Saturday
5000 of healthy snacks for the summer camp and after-school program
12 JSTEP teenagers learned how to lead and the value of money by money provided for stipends for their summer Junior Internship program
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, in gratitude, for those who make a difference in our lives. So we thank you and wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving.