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First Presbyterian Church of Waverly awarded its 2022, $1000 Matthew 25 Grant to the Pike County Coordinating Council Bridgehaven Homeless Shelter to provide supportive resources for homeless families with children. This award will provide increased services such as mental health for homeless children as well as parent training for adults.

The purpose of the annual grant is to give support to Pike County projects that will have a sustaining impact on children and youth, addressing both immediate needs as well as systemic issues. The grant monies made possible through an endowment given in 2003 by long time Waverly resident and church member, Wade McCluggage, in memory of his wife Sybil, to be used for music and educational ministries as well as work with area young people.

The church’s grant program evolved from an exploration by the congregation’s Mission and Evangelism Committee on what it means to become a Matthew 25 congregation. As the parable of Jesus indicates, people of faith are called to respond to the needs of the “least of these” as though responding to God. The Committee came to the realization that a portion of the church’s resources should be so directed and thereby created the Matthew 25 grant for community programs with children and youth.

As a result of this discernment process and the applications themselves, other funds have been given as seed money to the following group:
$1000 to Western HOPE180 Drivers Ed program, $500 to Piketon High School Lego Club to purchase complex Lego kits, and $500 to OSU Extension Educator for healthy snacks presentations in the schools. Through the Evelyn Baker Memorial Fund, FPC provided $1000 to COPE for ongoing services and $500 to The Magic Closet at Jasper Elementary to help supply children with clothing and other school and personal needs.

In addition, the First Presbyterian is a strong supporter of the Pike County Coordinating Council food pantry. It also supports COPE Thanksgiving and Christmas programs as well as other program needs. The church provides volunteers to the Waverly after-school 4-H program for 3rd to 5th graders and supplies to the Wilson A. Garnet Public Library children’s crafts and summer reading programs.

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