During this season of Lent, as a part of the Matthew 25 Initiative, we're seeking to raise $25,000 fund homelessness-related initiatives. That money will then be given to fund homelessness-related initiatives in several different ways as detailed below. If you wish to give to the campaign, you can do so at any time by going to firstpreswc.com/give or clicking the button below.
When beginning our Matthew 25 Lenten campaign in 2020 we had no idea that the funds raised for emergency housing relief would be so dearly needed. Thanks to your gifts we provided thousands of dollars in critical aid to our neighbors in need of rental assistance, utilities, clothing, and food – needs that could not be met by government or non-profit sources. We also were able to offer graduation grants to two West Chester University students served by the Promise Program, which aids WCU students who have aged out of foster care or who have been homeless. You can read one of their messages to us here:
“I have come a far way in my college career. Lacking support I had to motivate myself to keep pushing through the pain of learning and living. Obtaining my bachelors in Mathematics was not easy; but I had one goal in mind, being successful on my specific path. The promise program has helped me stay on the right track and provided consistent support financially and mentally.
This graduation grant will not only provide me comfort through transportation but it will strongly contribute to the growth of my short-and-long-term success…
I am more than grateful and feel confident entering the real world.”
–Ashley (WCU ’20)
2021 brings a familiar set of challenges to many of our neighbors. Too many still struggle with critical housing needs.
To that end, we are seeking to raise another $25,000 to meet urgent housing needs in Chester County. Funds raised will support the following:
$12,500 will be kept in the Matthew 25 Fund at First Pres, used for emergency housing needs that come to the church. $12,500 will be divided between:
As in 2020, any Lenten campaign funds raised over $25,000 will be invested in our Mission Endowment Fund, used to support new mission projects. Throughout Lent, you will have many opportunities to hear about the work that these organizations are doing in our community. We look forward to partnering with you again this year.
If you're unsure of the amount to give, consider giving according to common housing needs:
Easter Lily Program: donation in honor or memory of a loved one - $11
Move-in assistance for families entering permanent housing from the shelter: $125
One hour of legal fees to avoid eviction: $250
Average monthly utility bill: $350
Furniture delivery fee from the Community Warehouse - $400
A 0% interest short-term emergency loan for auto repairs or tuition through KACS - $500
Median rental payment in Chester County: $1393
Graduation grant for a Promise Program student to cover transitional expenses after graduation, including a first month’s rent and security deposit, moving costs, transportation, and personal care items - $2500