By Rick Jones, Presbyterian News Service.
For two decades the Starmount Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C., has been actively ministering to families resettling in the community, with a special emphasis on children and youth. Part of that commitment has been partnering with families from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bosnia, Syria and Chad to name a few.
“There is not a great financial need among our own members, but for the refugees and their children, there are needs that we can help to meet and that includes helping children be prepared for school,” said the Rev. John Odom, Starmount pastor. “We help fund school supplies for refugees and use 40 percent of our Pentecost offering to support the Black Child Development Institute, because it provides for the needs of all children in our community, ensuring they are prepared for educational success.”
The Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is one of 33 affiliates in the U.S. Since its inception, its goal has been to “improve and protect the quality of life for children and youth” in the Greater Greensboro community.
“One of the ways the institute prepares children is to ensure they have the practical items such as clothing, school supplies, backpacks and calculators,” said Odom. “The calculators are essential and cost about $100 each. Through this program, students get the supplies they need including the calculators.”