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ABHMS CIP grant featured in Ohio news story

Group picture at 2011 Karen Conference

A Children in Poverty (CIP) grant awarded by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is featured in a story recently published in the Heights Observer.

A nonprofit, volunteer-managed effort featuring neighborhood stories by citizen journalists, Heights Observer is comprised of a website and small, printed newspaper available at no charge at more than 100 businesses, government offices and religious institutions throughout 16 neighborhoods in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, Ohio.

Written by the staff at Church of the Master, Cleveland Heights, the story details the church’s $2,500 donation of CIP grant funds to a 2011 summer initiative for youth in Ward 1 of South Euclid, Ohio. Held weekdays, July 5-August 5, the program provided breakfast, lunch, academic enrichment and recreational activities at no cost to youth.

More than half of the ward’s children “rely on government assistance for their lunch, and programs to feed them aren’t in place during the summer,” according to a story by Andrew John of Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer newspaper, as posted on the newspaper’s Web site,

Featured in the Heights Observer story is the Rev. Dr. Leonard Thompson Sr., executive minister of the Cleveland Baptist Association, whose members include Church of the Master. Thompson is quoted regarding ABHMS’ historical giving. ABHMS, he noted, “has been working with American Baptist congregations and regions to address the challenges of poverty and inspire hope in the lives of the more than 14 million children, ages newborn to 18, in the United States and Puerto Rico who live in impoverished communities.”

Also featured by the Heights Observer is a quotation by the Rev. Lisa Harris, ABHMS national coordinator of the CIP initiative and Christian Center Relations: “Poverty in America is more pervasive than we willingly admit. Between 20 and 25 percent of our children contend with inadequate nutrition, mediocre education, deficient health care and many other stumbling blocks to living a healthy and productive life. Poverty affects us all, whether directly or indirectly, and the harsh reality that many of our children are living in families that are barely surviving calls for our compassionate response.”

Part of the nonprofit, grassroots organization FutureHeights, the Heights Observer is mailed to Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents who donate a specified amount to the organization.

For more information about the CIP initiative, visit ABHMS’ CIP Web page or contact Harris at or 800-222-3872, x2158.

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