Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve’s (FOCUS’) Back to School Program Met Community Needs by Engaging Local Parishes
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Nashville delivered 120 new backpacks to children facing homelessness
“In Nashville, TN, 700 children began their first week of school while experiencing homelessness – and this is not an isolated tragedy”, said John Moxen, FOCUS’ Back to School Program Manager. He continued, “sadly, over 1 million children nationwide experience homelessness every school year.”
Through Christ’s call, FOCUS North America is compelled to help address this crisis. “Our Back to School program partners with Orthodox Christian churches across the country to provide educational supplies that give hope to children and help them learn,” said Moxen.These supplies meet one of many needs that millions of children face every year. However, as quickly as one need is met, others are swiftly uncovered.
After delivering 120 new backpacks filled to the brim with supplies for the Nashville Metro Public Schools Homeless Education Program, Presbytera Dana Spiro of Holy Trinity Orthodox church in Nashville began asking herself “what else could my parish do to support children facing homelessness?”
“We came to find that families’ number one request was for socks and underwear for their children,” shared Presbytera Dana. Knowing this, Holy Trinity is now preparing to add this initiative to their program calendar and seek support from the church community.
Nationally, the 3,695 children who received backpacks and supplies this year through FOCUS’ Back to School program are each 3,695 new beginnings. Not only the beginning of a new school year filled with hope for thousands of children, but also the beginning of new relationships between Orthodox faithful and their community members in need.
We encourage you to ask yourself what else you can do to continue (or begin!) supporting a cause that is meaningful to you and your parish. FOCUS North America wants to partner with your parish in discovering ways to serve! Visit our website to learn more at www.focusna.org, or if you would like to donate to support this worthy program, visit www.focusna.org/donate.