Five Grand In Hand

Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church received a $5,000 donation from the Rotary Club of El Campo to be used for their after school program. Pictured for the donation (l-r) are Deacon Leonard Watkins, Director Niesha Brown, Isaiah Miller and Cheryl Roiche Barosh. The ASAP is offered free of charge for local students. They are given an after-school snack, tutoring and outdoor play, weather permitting. Those who wish to support the program, can make a donation to Pilgrim Rest ASAP, P.O. Box 525, El Campo, TX 77437.

After state funds for the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church’s After-School Activities Program (ASAP) were cut, the church needed help to keep the program going with no cost to the students attending. Organizations and individuals have since stepped forward to make a difference, like the Rotary Club of El Campo, who recently donated $5,000.

“As of late, our after school program has been beyond blessed,” ASAP Director Niesha Brown said. “We are so thankful ... The Rotary Club of El Campo blessed us with $5,000 so that we can continue this mission of serving the youth in this community. We vow to use this monetary donation for the purpose it was intended.”

The church is still taking donations to help provide snacks for the children, as well as help pay a portion of the utilities at the church each month. Those who wish to donate snacks, can drop them off at the church, 810 Palacios, Monday through Wednesday.

“Due to COVID-19 and our constant sanitizing, we’re not letting anyone inside of our facilities,” Brown said. “If you would like to drop off any donations, please do so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 1 - 6 p.m. Once you drop off, give me a call at 979-543-3588 and I will come outside to pick up off of the landing. Please be sure to leave your name so that we can thank you for your blessing.”

Suggested snacks include Capri Suns, frozen Hot Pockets, frozen corn dogs, individual chips or cheese/peanut butter crackers, dry pasta for spaghetti and Mac and cheese and Velveeta cheese.

Also, other volunteers have made a commitment to the program.

“Some of the Rotarians have pledged to mentor but have not begun to come as of yet,” Brown said. “Mrs. Mary Arrendondo, who is a Rotary member, along with her mother, Mary Aguilar, will be coming to the program one day per week starting next week to cook a home cooked meal for all of the attendees. They (students) are certainly looking forward to that.”

The ASAP program began in 1990 and currently reaches from 175 to almost 200 students each school year during the three-day per week program.

Those interested in making a donation may make a check payable to Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church with “ASAP” in the memo and mail to: P.O. Box 525, El Campo, TX 77437. For questions, call Brown at 713-480-5245.

“That age-old saying is that ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ and we are pleased that we even have Rotarians who have pledged to mentor our kiddos. To say we’re excited is an understatement. The Lord is truly moving on our behalf.”

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