Every year the Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the Trinity’s Coordinating Team selects a special mission project to support financially. The Lighthouse Foundation “Transitional Housing Program” is the project for 2020. In addition, in the years the PW has a Synod Gathering it takes up a special collection for another worthwhile project – sometimes needed items, sometimes financial donations. This year the team selected the CHEW (Children’s Healthy Eating & Wellness) Program of Jeremiah’s Place. Unfortunately the PW had to cancel its Synod Gathering because the location of Antiochian Village was closed to outside groups due to the pandemic. HOWEVER, we still want to support our special project.
The mission of Jeremiah’s Place is to protect children and strengthen families by providing a haven of respite during a time of crisis or a childcare emergency. Jeremiah’s Place is the only crisis center in the Pittsburgh area for children from birth to 6 years old. The center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – in other words 365 days a year. Children can stay up to 72 hours at a time sheltered from the stress of domestic violence or other childcare family situations. They are surrounded by caregivers who provide creative play, comfort and a sense of normalcy.
Jeremiah’s Place has existed since 2014 and has welcomed over 400 children, to not only support families during emergent childcare situations that leave parents with little to no resources or supports to care for their young children. Children leave Jeremiah’s Place with a backpack full of items that they may have lost in the rush out of a home: a stuffed animal, a blanket, a toothbrush, a pair of new pajamas. The families at Jeremiah’s Place come from 56 different zip codes, but nearly all of them (98 percent) come from households headed by low-income single women with children. They contend with challenges that extend far beyond emergency child care: food insecurity, unemployment, intimate partner violence and mental health issues.
Jeremiah’s Place requested a grant from Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Trinity to continue its CHEW Program. These funds would be used to purchase healthy snack foods, formula and gift cards. Jeremiah’s Place will also produce a community resource guide as part of the Grocery Gift Card Program. This Grocery Gift Card Program will aid families when they find themselves without necessary funds to purchase food or formula for their children.
When families are given more information and resources, it can empower them as parents, and they will do better for their families. Many of their families are struggling with very little support at their disposal, but with CHEW and the support of Jeremiah’s Place social workers, families are hoping to sustain the health and well-being of their children. We would have collected gift cards at the Synod Gathering. These gift cards are still a vital need!
Gift cards in the amount of $10 are requested from Target, Aldi’s and Walmart.
These cards should be forwarded to Judith Jerry, 450 Stevens Drive, Apt. 204, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. For any questions contact Judith, Synod of the Trinity Mission Coordinator, at (412) 415-3523. Please send by Sept. 15, 2020.
Additional information on Jeremiah’s Place can be accessed via its website at www.jeremiahsplace.org.