Distribution of downtown mission funds 2023/2024
This report includes funding through January 2024.
Nabil Samara (legacy funding)
Amount awarded: $11,220 for general support; $11,720 for special needs.
Total funding for 2024: $22,920
FUMC has been partially funding Nabil’s mission for a number of years. The current situation in Israel has complicated his ability to fulfill his mission because of travel restrictions but he continues to do what he can using technology. This year he has been reaching out to more than 100 families in Galilee (upper and lower) and Golan Heights. These families are in need and Nabil has asked for additional funding to help with groceries, medicine, school tuition, cleaning materials, blankets, electrical heaters, and gas for traveling.
The Nathaniels (legacy funding)
Amount awarded: $7800 for six months with potential for a 6-month extension
Special award: $1500 to Meredith Nathaniel to join AIA on a trip to Croatia to evangelize college students.
The Nathaniels are members of FUMC Downtown Campus who have spent 25 years in campus ministry. Bret has also been a leader in the Lenses Institute and intercultural training both in the US and Canada. During 2022 Meredith has assumed a national role in Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian Organization that works with young adults on college campuses. This year Meredith will be traveling with AIA to evangelize college students in Croatia and additional money has been provided for the trip. The funding for 2024 is to cover living expenses for the first 6 months of the year.
The Bluegrass Council of the Blind (BCB)
Amount awarded for 2024: $6,000
Amount awarded for 2023: $5,000
These funds were requested for continued expansion of the BCB’s Assistive Technology and Training program, specifically to provide one-on-one individual training for adults who are blind or have low vision, to use computer, smart phones and tablets with accessible apps for increased independence. These funds will be used to support the IT manager in training and expanding hours to assist in expanding services. The Mission Fund for FUMC Downtown provided funding last year that helped BCB distribute 400 assistive devices and provided individual and group training to more than 500 individuals.
Amount awarded: $3500
Recovery Café is part of a national effort to create recovery community centers that serve individuals who have suffered substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, and housing instability. The grant request was for a new program to offer housing support for those individuals. This award was the second half of an initial request of $7,000.
Neighborhood Immigration Clinic
Amount awarded: $5000
Neighborhood Immigration Clinic is a non-profit legal aid clinic started by clergy and laity at Embrace UMC as an extension ministry to the surrounding community. The Kentucky Annual Conference encouraged its creation, and the United Methodist Church lends advisory support. First Church Andover has also supported this mission financially.
Amount awarded: $5000
Mike and Sarah Brown were called to Guatemala to join ADEHGUA (The Association of Human Rights of Guatemala). ADEHGUA was formed in 2002 by a group of 18 Guatemalan community leaders, faith leaders, and teachers. Their primary focus is on education, empowerment, and advocacy work with the poor of Guatemala. While not specifically a church organization, they have been open to partnerships with churches and in 2015 began one of their largest and most successful programs: their microloan project. The Browns are relocating to Guatemala to do God’s work and the amount granted will set up their household in Guatemala.
In July of 2022 FUMC Downtown Campus entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) to provide temporary housing in the South Upper Guest House for newly arriving refugees. The MOU was renewed for 2024 and to date the use of the Guest House has saved KRM in excess of $90,000.
School supplies for Eastern Kentucky Students (through the efforts of Al Pelphry) $2125
SOL Backpack Program $5000
Lexington Rescue Mission Walk for Warmth Silver Sponsorship $750
UMC Grant matching (Guest House bathroom renovation project) $1200
FUMC Downtown Serve Team 2023
Toni Greider, Serve Team Leader