Global pandemic  |  Economic recovery  |  Racial injustice

Global pandemic

Economic recovery

Racial injustice

In these dire times communities are experiencing desperate need, and churches are struggling to respond.

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As the battle against racial injustice rages nationwide, one church in Alma, Michigan, is facing it head-on. After organizing a peaceful prayer walk for justice, love, and unity, it became clear to this church that they can help lead the way toward reconciliation in their community.

As their pastor says, “We believe that the unity found in Jesus is the only solution worth promoting.”

Their passion is to move the church past complacency to a future in which “every nation, tribe, people, and language is embraced with love, empathy, and compassion.”

But they can’t do it alone.

 

You Can Change This Story


The Alma congregation has identified anti-racism curriculum that teaches what the Bible says about racial reconciliation, unity, and avoiding biases that are in opposition to the character of Jesus.
They have a vision to enter into this training arm-in-arm with local pastors and faith leaders, that they may be equipped in turn to lead others across their community.
According to their pastor, “We will celebrate when our community is one where people of color feel welcome and safe, where the understanding and education of racial injustice is always improving, and we continue to do the hard work of racial reconciliation.”
The only thing standing in the way of this vision is the price of the curriculum.

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Almost half of the families in the community of Bloomfield live below the poverty line. At a brutal 30%, their unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. For those who can find work, 72% of them are under-employed.

The effects of the pandemic are stretching these already underserved families to the breaking point. Most struggle to put food on the table, much less pay for everyday household items – like bathroom tissue and dish soap – that we take for granted.

 

You Can Change This Story


The local church in the Bloomfield community already knows what to do.

They have already established relationships with local farmers who will provide fresh fruits & vegetables, milk, poultry, and beef to feed these families.

They have already collaborated with local retailers who will donate returned items that these families so direly need.

They already envision a network of drive-thru centers where church members will pray with families while food and household goods are placed in their cars safely.

All they need is a delivery truck.

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The Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn has one of the highest rates of single-mother families, many of whom are running from domestic abuse situations.

Due to the economic challenges of the pandemic, some are barely making rent. Many aren’t. In fact, 40% of the student body at this neighborhood’s K-8 school live in a shelter or are homeless.

These mothers must work. But with the pandemic-mandated closure of hundreds of child care facilities, along with day-to-day economic struggles, they are in dire need of safe, affordable childcare services.

 

You Can Change This Story


The local church in Bedford-Stuyvesant has imagined a comprehensive program to meet this need.

They envision creating a space for congregation members to provide safe, around-the-clock childcare services and adequate housing space for these families.

They envision providing after-school programs, homework assistance, and nutritious meals to students and families, free of charge.

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Families in the rural community of Barryton, Michigan, experience poverty at a rate almost three times the national average. Most of the student body are on free or reduced lunches.

It’s in this climate that today teachers and parents are tackling a harrowing question:

How do they educate their children safely in the middle of a raging pandemic?

To this already underserved and over-stressed community, the necessary school expenditures that COVID-19 will require are daunting, if not impossible.

 

You Can Change This Story


The local church in Barryton has a plan. They’ve partnered with schools to identify the critical supplies needed to keep their kids and teachers safe this fall.
They want to provide crucial items like sanitation stations, teacher survival kits, and additional supplies that underserved families would have no means to purchase themselves. But they have no funding.
School is starting soon. Time is running out. This congregation desperately needs your help.
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Fueled by poverty, the opioid crisis in Appalachia has devastated families and communities. The economic and emotional impacts of the pandemic have only made the problem more dire. In fact, today, young people in this region are 55% more likely to die from drug overdose than anywhere else in the U.S.

A congregation in eastern Kentucky has a heart for the teens most at-risk in their community. They want to keep them safe and give them hope…and they have an idea.

 

You Can Change This Story


This local church imagines a colorful, thriving community arts center that will stand as a safe, positive, creative outlet for teens who statistically might otherwise turn to drug use.
The activities and entertainment they imagine would be coupled with regular nutritious meals to help battle companion issues of obesity and food insecurity.
This church has identified a warehouse for their arts center. They’ve written a plan. All they need now is seed money.
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Because the southeast area of Queens, New York, is home to a large number of essential workers – including nurses and home health aides, transit and airport workers – this community has been affected greatly by COVID-19.

The result is a neighborhood with tremendous numbers of cases and virus-related deaths, and vast shortages of PPE. Where these scarce supplies are available, the price for them is high.

This has left many seniors homebound and vulnerable. 

 

You Can Change This Story


The youth group at a local church recognizes this critical need and has a heartfelt desire to help their at-risk neighbors.

These young people have developed a plan to purchase PPE such as masks, hand sanitizer, and latex gloves from a wholesale supplier. The care packages they create would be distributed to vulnerable seniors across the community who may otherwise have no access to these critical supplies.

These teens are ready to help. All that’s stopping them is funding for the PPE and gas for the church van.

The Change the Story Fund exists to help congregations meet local, critical needs like these. Your gift of as little as $10 will provide micro grants that empower churches to Change the Story in their communities.

Together you raised more than $20,000 to help local churches respond to the crushing effects of the global pandemic and racial injustice.

Because of you, so much good has been accomplished. But we have learned that so much need still exists. If you feel led or able, please consider a monthly gift of any amount to help local churches continue to serve their communities through these dire times.

FUND GOAL

CHANGE THE STORY 118%

CHANGE THE STORY TODAY

SHARE

Tell us what your church is already doing!

GIVE

Donate to help our local churches change the story in their communities.

APPLY

Apply to receive seed money for your church’s project.

Everywhere Jesus went, His presence and actions changed the story for everyone He encountered—the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the hopeless.

(See Luke 4:16-21)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the question to see the answer.

What’s the application process like?

It’s easy! Click “Apply” above to download the grant proposal form. Complete the form and e-mail it to ChangetheStory@chog.org. The Proposal Review Team will vet and respond to the proposal within an estimated 5 business days. If the proposal is approved, we will connect with you about how to proceed. If the proposal is not approved, the team will offer feedback on how to strengthen it for the future.

Does our church have to pay for anything? Do we pay back the funds?

No! Our goal is to support the local church in caring for and engaging their community. The money is a grant given to start the project. There is no requirement to return the funds, only to share your story with us on how the funds were used.

Is the Change the Story grant only for pandemic recovery?

No. This grant process deals with issues arising from the pandemic as well as issues related to racial injustice. There will be another process for funding to encourage community engagement by churches in general which will be available in the fall of 2020.

How much can I request?

In order to expedite distribution and get relief on the ground, we are limiting the first round of the Change the Story pandemic grants to a maximum of $2,500.

When are the proposals due?

Proposals can be sent in now! We will support projects on a first-come-first-served basis, so we encourage you to apply quickly!

Who spoke into the creation of this fund?

This fund was born out of collaborative conversations between Church of God Ministries, our partners in ministry, and the local church. We are leveraging our communication platforms to amplify the stories of impact from the local church, and we are committed to distributing the funds received through these efforts back out to the local church for continued and enhanced kingdom impact.

Proposal Review Team

  • Michael Copeland
    Michael Copeland National Inspirational Youth Convention

    New York, NY

  • Lori Fast
    Lori Fast Centralia Community
    Church

    Centralia, WA

  • Nick Martineau
    Nick Martineau Hope Community
    Church

    Andover, KS

  • Andrew Gale
    Andrew Gale Executive Director, Global Strategy

    Anderson, IN

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