The aim of the Mission group is to support, sustain, and promote long-term SPC Mission projects, providing opportunities for our families and friends to serve in communities of need. Currently our church supports two major sustained mission programs that are focal points for our service outreach efforts: Bridge the Gap College Prep in nearby Marin City, and Leon Mission Partners in Mexico.
Bridge the Gap College Prep
Bridge the Gap was founded in 1995 and began as a 100% volunteer grass roots effort by people who wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of children living in Marin City by tutoring one-on-one. With the help of funding from Sausalito Presbyterian Church, the Marin Community Foundation, and various local organizations, the program gradually expanded and is now the shining light of our Mission work, as well as one of the premier youth tutoring programs in the country.
At Bridge the Gap, disadvantaged students are paired with motivated adults in one-to-one tutoring relationships that give students the self-confidence to learn, help them build skills for success, and improve relationships within our communities. Denni Locke Brusseau is now the full-time director with a paid staff and many volunteers. At least 130 students are now matched with 120 dedicated volunteer tutors, who continue to donate thousands of hours each year to benefit the youth of Marin City. Bridge the Gap offices recently moved their premises to the middle of the Marin city community, at 103 Drake Ave. This has doubled their available space and brought them closer to the people they serve.
For more information about Bridge the Gap, go to:
Leon Mission Partners, Mexico
Leon Mission Partners was initiated by our church in 1994 to help street children and indigenous families of Leon, Mexico by providing money and supplies, building small apartments, a chapel, and a small schoolroom, and providing bedding, clothing, and educational toys. Over the years, many trips have been made by volunteers, both youth and adults, to carry down all the donated supplies, help build the simple housing for indigenous families, provide medical services, and paint and fix up several facilities that house the street children.
The donations and volunteer work of our church is done through Casas Loyola, a non-profit in Leon, founded by businessmen who wanted to improve conditions for neglected and abandoned children and for indigenous families. Under the Loyola umbrella, we supported two specific programs, Casa Hogar, and Casa Indigena, to which we have given not only financial aid, but also hands-on and emotional support.
Casa Hogar: This program supports over 100 abused and/or abandoned children in 3 houses in and around Leon. These impoverished “street kids” have the needs of all children: love, spiritual nourishment, counseling, and education, as well as the basic needs of food, a safe place to live, and medical/dental attention. Our help makes a real difference in the quality of their lives and their sense of self-worth.
Casa Indigena: This program provides transitional housing for indigenous families who have come down from the hills to find work in the city. They are in severe poverty, lack adequate housing, and often lack the skills with which to find work, including the Spanish language. The goal of providing a safe and sanitary community center that could ultimately serve as an outstanding pilot program in Mexico is happening. To date, volunteers have gone to Leon to help build 18 casitas, some off-site housing units, and a training center.
UPDATE: JULY 26, 2012
Mission Committee member and Camp ‘mother’, Flora Sommers, has returned from Leon, but she is still ‘flying high’. “Hands down, the best camp, ever!” Now, admittedly, the committee was concerned because she was going solo. However, SPC sent her off with Paul leading the “Godspeed” prayers.
There will be much more information, pictures, etc. in the near future, but for now know that there were 60 children attending camp! Not only was the staff very supportive, but there was also the accidental joy of having three University students from different countries doing research and anxious to help Flora. They were: Katty, a girl from Italy; Uri, a boy from Brazil; and Zoe, a girl from Germany who was filming and also taught the children dancing. And so, Flora’s Camp became a truly “international mission”.
Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thanks to those who dined deliciously at our Cinco de Mayo Brunch! The money raised from that meal funded this expedition. (click back button to return to What’s Happening)
Through selling Fair Trade, organic coffee, we raise funds for Bridge the Gap and the Leon Mission Partners. This is the same great coffee you can get at Citizen Cake, The French Laundry, and La Boulange. Choose from Alligator French Roast, Volcano, and D’Angelo’s Decaf (H2O Proc.). All are $12/lb. Whole bean, fine or course ground.
As featured in the Independent Journal, Equator Coffees (whose coffees we sell) was a winner in the 2012 Good Food Awards, which recognizes those companies nationally that not only make the finest tasting food, but also honor environmental and social responsibility.
We will be selling this coffee after service on Sundays or you can order yours today by contacting Rick Brusseau