JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of women is working to meet the need in the area.
Members of the St. Bernards Women's Council dropped by City Youth Ministries in Jonesboro on Tuesday with exciting news.
Chairperson for the St. Bernards Women's Council Joanne Woodward said the group's mission is to help women and children in the area.
So, they decided to help the children at City Youth Ministries.
"I came here one time when I was picking up a packet," Woodward said. "I met the Director Denise and I looked around and saw the wonderful work being done with children. The reading and the Christian mission that they support here. The outdoor activities, the basketball, the art classes and just all that was happening. I took all that information back to our group, and Denise came and spoke to us, and we realized, as a group of women who care so much about education and support for children in this area, this was a great place to place our money."
They donated $4800 to the organization.
"We have been delighted to help sponsor City Youth Ministry," Woodward said. "It's such a wonderful organization. And through our fundraising, we were able to donate some money to them and I'm delighted that we will be able to help. It certainly serves our mission to help women and children."
Executive Director of City Youth Ministries Denise Snider said it was an honor for them to even consider them with all the work they do in the community.
"We are just so humbled and so incredibly grateful to this organization," Snider said. "The magnitude of the professional people and the amount of money that they raised. They give to so many great causes. That they would even consider helping us is humbling."
Snider said the money will fund their gas for a year and maintenance on the vehicles.
"If you look at what gas prices are right now," Snider said. "Every time we go to fill up the vans I am thankful for that donation because it would really be hurting us financially a lot more if we had not had that donation from them to cover us for an entire year with gasoline."
Snider said it meant a lot of them to want to help where they really needed assistance.
"We were thrilled when we discovered they could think outside the box with us," Snider said. "Really come in at a foundation level, the ground level of what City Youth really needs and be receptive to that. It was so nice. We were just speechless."
Woodward said the group has taken on a lot of projects to try and give back.
"We are a group of women who work together to support St. Bernards and our community," Woodward said. "Our mission is to help women and children in this area. So, we have a number of projects that we have taken on. We do Story Time in the Forest once a month at the mall. We have helped with the Butterfly Garden and the hospice house. We actually help support a garden at the Memory Care Center. We also run in September. We do kids run so we get our parents and our children up and moving. We also support the food bank. So, we really work hard to fulfill that mission to help women and children. We also help with some lactation services at the hospital."
Woodward said it's about more than what happens inside the walls of the hospital, it's about the community they work to serve.
"At St. Bernards we have a mission to give Christ-like healing and that's not just within our walls," Woodward said. "We love to be able to offer help to the community. And certainly, that makes us proud. But we don't need to be proud. We're looking to serve the needs of this community. So, we're delighted with that opportunity."
City Youth Ministries has four 15 passenger vans, but Snider said they could use even more.
"We pick kids up every afternoon and take them home as well," Snider said. "Not only do we have to pay for gasoline, but we have to pay for van maintenance and insurance. And that's a lot of money for a nonprofit. And so, for an organization like this to step up and take one of those huge pieces off of our plate for us, it gives us room to breathe. It gives us room to do more in other ways. To help the children in ways that will engage them more and create a better atmosphere."
Snider said they are in the middle of enrolling kids for their summer program.
This summer City Youth Ministries will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are around 130 women in the volunteer group that helped make this happen.
For more information about City Youth Ministries, click here.