Brownsville Church Extends Summer Daycare
Iglesia Menonita Rey de Gloria has been operating a summer daycare for many years and had been planning their summer programs when COVID-19 hit and School Districts closed in mid-April. The daycare fills the supervision void left when schools close for the summer but parents must continue to work without means to pay for full-time daycare. When schools closed this April church members visited the homes of their summer kids, preparing and taking them food and checking in to be sure everything was alright. Texas allowed daycares to open on May 12th and since that time between 10 and 20 children each day have been receiving care at the church building after leaders scrambled to secure insurance, vehicles, food, and staff much earlier than they are usually needed. Due to space and volunteer limitations, the congregation has asked former daycare attendees who have older siblings that can supervise them to stay at home, though congregation members still drive to the homes of these 16 children daily to check in and deliver meals that they have prepared. The six high school graduates from Rey De Gloria’s youth group have been volunteering since schools closed, helping with everything needed for the program from preparing food to planning activities and delivering meals. One graduate who had taken nursing courses in her high school is assisting with health screenings each day for volunteers and students attending the daycare.
The church had applied for and received a grant ($10,000) from the Schowalter Foundation in preparation for their usual summer. With the extended time of providing care (both in the spring and a longer summer due to schools opening no earlier than mid-September) costs for the daycare have increased greatly. The largest expense increases at this time are food and fuel for delivering meals and checking in daily with around 16 households. An average summer budget for the daycare is $33,000 but the church expects costs for this summer to be double that amount. The church is finding every way possible to save on costs (like crossing the border to get groceries and supplies in Mexico where they are much cheaper) and secure additional funding (like applying for an Everence COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund grant). They have received a small number of private donations to their ministry and welcome individuals, congregations, and Sunday school classes to consider supporting their ministry. You can send checks directly to Rey de Gloria at 823 N. Minnesota Brownsville, TX 78521 OR through the conference office (PO Box 564 Hesston KS 67062) designated for the Rey de Gloria Daycare. You can also securely give online at our website www.sccmenno.org; click “give” then select “Rey de Gloria Summer Daycare”. The daycare is also in need of masks and gloves which can be mailed to their address above.Posted on June 10, 2020 in Weekly Word