Nicaragua Backpack and Scholarship Project

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Ark of Salvation Church children with their backpacks.

More than a backpack …

In 2004, St. Paul’s members, the Nicaragua mission team, along with their families and friends raised over $5,000 and began the Backpack and Scholarship Project for impoverished Nicaraguan children and youth.

Providing a $15 backpack filled with supplies is just not possible for many Nicaraguan families. These costs are impossible for parents who have finished no more than the 6th grade and who earn just $2/day. We learned that many of the parents had finished only 4th–6th grade. These families, many who live on $2/day, can’t possibly provide school supplies or $300 yearly university tuition. So many children were just not going to school.

St. Paul’s became an “answer to prayer” for hundreds of these students and their parents with the beginning of the Project. As the Project grew from just a few backpacks that first year, the missionary learned of the true dedication of these students to their studies. In January 2016, St. Paul’s families and friends raised $19,736.50 and 719 children and youth began the school year at elementary schools through universities. All because of your generosity. Some of our earlier young students are now graduating from college. In November 2016, four students will complete their 5th year of college and graduate. (The 5th year is a project year and required for graduation.)

The goal for 2017 (school year begins in January) is $20,000 which will address the needs of the students already in the program, and possibly the addition of some students on a long waiting list.

Checks may be made payable to St. Paul’s UMC with “Nic. Backpacks #24205” in the memo line and placed in the offering plate or mailed to Barb Taylor, 856 Galen Drive, State College PA 16803.

You can also help us reach our goal by letting us turn your trash into cash through our Terracycle® Collection Program. Click here to learn how!

Thank you St. Paul’s.

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Beautiful preschool bags jointly made by Nicaraguan women and St. Paul’s team in our Sewing Workshop.

A university scholarship recipient.