Matching grant makes life change possible

By April 14, 2008

USA (MNN) — Aracely was just 9 years old when she started coming to Here's Life Inner City's S.A.Y. Yes! program in Chicago. She said she had started hanging around with the wrong crowd, consuming bad things, using harsh language, and dressing suggestively. However, she continued to go to the program through 5th, 6th, and 7th grade.

S.A.Y. Yes! Centers for Youth Development are committed to helping youth develop their relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing that many children and young teens are unsupervised and vulnerable for the a few hours after school, inner-city churches began offering the program. They look at the whole child from their physical to their spiritual to their emotional and intellectual needs. Training in the curriculum and other areas is offered by Here's Life Inner City for those leading the program.

Today, Aracely is in 8th grade. Her language is improving, and she is dressing more modestly.  She says, "My life turned around by the grace of God!" She admits that when she first came to the program she was not ready for a relationship with God,. But now she thanks the staff for what they've done for her. "They are very dedicated to what they do, like helping us with homework and teaching us about Jesus. It brings tears to my eyes just speaking about them because they have been there for me through think and thin. If it weren't for them, I don't know where I would be."

You can help increase the number of children with stories like Aracely's. A major foundation has given Here's Life Inner City a $51,500 matching grant. Right now, any gift will be doubled. Their hope is to reach the goal by April 30th

With the money raised, they will add 320 new S.A.Y. Yes! Centers to their 172 existing centers.  It will also enable them to develop new strategies for reaching teenagers and then equip them with job skills. They will also help sponsor city-wide urban worker events, expand their Purity Retreat, increase internet resources, and their recruitment program

The program is more than a quick fix for children living in poverty in the inner city. It is an investment into the future lives of these children. It is an investment for eternity. Go here if you'd like to give.

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