08.24.17

During our time in Caimonial and Derrumbadero, Dominican Republic, our mission team had the opportunity to meet, play with, and build relationships with many of the children in these two communities. Some are outgoing and feisty; some are shy and observant. Some would hop on our backs and ask for piggyback rides up and down the road, while some showered us with countless hugs and kisses. They are just like our kids here in the New York suburbs, with all their varied personalities and talents, hopes and dreams.

But one stark difference between the children in Westchester County, NY and those in rural Dominican Republic is that not all of these kids will go to school. In the family of Dominga, whose house our group expanded and repaired, only the youngest of her seven children has had the opportunity to attend primary school.

What stands in the way of children in DR receiving even the most basic level of education? For many, it comes down to one thing: a uniform. Uniforms are required for attendance at all public primary and secondary schools in the Dominican Republic and families must provide them. For families that struggle to pay even for food, there is no money for uniforms and education is not an option.

Just as our children and youth are heading back to school in the next couple of weeks, so too are children in the Dominican Republic. There are currently 40 children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old who cannot start school because they lack uniforms in the small communities of Caimonial and Derrumbadero. $50 will outfit a student in rural Dominican Republic for a year of school with two shirts, two pairs of pants, shoes, a backpack, and notebooks. With your help, we can raise $2,000 to get these kids one giant step closer to their educational goals and the closer to their dreams of a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

Our Mission Commission has started the ball rolling by earmarking some funds that
will be sent to Bridges to Community specifically for these potential students in DR.
Several members of our congregation have already committed to join this effort. You
can help get more children into classrooms! Make checks payable to FPCY with “DR School Uniforms” in the memo line. To give online through the church website, select “Other Giving” then type in “DR School Uniforms” in the memo line. Thank you.

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