Wilmington Yearly Meeting is doing our part to help keep the Belize Friends School open! On December 15th, we hosted a Spaghetti Fundraiser at Wilmington Friends Meeting, which raised $3,692.51 through a combination of freewill donations for the meal, for take-home leftovers, and sales of homemade bread and handmade jewelry.

With additional monies that have come in from our local meetings, committees, youth, and individuals, this brings us to a total of $7,856.00.

And that’s just what we’ve raised so far!

Our NEXT big fundraising event for the Belize Friends School will be BRUNCH at CHESTER FRIENDS MEETING on JANUARY 12TH, from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We’re excited to announce that KELLY KELLUM, General Secretary of Friends United Meeting, will be with us that Sunday! Stay tuned after Christmas for more detailed plans.

For those not familiar with the situation in Belize: Nikki Holland, FUM’s new Director of Belize Friends Ministries, arrived in Belize in August of this year. Once in place, she began to provide the financial leadership that had been lacking in our ministry projects there since the departure of Dale Graves in January 2018. As Nikki went through the books, she found that the School was facing an immediate financial need of $37,500, without which it could not stay open for the remainder of the school year.

From FUM’s news blog:

“…the emergency appeal asks for $37,500 US dollars to continue the work of the School. That amount of money will support the School through the end of the academic year, in May. We do intend to keep the School open as long as we have funds to do so. Based on responses to the appeal so far, we have sufficient funding to remain open in January and through nearly half of February. We hope that by May, with Nikki in place long enough to tap into other sources of funding, with sustained commitment from the Belize Friends School Board and staff to increase enrollment, and with a continued financial commitment from Friends of $5,500 each month, we may come through this emergency and be on better ground for the next fiscal year.”

Friends in Wilmington Yearly Meeting have mobilized to participate in a broader fundraising effort among North American Friends to keep the school open while Nikki works on developing new sources of funding. When the money we have collected arrives in Richmond (this week!), FUM will have enough funds to keep the school running through March. We know that Friends here are committed to this work, and we are trusting that as this need becomes known, we will see donations coming from many other Yearly Meetings as well.

Raising $37,500 is a big job, but we’ve got an even bigger God! You might remember from our initial post that other Yearly Meetings had already raised $6,469 for Belize. Combined with our $7,856, we’re over a third of the way to the $37,500 goal! The power of Christ is sufficient for every task to which we are called.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by making a check out to Wilmington Yearly Meeting with Belize Friends School in the memo line and mailing it to: WYM // 1870 Quaker Way, Box 1194 // Wilmington, OH 45177. You are also invited to read our Yearly Meeting’s explanatory post here: https://wilmingtonyearlymeeting.org/achristmasmiracle/