The latest from CedarBrook Outreach…
CedarBrook Outreach wanted to give an update on how this National and TN State of Emergency has affected CedarBrook Outreach and all our at-risk children. This is a scary time in our country, but we know that in scary times, God shows us His love by showing up in big ways to provide us with peace in times of trouble. Our CedarBrook team is praying and seeking God, watching for where He is working and joining Him there. We are confident if He calls us to serve our community, He will provide in every need. We are setting up a specific COVID-19 response fund to assist families. This will enable us to continue to meet the immediate needs of our children and their families. Before I share how you, our supporters, can help fund our “COVID 19 Response”, I would like to share with you our response and our concerns.
CedarBrook Outreach’s response
- CedarBrook has bought groceries and is continuing to collect food donations from our community to feed our children through this difficult time. We were able to deliver over 2,400 meals to our families yesterday, as their parents/guardians had not financially planned to feed their children for this extended amount of time. We plan on delivering more food boxes as many times as the Lord provides, but praying to deliver over 2,400 meals again this Monday, March 23rd. These food boxes will ensure our children have basic food needs until April 3rd when their SNAP (food stamps) benefits arrive to their parents/guardians. Our goal: combat hunger as it brings a multitude of risks to our children from anxiety, trauma and increased risk of sexual exploitation, simply because they are hungry.
- We are also serving senior citizens in our community by purchasing food or picking up prescriptions during this time of quarantine by recruiting personal shoppers. We are trying to meet their needs and assist them however we can.
- We are grateful the utility companies are not going to turn off services during this time, that will be a huge help for the time being; however, the bills will continue to accrue over time. When they resume billing as normal, our children’s parents/guardians do not have built up a savings “rainy day fund” to pay what they struggled to pay already.
Loss of working hours – Many of our families work part-time in the fast food and restaurant industries and have already lost scheduled working hours. Some of our parents work multiple part-time jobs, but barely make ends meet on a regular month’s salary.
- Behind on utility bills -if our families get their utilities cut off, they can be evicted within 48 hours. If they have an eviction on their record, they will not be allowed back in KCDC housing, which will lead to homelessness of our children or couch surfing. This makes the risk of sex trafficking, discontinuing of schooling, drug usage, and hunger skyrockets, complete disruption in our children’s life.
- The loss of hundreds of meals that our children receive from the school cafeterias closing, which for many of our children is the only meal they receive a day during normal conditions
- Food deserts: Complexes that live more than 1 mile away from any grocery store and have no means of transportation (personal or public transportation) to these stores. The two complexes that we work in live 3.2 miles and 2 miles away from the nearest grocery store. For many of our families, and in some situations, the kids themselves, walk in the ditches on the side of the road because there are no sidewalks.
- Food Pantries closing. Many of our families rely on food pantries, especially in times where the school is closed.
- Inability to get to SNAP (food stamps), Family First, TN Care, etc. appointments-which leads to loss of benefits, opening yet another door for our children to be at even higher risk.
- Children left at home alone while parents work and how that makes them vulnerable to a multitude of risks (drug usage, sexual abuse, and prostitution for food.)
- Mental health issues with increased anxiety and concerns about all-around wellness.
- Parents’ ability to get to addiction support meetings, especially in this high-stress situation.
CedarBrook Outreach’s Needs- Please pray and then act!
- Pray for our families
- Pray for protection of our volunteers
- Join us as we minister to families in the limited capability that we can by donating food, telling and asking others to donate to our food boxes, or by becoming one of our Personal Shoppers!
We need financial support! Commit to supporting CedarBrook Outreach monthly or by a one-time donation by clicking HERE
- “COVID 19 Response” donations designated to assist our families stabilize the financial hit they are taking
- “Food Bag Donations” donations designated to purchasing food for our families
- “General Support”
- Spread the word! Please tell your friends about what we are doing here at CedarBrook Outreach and how they can come alongside us and serve and/or donate to our cause.
- “Like” us on Facebook! That is our main form of mass communication, as we post regularly to keep everyone updated on how God is using us here at CedarBrook, as well as, see some cute pictures of our sweet kids!