Lancaster Church Purchases Uniforms and Supplies for Homeless Students

By Al and Lois Hansell

Photo courtesy of Lancaster Church of the Brethren
The director of the Homeless Student Project of Lancaster, Pa., Nicki Spann (left), stands with Lois Hansell (right), one of the coordinators of “Be An Angel” at Lancaster Church of the Brethren.

Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has been purchasing supplies and uniforms for the 1,200 homeless students in the city of Lancaster since 2009. The Hunger and Poverty Group formed in 2008, and one of the members suggested the name “Be An Angel” for the school program. It was quickly accepted.

We have been doing Be An Angel for six years from 2009-2014. Every summer (June to mid-August), our members contribute money or make purchases themselves. We order most of the uniforms from a wholesale factory in New York City. It is hard to believe that there are so many homeless students in such a small city.

Here is a summary of our efforts since 2009:

Year               Supplies         Uniforms         Total Given
2009               $  5,000               ____               $  5,000
2010               $  1,100            $  6,500             $  7,600
2011               $  1,645            $  8,550             $10,195
2012               $  1,750            $11,000             $12,750
2013               $  1,185            $14,009             $15,194
2014               $  1,000            $17,123 **         $18,323

Total              $11,680            $57,182            $68,862

The $57,182 purchased 4,055 uniforms over the past five years.

**We purchased 1345 uniforms in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Lancaster Church of the Brethren
Uniforms and supplies purchased by Lancaster Church of the Brethren “Be An Angel” project help homeless students in Lancaster schools.

The Hunger and Poverty Group also started a “2 Cents a Meal” effort in 2009. We give two-thirds of the money to the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund, and one-third to the Lancaster County Council of Churches. The congregation gives about $6,500 per year to this.

Lancaster Church of the Brethren has a robust outreach program. We just completed a campaign for the Mobile Health Clinics in Haiti, raising over $100,000 in two years. We are currently raising funds for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Over $10,000 has come in so far without a challenge goal.

We think it is good to share what congregations are doing; it is a great form of encouragement.

— Al and Lois Hansell coordinate “Be An Angel” at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]