Meet Mildred Marin, who became Graffiti 2’s Office Manager in June 2014. This NAMB video, made last year, is about Mildred and her family, and how God has changed their lives. By joining us in our Week of Giving, you are helping us continue to do God’s work and change people’s lives in Mott Haven.
Most of us are familiar with an old song called “Dem Bones,” which deals with how all the various body parts are connected. For example….
“The hip bone’s connected to the back bone, the back bone’s connected to the neck bone, the neck bone’s connected to the head bone.…”
We at Graffiti 2 are talking to a lot of people about our Week of Giving, which takes place from May 3rd through the 9th. Just in case you’re hearing about this event for the first time, you might be interested to know that….
“….the Week of Giving is connected to a goal, the goal is connected to a need, and the need is connected to a vision.”
Our goal is to raise 3 million dollars by May 31, 2015. Reaching this lofty goal would meet our need to purchase a building that will provide Graffiti 2 a functional, sustainable place to accomplish our objectives. Those objectives, or vision, include continuing to strengthen children, teens, and families within the Mott Haven community through after school and summer programs that develop individuals physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
A few years ago, one such family that was reached by Graffiti 2 was Mildred Marin and her children, Myah and Jherame. It began for them when Mildred enrolled her children in G2’s Summer Sports Camps. Eventually, Mildred and her children accepted Christ and Mildred now serves as Graffiti 2’s office manager. Reaching our goal, to meet our need, will help enable us to continue with our vision of reaching many more families in Mott Haven like Mildred’s.
We at Graffiti 2 are not only asking for help in our Week of Giving, but are actively pursuing fund raising activities ourselves. We have had bake sales, and are currently collecting change in a huge container. Following this lead, our after school kids are entering into a competition with our GSALT (Graffiti Serving and Leading Teens) to see which group can raise the most money by collecting change.
We invite you and your church to join us in finding ways to work together in reaching our goal as the exciting Week of Giving approaches. To learn more about this, and other ways you can participate, please go click this link to Catch the Vision!
City lights and skyscrapers are two of my favorite things about New York City. In fact, I am drawn to any place that has these things, especially if the city is near water. New York City takes the cake on those things as far as US cities are concerned. I love it here. I love flying into La Guardia Airport at night when the flight route takes you right over Manhattan. Some people see beauty in nature…I see it in city lights.
Where there is light, there is a shadow. I’m not a scientist, so maybe there is some exception to that rule, but as far as I know, you can’t have one without the other. New York City is a city full of light. It is also a city of dark shadows.
Mott Haven is considered by many to be a place of darkness. Honestly, there are many days where I buy into that idea myself. It is a neighborhood full of very difficult circumstances. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone, if not more than one, cursing as they walk down the street, or while talking to their children. I cringe when I see parents treat their children like they do not matter. It is a place with many negative cycles. Cycles of poverty. Cycles of oppression. Cycles of abuse. Cycles of neglect. Cycles of laziness. It is a neighborhood where children and teens grow up without much hope for a better future.
Graffiti 2 is a light in the darkness that seems to consume Mott Haven. The thing about light in darkness is that the smallest light can pierce through the darkest of dark. We have many small lights at Graffiti 2. Children learning scripture through Bible Drill and positive virtues to live by. Teenagers, stepping up as the spiritual leaders in their family and sharing their faith with those at home. Parents investing in the lives of their children. A body of believers that meets on Sunday mornings.
I am blessed to be a part of this light. I pray for myself that I do not let darkness cover my light. When I am tired, worn out, frustrated with circumstances, facing a “problem”, and out of any ounce of patience, I pray there is still light shining from me. As long as there is a light, no matter how big or small, it is still a light in the midst of darkness.
~Blog written by Ashley Emmert. Ashley has been serving with Graffiti 2 since the summer of 2007. Beginning as the Director of Children’s Ministries she now serves as the Assistant Director. This month she is celebrating her 29th birthday. To celebrate her birthday she is challenging people to help her raise $2900 in support of her long-term work with Graffiti 2 in the South Bronx. Wish her a Happy Birthday and give to support her work by clicking here.