This week Trinity responded to an urgent call from the Richmond District Office asking if we could house a team of volunteers from Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon (teamrubiconusa.org) is an international non-profit disaster response organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emerging response teams. Team Rubicon currently maintains a roster of 130,000+ volunteers.
Team Rubicon is currently coordinating with the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and other organizations to meet the humanitarian need in the Afghan Refugee Resettlement effort. Their teams are supporting logistics, the management, and distribution of donated goods at participating bases across the country including Ft. Pickett and Quantico. The teams staying at Trinity will be expanding the effort to Ft. Lee by processing donated goods at the Salvation Army Warehouse (the old J.C. Penny at Regency Square.) Teams will be housed in Trinity Hall, Oct. 15-31.
Thank you to all who prepared meals or helped make Team Rubicon feel at home while staying at Trinity.
On August 31, we delivered 117 bags/boxes of donated school supplies to Oak Grove Elementary School. As the virtual school year came to an end last spring, the teachers gave us a list of items they knew they would need for their classrooms this fall. Through your incredible generosity, we were able to provide all the requested items!
This year we had both our traditional red apples at the church and digital apples available for “picking”. There were more than 90 individuals and families, including members of the Swahili French congregation, who selected apples and donated supplies.
Teachers have been working in the building this week organizing their classrooms and working on plans to welcome 600+ students back into the building next week. Last year was a totally virtual year for Oak Grove and next week will be the first time since the early spring of 2020 that students will be in the building.
The staff and teachers know that this will be a challenging year. The pandemic continues to ravage the community, Oak Grove students are not old enough to receive the vaccine, and students are well below grade level academically.
While we have traditionally volunteered in the building, providing weekly tutors, classroom aides, and reading buddies, we will not be able to volunteer inside the building during the academic day at least as the school year begins. We will let you know when this changes and of the opportunities available.
Bob Argabright, however, will continue his fantastic work in Bellemeade Park and with his Saturday Academy. Bob welcomes volunteers and can be reached at 804-310-1080 or at email@example.com if you are interested in finding ways to help in his programs.
John Wesley’s belief that education is an essential aspect of salvation inspired early Methodists and continues to inspire us today as we strive to make a difference in the lives of our students. The window of time to help elementary students succeed is narrow and success in achieving academic goals during elementary school years can help change the compass of a child’s life. Trinity has partnered with Oak Grove Elementary since 2004 and we have been able to follow the success of our students through high school, college, and beyond!
Thank you for your overwhelming generosity and for being a part of such a wonderfully caring faith community.
Cub Pack 799 had their Pinewood Derby in April and were excited to see their friends as well as race their self-made, finely tuned Derby Cars.
Scout Troop 799 has two feature meetings in May. On 5/3 the Henrico County Police K-9 Unit (Bomb Unit) will demonstrate the operations of their officers and dogs. The following Monday night meeting on 5/10, Troop 799 will host members of the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad as they discuss first aid.
Over the last year, many of you have asked about our French-Swahili congregation. As you might have guessed, the pandemic had an impact on them too.
A couple of families lost loved ones to assorted health issues in their home country. Also, for some of the congregation in Richmond, the pandemic impacted employment, education, and housing.
Luckily, those disruptions in Richmond were countered by your generosity. Your financial donations have allowed us to assist our French-Swahili families in their times of economic stress.
But also, like you, they have not been able to worship in person, and this has created an extra level of stress for a close-knit community. Working with some special funding, the church was able to purchase and donate 13 Lenovo Chromebook computers to help these families.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 16, their congregational leader, Vianney Kayimbula, stopped by the church to pick up the Chromebooks for distribution. As soon as Vianney walked into the church office corridor, he said with lots of emotion, “Oh, how I miss my church.”
So do we Vianney.
The Chromebooks will enhance their opportunities to connect with each other, help to restart their worship and prayer meetings, and assist with learning the English language.
We want to thank everyone who has helped with financial donations during the last year for our French-Swahili families. You have made a real difference for them during the pandemic.
Our Trinity Stitchers are at it again! This time they delivered 24 handmade stockings filled with goodies to the Hermitage in Richmond. The stockings included Chex mix, a small cake, tissues, candy, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, an Advent book, crackers, and an elf.