St. Bede’s in Westport applied for a $500 diocesan experimental grant to distribute backpacks to students at Cleveland public schools who are in need.
Last January, as part of St. Bede’s new Angel Project, they started sending a monthly donation to schools in Cleveland to help students who need assistance with food, clothes, and supplies. After this initiative began, St. Bede’s learned of specific needs at the schools, such as backpacks for the new school year. On average, around 25 to 30% of the student body at Cleveland schools are homeless.
St. Bede’s delivered 120 backpacks in various colors and sizes to Cleveland schools on July 29th. Each backpack had a handwritten card with encouragement and love from a member of St. Bede’s. Fr. Lee Stephens, Vicar at St. Bede’s, was quoted in a recent article in the Cleveland American about the Angel project. He said, “the people of St. Bede’s want students to know that we care and support them. We want to assist the teachers and staff members in helping students in need. And we want to take the love of God beyond our church walls into our community, especially to persons less fortunate than ourselves.”