HPU Board of Stewards raised $6,000 in weekly chapel funds, and an anonymous donor matched their funds raised.
HIGH POINT, N.C., June 16, 2020 – High Point University’s Board of Stewards, with the help of an anonymous donor, donated $12,000 to support West End Ministries in the city of High Point during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This spring semester, HPU Chapel continued to offer weekly chapel services online due to the pandemic.
“When we transitioned to online chapel, I was ecstatic,” said Sophie Carter, president of HPU’s Board of Stewards. “Hayworth Chapel is my favorite place on campus because it is a life-changing space, and I was really glad the energy that the chapel community and the Board of Stewards created was still present when we offered online chapel. It was extremely important to continue chapel, even if it was online, because I wanted the Lord to continue working in people’s lives.”
Each spring semester, the Board of Stewards donates the weekly collections to West End Ministries. During this semester’s online offerings, the Board of Stewards raised $6,000. An anonymous donor was moved by the Board of Stewards’ efforts and matched their funds raised with a $6,000 donation.
“We, as a Board, could not have helped West End Ministries as much as we did without the help of the High Point University students, faculty, staff, community and the tremendous gesture from the anonymous donor,” said Nicholas Kirby, vice president of HPU’s Board of Stewards. “Everyone’s donations made it possible for us to help one another during these trying times. We stand to lift others, not of our own volition, but through the support we get from our own HPU community.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, West End Ministries has seen an increase in need. The organization’s food pantry saw a 30% increase due to unemployment, and the thrift store, which makes up the majority of its budget, was closed for two months, among many other changes.
The money from HPU’s Board of Stewards and the anonymous donor will benefit West End Ministries in many ways, including making up for lost revenue from the thrift store being closed, continuing to provide meals to families who are experiencing unemployment or are just returning to work, and operating its homeless shelter, Leslie’s House.
“Mother Teresa once said, ‘Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service,’” said Brad Bowers, director of West End Ministries. “When I think of HPU’s Board of Stewards and all the HPU students, I see the love they have for this city and its residents. I see this through their countless hours of service.”
“Each year the Board of Stewards raises the bar a little higher for how they can serve our local community,” said Rev. Preston Davis, minister to the university. “This has been exemplified in the fundraising for the Salvation Army Angel Tree in the fall and now for West End Ministries in the spring. When COVID-19 caused us to transition to distance learning, they could have backed away from this effort, but they didn’t. They leaned into their identity as faith leaders. They watched unemployment rise around our country and in our community and made a direct connection to their philanthropy. This was serious. What they raised for West End would have an immediate impact on lives most affected. They show a level of spiritual maturity to which I hope others will pay attention.”