I am grateful that EmberHope has applied for a grant to provide temporary shelter in Newton for unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refuge from violence and trauma in Central America. As a pastor and person of faith, I believe we are called to care for the vulnerable and extend hospitality to those in need of shelter, food, medical care and other services. The grant would pay for these services, and would not detract from resources currently used to meet local needs. Guidelines for the grant require that issues of health and safety for the children and local community be addressed, and I am confident that EmberHope will manage these concerns with competence and integrity. This initiative to care for children can demonstrate to our local community - and beyond - that Newton is a place of welcome and constructive engagement with the challenges of our world. As we open our hearts to others, the whole community can be strengthened.

— Heidi Regier Kreider, pastor, Bethel College Mennonite Church