JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A local Jacksonville historic church gives it back to students by distributing more than $100,000 in scholarships.
Bethel Church has been part of the Jacksonville community since 1838 and has helped over 10,000 people over the years. The church distributed checks to more than 100 students on Sunday after the Dollars For Scholars Education 2022 Scholarthon.
The Scholarthon was held virtually on July 31, where over $100,000 was raised in six hours.
The church was unable to hold its traditional walk-a-thon to raise funds for scholarships due to the pandemic, but Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr. found a way to continue changing lives for the better with a Virtual Scholarthon.
“I had the creative idea to do a six hour telethon for scholarships. This is our third year – every year it gets bigger – this year we raised over $115,000 and gave away 110 scholarships. donors were local, some were from all over the country, including the Divine Nine and many well-known names,” McKissick, Jr. said.
The event also brought together big name attendees who donated to the cause.
“We’ve had three HBCU presidents, Ben Crump, Tamika Mallory and the Reverend Al Sharpton – so we have a variety of national people who are friends who also made an unexpected donation. It made it very different and unique, and next year we’ll go even higher,” McKissick, Jr. said.
Robert Williams was a Jean Ribault high school scholarship holder. He won a $1,000 scholarship.
“For the church to be able to provide so many people with $1,000 scholarships, it helps a lot with tuition, books and everything. Even though we are still remote, we still need resources and things like that so that the church can provide it to all members, it’s just awesome. We really appreciate it,” Williams said.
Trinity Webster-Bass is a second-year broadcast journalism student at Howard University. She called the scholarship “very useful”.
“It really eases the financial burden. I’m already a scholarship holder, but any extra money still counts because books are expensive, things for extra programs, those have extra funds too, so getting extra money really helps,” Webster-Bass said. .
Seqoya Williams is currently a student at Florida State College in Jacksonville and also received a scholarship.
“This check helps me. I have a daughter, so it helps me. I can pay for the lessons and go to school without worry. I am grateful for the Scholarthon. I’m so grateful that this church allows us to do things like this,” Williams said.
The Bethel Chuch will also be offering backpacks to Andrew Robinson Elementary on August 13. Aetna will purchase 500 backpacks to help and church members will purchase and donate supplies to fill the backpacks for the event.
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