500 for Baby

Reposted: 26 Oct 2015 from The Sustainist email post by Eric H. F. Law, Kaleidoscope Institute For competent leadership in a diverse changing world www.kscopeinstitute.org

For every baby born to a Maine resident since 2013, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation invests a $500 Alfond Grant for his or her future qualified higher education expenses. Maine babies born prior to 2013 were eligible for the Alfond Grant if a NextGen account was opened for them by their first birthday.

The $500 Alfond Grant for your baby’s future education is a legacy gift from Harold Alfond to benefit future generations of Maine children. Mr. Harold Alfond believed that all children deserved the opportunity to achieve higher education and recognized that one of the biggest barriers to attending college is cost. So he created this gift as a great start to help families prepare for college early. He believed that you could transform individual families and the State’s future prosperity by helping all Maine’s children aspire to higher education.

While the babies and their families in Maine are blessed by the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, what about the babies in the rest of the states in the U.S.?  Here is an idea for churches to consider that would increase the long-term currencies of wellness and relationship.  What if every church in the U.S. offers every baby born in their neighborhood a grant of $500 to start a college saving account?  This investment of our currency of money will begin a relationship with every family with a newborn in your neighborhood.  The church members can continue to build the currency of relationship with these families by offering support for raising the child at different stages of the child’s development fostering spiritual, physical, social and economic wellness.

I did some math. There are about 4 million babies born each year.  There are about 300,000 churches of all different denominations.  On the average, each church needs only to offer about 13 scholarships a year – $6,500 per year of investment into the future sustainability of the good people living in your neighborhood.  If an individual church cannot afford this, clusters of churches in the same neighborhood can pool their resources to do this.  Another option is to offer the scholarships through the regional denominational organizations such as the diocese, presbytery, district, conference, and synod.

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