Bari Watson, the new director of marketing for Metro Ministries, an international Christian non-profit serving children in metropolitan areas around the world, was the speaker at the Oct. 17 meeting of the Nashville City Civitan Club. The ministry is in the process of changing its name to Metro World Child.
Watson says she left her "perfect situation" at Trevecca Nazarene University to help open the office for Metro Ministries in Nashville. Metro Ministries is headquartered in New York City where it serves 20,000 children a week. The organization has an outreach to 100,000 children a week around the world.
The ministry was started by Pastor Bill Williams, who at 11 years old was abandoned on a street corner in New York City by his mother who told him to wait on the corner. Three days later, a Christian man noticed the boy and asked him if he needed help. Williams was raised collectively by the man's church who took him in, fed, clothed and educated him.
Wilson developed a passion to help children in metropolitan areas with the idea that it's not that they are hopeless, but that they have no hope.
According to Watson, in addition to the gospel, anti-bullying, anti-drugs, anti-crime and other important messages are shared with the children. The mission of the organization is to share the gospel with as many people as possible and to ask "How can I help you?"
There are no immediate plans to start a program for the Nashville area, but Watson indicated that opening an office in Nashville might open the doors to bring Metro World Child's programs to Middle Tennessee.
The ministry has several ways people can help:
1. Boxes of Love: A $25 donation will provide a needy family of 4 enough turkey and food to last a week. 5,000 families will be helped this year.
2. Wrapped Christmas Gift: Every child in the New York program will receive a wrapped Christmas gift. 60,000 Christmas gifts will be distributed in New York. A donation of $10 will buy a gift.
3. Child Sponsorships: A child can be sponsored for $28 a month. 10,000 children are currently sponsored in the U.S. and around the world.