“Our goal has been to bring a light into the neighborhood and to show the kids there is something they can do to achieve a better life,” Huber said. “We are trying to turn this into a place where they can go.”
Rachel Heinbaugh, Missions and Outreach Coordinator for Nehemiah Project Church, says they have done many things with the outreach such as coat drives, giving backpacks to children in the summer and many people from the church come to help with this Thanksgiving dinner.
“It’s not only a great opportunity for people from the Westside of Indianapolis and Hendricks County to come out and serve, but also to help the kids in the community here who are learning to give back and let their light shine,” she said. “There is a high volume of kids that attend. It gives them hope and a family environment with an extra support system that might not always be there.”
The staff coming to the church every Thursday evening and Sunday includes Celeste Meyer, Graves’ mother.
“Without her and a couple other women here, there is no way we could ever have done this,” Huber said. “This is a team effort.”
Meyer comes in on Thursday nights, makes the neighborhood a meal, has Bible study and usually creates crafts with the kids.
“This is a blessing; this whole area has been such a blessing to my life,” Meyer said. “For the first two years, it was just me and a couple of other people; I came here thinking I was going to help other people and bless their lives, but instead I get all of the blessing.”
She added: “We’re making this about the kids and giving back to the community. Some of the kids are working here today that come in every Sunday, you get attached to the kids and they get attached to you.”