Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: First Works - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: First Works

By Joe Birch - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An after-school program for needy children celebrates the spirit of giving all year long.

The First Works program aims to help children from some of Memphis' poorest zip codes north of downtown.

Students participating in the program, ranging in age from first graders all the way up to high school seniors, go to Union Avenue United Methodist Church every Tuesday and Thursday after school.

"We have over 23 churches and organizations involved in bringing delicious and nutritious dinners to the children," Rev. Birgitte French said.

French, better known as "Pastor B", runs First Works, a ministry of First United Methodist downtown.

"The children we enroll in the program are children capable of making it in schools but do not have the support in their homes," he said.

So tutors like Junior League volunteer Amanda Joy connect with kids, sometimes visiting their homes to deliver  Christmas gifts:

"Some didn't have a bed and some didn't have a stove," she said. "It was just really humbling to see that."

With no threat to their safety that many endure in crime ridden neighborhoods, First Works provides a place and a  mindset that helps young minds dream:

"We try to teach the kids that whatever you dream, we can help you make it," French said.

First Works is a 501-C-3 non-profit agency that also runs a MIFA Food Pantry and a clothes closet.

You can find out more by clicking here.

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