A Black church in Virginia recently donated $100,000 to Howard University to help several members of their 2019 graduating class pay off student debt.
During the month of January, members of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, participated in a church-wide fast and gave up certain vices like sweets or social media. In addition to their sacrifices, members were encouraged to lower their spending and donate the money they saved to the church. As the members saved money, they were told their donation would be going directly to the Black community, NPR reported.
At the end of the fast, the church raised about $150,000 with $50,000 going to Bennet College in North Carolina, which was seeking $5 million dollars for a campaign aimed at keeping their accreditation.
The rest of the money was awarded to 34 students at the HBCU.
According to The Washington Post, the students in receipt of the funds had to be enrolled at the university full time, have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher, and demonstrate a financial need.
Assistant minister Marc Lavarin, who presides over the church’s young adult and online ministries, said that the church has a high enrollment of Howard students.
“We believe that it’s the role of the church, especially those historically Black congregations, to continue to support our historically Black colleges and universities — especially considering we have played such a role in their conception and founding,” he told NPR.
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