Rich and Reida Bartley, Grace Brethren church planting missionaries to Cleveland, are featured in yesterday’s Cleveland newspaper. Rich says they’ve already received several calls from people wishing to help or donate. Reproduced here is a short excerpt–to read the entire article click here.
When Rich Bartley retired in 2000 from coaching and teaching in the Cleveland schools, he craved more than ever to help the district’s children. Once he earned a seminary degree, he and wife Reida started a missionary outpost of sorts in Cleveland’s Slavic Village to teach life skills to poor residents.
Most programs are aimed at youths since the Bartleys believe that’s where they can have the strongest impact. The Sagamore Hills Township couple aren’t shy about appealing to suburbanites for help with everything from mentoring kids to donating children’s books.
Their holiday “treasure box” giveaway attracts the most helpers. Each child at Mound, Union, Fullerton, Washington Park and St. Stanislaus schools receives a gift-wrapped shoe box filled with school supplies and toys, plus $5 to spend however they choose.
“It’s a godsend,” said principal Rita Smith-Rogers of Fullerton Elementary School, especially for families who can’t afford holiday gifts.